Surah Al-Hashr (Arabic: الحشر) is the 59th chapter of the Qur’an with 24 ayat (verses). It is classified as a Medinan Surah and is titled “The Exile”. Below you can read Surah Hashr with Sahih International English translation and transliteration. At the end of Surah you’ll find tafseer including one by Ibn Kathir.
This Surah discusses the banishment of the Bani Nadhir and their secret relationship between them and hypocrites of Medina.
“If We had sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah. And these examples We present to the people that perhaps they will give thought.”
Surah Hashr Ayat 21
Read Surah Hashr with English Translation and Transliteration
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful
سَبَّحَ لِلَّهِ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ
Sabbaha lillaahi maa fissamaawaati wa maa fil ardi wa Huwal ‘Azeezul Hakeem
1. Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth exalts Allah, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَخْرَجَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ مِنْ أَهْلِ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ مِن دِيَـٰرِهِمْ لِأَوَّلِ ٱلْحَشْرِ ۚ مَا ظَنَنتُمْ أَن يَخْرُجُوا۟ ۖ وَظَنُّوٓا۟ أَنَّهُم مَّانِعَتُهُمْ حُصُونُهُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ فَأَتَىٰهُمُ ٱللَّهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَمْ يَحْتَسِبُوا۟ ۖ وَقَذَفَ فِى قُلُوبِهِمُ ٱلرُّعْبَ ۚ يُخْرِبُونَ بُيُوتَهُم بِأَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَيْدِى ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَٱعْتَبِرُوا۟ يَـٰٓأُو۟لِى ٱلْأَبْصَـٰرِ
Huwal lazeee akharajal lazeena kafaroo min ahlil kitaabi min diyaarihim li awwalil Hashr; maa zanantum any yakhrujoo wa zannooo annahum maa ni’atuhum husoonuhum minal laahi faataahumul laahu min haisu lam yahtasiboo wa qazafa fee quloobihimur ru’ba yukhriboona bu yootahum bi aydeehim wa aydil mu’mineena fa’tabiroo yaaa ulil absaar
2. It is He who expelled the ones who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture from their homes at the first gathering. You did not think they would leave, and they thought that their fortresses would protect them from Allah ; but [the decree of] Allah came upon them from where they had not expected, and He cast terror into their hearts [so] they destroyed their houses by their [own] hands and the hands of the believers. So take warning, O people of vision.
وَلَوْلَآ أَن كَتَبَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْجَلَآءَ لَعَذَّبَهُمْ فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا ۖ وَلَهُمْ فِى ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ عَذَابُ ٱلنَّارِ
Wa law laaa an katabal laahu ‘alaihimul jalaaa’a la’azzabahum fid dunyaa wa lahum fil Aakhirati ‘azaabun Naar
3. And if not that Allah had decreed for them evacuation, He would have punished them in [this] world, and for them in the Hereafter is the punishment of the Fire.
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ شَآقُّوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ ۖ وَمَن يُشَآقِّ ٱللَّهَ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ ٱلْعِقَابِ
Zaalika bi annahum shaaqqul laaha wa Rasoolahoo wa many yushaaaqqil laaha fa innal laaha shadeedul-‘iqaab
4. That is because they opposed Allah and His Messenger. And whoever opposes Allah – then indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.
مَا قَطَعْتُم مِّن لِّينَةٍ أَوْ تَرَكْتُمُوهَا قَآئِمَةً عَلَىٰٓ أُصُولِهَا فَبِإِذْنِ ٱللَّهِ وَلِيُخْزِىَ ٱلْفَـٰسِقِينَ
Maa qata’tum mil leenatin aw taraktumoohaa qaaa’imatan’alaaa usoolihaa fabi iznil laahi wa liyukhziyal faasiqeen
5. Whatever you have cut down of [their] palm trees or left standing on their trunks – it was by permission of Allah and so He would disgrace the defiantly disobedient.
وَمَآ أَفَآءَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِۦ مِنْهُمْ فَمَآ أَوْجَفْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ خَيْلٍۢ وَلَا رِكَابٍۢ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُسَلِّطُ رُسُلَهُۥ عَلَىٰ مَن يَشَآءُ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ قَدِيرٌۭ
Wa maaa afaaa’al laahu ‘alaaa Rasoolihee minhum famaaa awjaftum ‘alaihi min khailiinw wa laa rikaabinw wa laakinnal laaha yusallitu Rusulahoo ‘alaa many yashaaa’; wallaahu ‘alaa kulli shai’in Qadeer
6. And what Allah restored [of property] to His Messenger from them – you did not spur for it [in an expedition] any horses or camels, but Allah gives His messengers power over whom He wills, and Allah is over all things competent.
مَّآ أَفَآءَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِۦ مِنْ أَهْلِ ٱلْقُرَىٰ فَلِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِى ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ وَٱلْيَتَـٰمَىٰ وَٱلْمَسَـٰكِينِ وَٱبْنِ ٱلسَّبِيلِ كَىْ لَا يَكُونَ دُولَةًۢ بَيْنَ ٱلْأَغْنِيَآءِ مِنكُمْ ۚ وَمَآ ءَاتَىٰكُمُ ٱلرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَىٰكُمْ عَنْهُ فَٱنتَهُوا۟ ۚ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ ٱلْعِقَابِ
Maaa afaaa’al laahu ‘alaa Rasoolihee min ahlil quraa falillaahi wa lir Rasooli wa lizil qurbaa wal yataamaa walmasaakeeni wabnis sabeeli kai laa yakoona doolatam bainal aghniyaaa’i minkum; wa maaa aataakumur Rasoolu fakhuzoohu wa maa nahaakum ‘anhu fantahoo; wattaqul laaha innal laaha shadeedul-‘iqaab
7. And what Allah restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns – it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and orphans and the [stranded] traveler – so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you. And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.
لِلْفُقَرَآءِ ٱلْمُهَـٰجِرِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُوا۟ مِن دِيَـٰرِهِمْ وَأَمْوَٰلِهِمْ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًۭا مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضْوَٰنًۭا وَيَنصُرُونَ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥٓ ۚ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلصَّـٰدِقُونَ
Lilfuqaraaa’il Muhaaji reenal lazeena ukhrijoo min diyaarihim wa amwaalihim yabtaghoona fadlam minal laahi wa ridwaananw wa yansuroonal laaha wa Rasoolah; ulaaa’ika humus saadiqoon
8. For the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and their properties, seeking bounty from Allah and [His] approval and supporting Allah and His Messenger, [there is also a share]. Those are the truthful.
وَٱلَّذِينَ تَبَوَّءُو ٱلدَّارَ وَٱلْإِيمَـٰنَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ يُحِبُّونَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَا يَجِدُونَ فِى صُدُورِهِمْ حَاجَةًۭ مِّمَّآ أُوتُوا۟ وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌۭ ۚ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِۦ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُفْلِحُونَ
Wallazeena tabawwa’ud daara wal eemaana min qablihim yuhibboona man haajara ilaihim wa laa yajidoona fee sudoorihim haajatam mimmaa ootoo wa yu’siroona ‘alaa anfusihim wa law kaana bihim khasaasah; wa many yooqa shuhha nafsihee fa ulaaa’ika humul muflihoon
9. And [also for] those who were settled in al-Madinah and [adopted] the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them and find not any want in their breasts of what the emigrants were given but give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful.
وَٱلَّذِينَ جَآءُو مِنۢ بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا ٱغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَٰنِنَا ٱلَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِٱلْإِيمَـٰنِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِى قُلُوبِنَا غِلًّۭا لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّكَ رَءُوفٌۭ رَّحِيمٌ
Wallazeena jaaa’oo min ba’dihim yaqooloona Rabbanagh fir lanaa wa li ikhwaani nal lazeena sabqoonaa bil eemaani wa laa taj’al fee quloobinaa ghillalil lazeena aamanoo rabbannaaa innaka Ra’oofur Raheem
10. And [there is a share for] those who came after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.”
۞ أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ نَافَقُوا۟ يَقُولُونَ لِإِخْوَٰنِهِمُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ مِنْ أَهْلِ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ لَئِنْ أُخْرِجْتُمْ لَنَخْرُجَنَّ مَعَكُمْ وَلَا نُطِيعُ فِيكُمْ أَحَدًا أَبَدًۭا وَإِن قُوتِلْتُمْ لَنَنصُرَنَّكُمْ وَٱللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَـٰذِبُونَ
Alam tara ilal lazeena naafaqoo yaqooloona li ikhwaanihimul lazeena kafaroo min ahlil kitaabi la’in ukhrijtum lanakhrujanna ma’akum wa laa nutee’u feekum ahadan abadanw-wa in qootiltum lanansuran nakum wallaahu yashhadu innahum lakaaziboon
11. Have you not considered those who practice hypocrisy, saying to their brothers who have disbelieved among the People of the Scripture, “If you are expelled, we will surely leave with you, and we will not obey, in regard to you, anyone – ever; and if you are fought, we will surely aid you.” But Allah testifies that they are liars.
لَئِنْ أُخْرِجُوا۟ لَا يَخْرُجُونَ مَعَهُمْ وَلَئِن قُوتِلُوا۟ لَا يَنصُرُونَهُمْ وَلَئِن نَّصَرُوهُمْ لَيُوَلُّنَّ ٱلْأَدْبَـٰرَ ثُمَّ لَا يُنصَرُونَ
La’in ukhrijoo laa yakhrujoona ma’ahum wa la’in qootiloo laa yansuroonahum wa la’in nasaroohum la yuwallunnal adbaara summa laa yunsaroon
12. If they are expelled, they will not leave with them, and if they are fought, they will not aid them. And [even] if they should aid them, they will surely turn their backs; then [thereafter] they will not be aided.
لَأَنتُمْ أَشَدُّ رَهْبَةًۭ فِى صُدُورِهِم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌۭ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ
La antum ashaddu rahbatan fee sudoorihim minal laah; zaalika bi annahum qawmul laa yafqahoon
13. You [believers] are more fearful within their breasts than Allah . That is because they are a people who do not understand.
لَا يُقَـٰتِلُونَكُمْ جَمِيعًا إِلَّا فِى قُرًۭى مُّحَصَّنَةٍ أَوْ مِن وَرَآءِ جُدُرٍۭ ۚ بَأْسُهُم بَيْنَهُمْ شَدِيدٌۭ ۚ تَحْسَبُهُمْ جَمِيعًۭا وَقُلُوبُهُمْ شَتَّىٰ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌۭ لَّا يَعْقِلُونَ
Laa yuqaatiloonakum jamee’an illaa fee quram muhas sanatin aw minw waraaa’i judur; baasuhum bainahum shadeed; tahsabuhum jamee’anw-wa quloobuhum shatta; zaalika biannahum qawmul laa ya’qiloon
14. They will not fight you all except within fortified cities or from behind walls. Their violence among themselves is severe. You think they are together, but their hearts are diverse. That is because they are a people who do not reason.
كَمَثَلِ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ قَرِيبًۭا ۖ ذَاقُوا۟ وَبَالَ أَمْرِهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌۭ
Kamasalil lazeena min qablihim qareeban zaaqoo wabaala amrihim wa lahum ‘azaabun aleem
15. [Theirs is] like the example of those shortly before them: they tasted the bad consequence of their affair, and they will have a painful punishment.
كَمَثَلِ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنِ إِذْ قَالَ لِلْإِنسَـٰنِ ٱكْفُرْ فَلَمَّا كَفَرَ قَالَ إِنِّى بَرِىٓءٌۭ مِّنكَ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ ٱللَّهَ رَبَّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ
Kamasalish shaitaani izqaala lil insaanik fur falammaa kafara qaala innee bareee’um minka inneee akhaaful laaha rabbal ‘aalameen
16. [The hypocrites are] like the example of Satan when he says to man, “Disbelieve.” But when he disbelieves, he says, “Indeed, I am disassociated from you. Indeed, I fear Allah, Lord of the worlds.”
فَكَانَ عَـٰقِبَتَهُمَآ أَنَّهُمَا فِى ٱلنَّارِ خَـٰلِدَيْنِ فِيهَا ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ جَزَٰٓؤُا۟ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
Fakaana ‘aaqibatahumaaa annahumaa fin naari khaalidaini feehaa; wa zaalika jazaaa’uz zaalimeen
17. So the outcome for both of them is that they will be in the Fire, abiding eternally therein. And that is the recompense of the wrong-doers.
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌۭ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍۢ ۖ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ خَبِيرٌۢ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanut taqul laa; waltanzur nafsum maa qaddamat lighadiw wattaqual laah; innal laaha khabeerum bimaa ta’maloon
18. O you who have believed, fear Allah . And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allah . Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
وَلَا تَكُونُوا۟ كَٱلَّذِينَ نَسُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ فَأَنسَىٰهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْفَـٰسِقُونَ
Wa laa takoonoo kallazeena nasul laaha fa ansaahum anfusahum; ulaaa’ika humul faasiqoon
19. And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient.
لَا يَسْتَوِىٓ أَصْحَـٰبُ ٱلنَّارِ وَأَصْحَـٰبُ ٱلْجَنَّةِ ۚ أَصْحَـٰبُ ٱلْجَنَّةِ هُمُ ٱلْفَآئِزُونَ
Laa yastaweee as-haabun naari wa ashaabul jannah; as haabul jannati humul faaa’izoon
20. Not equal are the companions of the Fire and the companions of Paradise. The companions of Paradise – they are the attainers [of success].
لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَـٰذَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ عَلَىٰ جَبَلٍۢ لَّرَأَيْتَهُۥ خَـٰشِعًۭا مُّتَصَدِّعًۭا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ ٱللَّهِ ۚ وَتِلْكَ ٱلْأَمْثَـٰلُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
Law anzalnaa haazal quraana ‘alaa jabilil lara aytahoo khaashi’am muta saddi’am min khashiyatil laah; wa tilkal amsaalu nadribuhaa linnaasi la’allahum yatafakkaroon
21. If We had sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah . And these examples We present to the people that perhaps they will give thought.
هُوَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ عَـٰلِمُ ٱلْغَيْبِ وَٱلشَّهَـٰدَةِ ۖ هُوَ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
Huwal-laahul-lazee laaa Ilaaha illaa Huwa ‘Aalimul Ghaibi wash-shahaada; Huwar Rahmaanur-Raheem
22. He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, Knower of the unseen and the witnessed. He is the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
هُوَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلْمَلِكُ ٱلْقُدُّوسُ ٱلسَّلَـٰمُ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُ ٱلْمُهَيْمِنُ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْجَبَّارُ ٱلْمُتَكَبِّرُ ۚ سُبْحَـٰنَ ٱللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
Huwal-laahul-lazee laaa Ilaaha illaa Huwal-Malikul Quddoosus-Salaamul Muminul Muhaiminul-‘aAzeezul Jabbaarul-Mutakabbir; Subhaanal laahi ‘Ammaa yushrikoon
23. He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Bestower of Faith, the Overseer, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, the Superior. Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him.
هُوَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْخَـٰلِقُ ٱلْبَارِئُ ٱلْمُصَوِّرُ ۖ لَهُ ٱلْأَسْمَآءُ ٱلْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُۥ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ
Huwal Laahul Khaaliqul Baari ‘ul Musawwir; lahul Asmaaa’ul Husnaa; yusabbihu lahoo maa fis samaawaati wal ardi wa Huwal ‘Azeezul Hakeem
24. He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the best names. Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
Tafsir of Surah Hashr
The Qur’an was revealed as a book of proof that Islam is the one true religion and to be a book of guidance for the believers. We should make it a practice to continue reading the Qur’an but to also make it a study. We’ve added this section to include various tafseer of Surah Hashr for those looking to benefit from reading the commentary on this Surah.
Tafsir Surah Hashr by Ibn Kathir
Ibn Abbas used to call this chapter, Surah Bani An-Nadir.’ Sa`id bin Mansur recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, “I asked Ibn Abbas about Surat Al-Hashr and he said, It was revealed about Bani An-Nadir.”’ Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded it using another chain of narration from Ibn Abbas. Al-Bukhari also recorded it from Abu Awanah, from Abu Bishr from Sa`id bin Jubayr, who said, “I asked Ibn Abbas, `Surat Al-Hashr’ He said, `Surah Bani An-Nadir.”’
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Allah states that everything that exists in the heavens and on the earth praises, glorifies, reveres and prays to Him and affirms His Oneness. Allah said in another Ayah,
(The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His praise. But you understand not their glorification.)(17:44) Allah’s statement,
(And He is the Almighty) meaning of invincible majesty,
(the All-Wise.) in what He decrees and legislates.
(He it is Who drove out the disbelievers among the People of the Scripture) referring to the Jewish tribe of Bani An-Nadir, according to Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Az-Zuhri and several others. When the Messenger of Allah migrated to Al-Madinah, he made a peace treaty with the Jews stipulating that he would not fight them and they would not fight him. They soon betrayed the treaty that they made with Allah’s Messenger . Therefore, Allah sent His torment down on them; it can never be averted, and His appointed destiny touched them; it can never be resisted. The Prophet forced them to evacuate and abandon their fortified forts that Muslims did not think they would ever control. The Jews thought that their fortifications will save them from Allah’s torment, but they did not help them against Allah in the least. Then, that which they did not expect came to them from Allah, and Allah’s Messenger forced them to leave Al-Madinah. Some of them went to Adhri`at in the area of Ash-Sham, which is the area of the grand Gathering and Resurrection, while others went to Khaybar. The Prophet allowed them to evacuate their forts and take whatever their camels could carry. They destroyed the property that they could not carry. This is why Allah the Exalted said,
(they demolished their own dwellings with their own hands and the hands of the believers Then take admonition, O you with eyes.) meaning, “Contemplate the end of those who defied Allah’s command, contradicted His Messenger and denied His Book. See how Allah’s humiliating torment struck them in this life, as well as, the painful torment that Allah has reserved for them in the Hereafter.” Abu Dawud recorded that `Abdur-Rahman bin Ka`b bin Malik said that one of the Prophet’s Companions said, “The Quraysh idolators wrote to `Abdullah bin Ubayy and those who were still worshipping idols among the tribes of Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj. The Messenger of Allah was in Al-Madinah at the time, before the battle of Badr occurred. They wrote: `You have given refuge to our citizen. We swear by Allah, you should fight him, or we will expel you or gather all our forces, until we kill your soldiers and take your women captive.’ When the news of this threat reached `Abdullah bin Ubayy and the idolators of Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj, they prepared to fight the Prophet . The news of this reached the Prophet and he went to them saying,
(The threat of the Quraysh has caused you extreme anxiety! The Quraysh cannot cause you more harm than what you will cause yourselves by your actions. Do you want to fight your children and brethren) When they heard these words from the Prophet , they dis- persed and the news of what happened reached the Quraysh idolators. After the battle of Badr, the Quraysh idolators wrote to the Jews of Al-Madinah, `You have armor and forts! You should fight our citizen or we will do such and such to you, and nothing will prevent us from acquiring your women.’The news of this letter also reached the Prophet and Bani An-Nadir intended to betray their treaty. Bani An-Nadir sent a message to the Prophet asking him to come with thirty of his Companions to meet thirty of their rabbis half way, from either side. They said that the rabbis would listen to the Prophet and if they believe in him, the rest of Bani An-Nadir would believe. They intended to kill the Messenger , and Allah informed His Messenger of this plot before they could harm him. The next day, the Prophet gathered his forces and laid siege to their area, saying to them,
(By Allah ! You will not be safe until and unless you renew your peace treaty with me.) They refused to do so, and the Prophet fought them the rest of that day. The next morning, the Prophet laid siege to the tribe of Bani Qurayzah and left Bani An-Nadir alone that day. The Prophet ordered Bani Qurayzah to sign a new treaty of peace, and they accepted. The Prophet left Bani Qurayzah and went back to Bani An-Nadir with his forces and fought them until they agreed to surrender in return for safe passage out of Al-Madinah. Bani An-Nadir evacuated Al-Madinah and took with them all whatever their camels could carry from their furniture, including even the wood and the doors to their houses. The date trees of Bani An-Nadir were granted to the Messenger by Allah when He said,
(And what Allah gave as booty to His Messenger from them — for this you made no expedition with either cavalry or camelry) that is, what you earned without a fight. The Prophet divided most of their trees between the emigrants and gave to only two men who were poor from Al-Ansar. He did not give the Ansar any of it, except for these two men. The Prophet kept a part of the war booty for himself and that part of charity of the Prophet was transferred to the administration of his daughter’s children, i.e., children of Fatimah.” However, let us summarize the battle of Bani An-Nadir here. From Allah alone we seek help.
After the seventy Companions whom the Prophet sent to teach the Qur’an were killed at the area of Bi’r Ma`unah, excluding `Amr bin Umayyah Ad-Damri, who killed two men from the tribe of Bani `Amir on his way back to Al-Madinah. He did not know that these two men had a promise of safe passage from Allah’s Messenger . When he went back to Al-Madinah, he told the Prophet what happened and the Prophet said,
(You have killed two men, I shall pay the blood money for them.) Bani An-Nadir and Bani `Amir were allies and had treaties. The Prophet asked Bani An-Nadir to help pay the blood money for the two dead men. The area of Bani An-Nadir was in a suburb of Al-Madinah, a few miles to the east. In his book of Sirah, Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar said; “Then the Messenger of Allah went to Bani An-Nadir to ask them for financial help to pay the blood money of the two men from Bani `Amir, who were killed by `Amr bin Umayyah Ad-Damri. They had a promise of safe passage from the Prophet according to the (subnarrator) Yazid bin Ruman. Bani An-Nadir and Bani `Amir had a treaty and were allies. When Allah’s Messenger went to Bani An-Nadir asking them for help to pay the blood money for the two men, they said, `Yes, O Abu Al-Qasim! We will help you, since you asked us for help.’ Yet, when they met each other in secret, they said, `You will not find a better chance with this man than this,’ while the Messenger of Allah was sitting next to a wall of one of their houses. They said, `Who will ascend this wall and drop a stone on this man and rid us of his trouble’ `Amr bin Jihash bin Ka`b volunteered and ascended the wall of the house to drop a stone on the Messenger . The Messenger of Allah was sitting with several of his Companions, such as Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Ali. The news of this plot was conveyed to the Prophet from heaven, and he stood up and went back to Al-Madinah. When the Companions thought that the Messenger was absent for a long time, they went to see where he was and saw a man coming from Al-Madinah. They asked him, and he said that he saw the Prophet enter Al-Madinah. The Messenger’s Companions went to him, and he told them the news of the betraying plot that the Jews planned against him. He ordered them to prepare for war and to march forth to Bani An-Nadir. The Prophet gathered his forces and marched to the area of Bani An-Nadir, who had taken refuge in their fortified forts. The Messenger ordered their date trees be cut down and burned. The Jews heralded at the Prophet, `O Muhammad! You used to forbid mischief in the earth and blame those who did it. Why is it that you had the date trees cut down and burned’ Meanwhile, `Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul, Wadi`ah, Malik bin Abi Qawqal, Suwayd, Da`is and several other men who all belonged to the tribe of Al-Khazraj bin Bani `Awf, sent a message to Bani An-Nadir saying, `Be firm and strong. We will never abandon you. If you are fought against, we will fight along with you and if you are forced to leave Al-Madinah, we will accompany you.’ The Jews waited for this claim of support, but the hypocrites did not deliver. Allah cast terror in the hearts of the Jews. They asked the Messenger to allow them safe passage out of Al-Madinah and to spare their lives. In return, they would only take what their camels could carry, except for weapons. The Prophet agreed. The Jews collected all the wealth their camels could transport. One of the Jews would demolish his own house around its door, so that he could carry the door on the back of his camel. Bani An-Nadir moved to Khaybar, and some of them went to Ash-Sham. They left all that remained behind for the Messenger of Allah , who had control over how it was to be divided. The Prophet divided it between the emigrants and none of Al-Ansar got a share, except for Sahl bin Hunayf and Abu Dujanah Simak bin Kharashah. They said that they were poor and the Messenger of Allah gave them their share. Only two men from Bani An-Nadir embraced Islam, Yamin bin Umayr bin Ka`b bin `Amr bin Jihash and Abu Sa`d bin Wahb and they saved their wealth due to their acceptance of Islam.” Ibn Ishaq continued, “Some of the offspring of Yamin narrated to me that the Messenger of Allah said to Yamin,
(Have you not heard what your cousin plotted to do against me) Yamin bin `Umayr promised someone a reward if he killed his cousin `Amr bin Jihash, and someone killed him, according to their claim” Ibn Ishaq then said, “All of Surat Al-Hashr was revealed about Bani An-Nadir. ” A similar story was recorded by Yunus bin Bukayr from Ibn Ishaq. Allah’s statement,
(He it is Who drove out the disbelievers among the People of the Scripture) refers to Bani An-Nadir,
(from their homes at the first gathering.) Allah said,
(You did not think that they would get out.) i.e., within the few days you laid siege against them. The Companions had surrounded their forts for only six days, and their forts were fortified and formidable. This is why Allah the Exalted said,
(And they thought that their fortresses would defend them from Allah! But Allah reached them from a place where they expected it not.) meaning, there came to them from Allah what they did not expect or anticipate. Allah said in another Ayah,
(Those before them indeed plotted, but Allah struck at the foundation of their building, and then the roof fell down upon them, from above them, and the torment overtook them from directions they did not perceive.)(16:26) Allah said,
(and He cast terror into their hearts) means, Allah cast fear, terror and fright in their hearts, and why would that not happen to them He who was given victory, by Allah frightening his enemies the distance of a month, laid siege to them. May Allah’s peace and blessings be on the Prophet. As in Ibn Ishaq’s explanation — which preceded;
(that they demolished their own dwellings with their own hands and the hands of the believers.) the Jews brought down what they wanted to transport from their roofs and doors, so that they could carry them on camels. Similar was said by `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and several others. Allah’s statement,
(And had it not been that Allah had decreed exile for them, He would certainly have punished them in this world;) meaning, if it was not for the fact that Allah had already decreed that they would evacuate Al-Madinah, leaving behind their homes and wealth, He would have sent another type of punishment upon them, such as being killed and captured. This was said by Az-Zuhri. `Urwah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd said that Allah decreed that the Jews would be punished in the life of this world and face the torment of the fire of Hell He prepared for them in the Hereafter. Allah said,
(and in the Hereafter theirs shall be the torment of the Fire.) meaning, it is a matter ordained that they will surely face,
(That is because they opposed Allah and His Messenger.) means, Allah prepared this specific punishment and sent His Messenger and his Companions against them, because they defied Allah and His Messenger and denied the good news that Allah sent forth in the Books of previous Messengers regarding the coming of Muhammad . The Jews knew these facts about Muhammad just as they knew their own children. Allah said,
(And whosoever opposes Allah, then verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.)
(What you cut down of the Linah, or you left them standing on their stems, it was by leave of Allah, and in order that He might disgrace the rebellious.) Linah is an especially good type of date tree. Abu `Ubaydah said that Linah is a different kind of dates than `Ajwah and Barni. Several others said that Linah refers to every type of date fruits, except for the `Ajwah (ripen dates), while Ibn Jarir said that it refers to all kinds of date trees. Ibn Jarir quoted Mujahid saying that it also includes the Buwayrah type. When the Messenger of Allah laid siege to Bani An-Nadir, to humiliate them and bring fear and terror to their hearts, he ordered their date trees to be cut down. Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated that Yazid bin Ruman, Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan said, “Bani An-Nadir sent a message to the Messenger , saying that he used to outlaw mischief in the earth, so why did he order that their trees be cut down Allah sent down this honorable Ayah stating that whatever Linah was felled or left intact by the Muslims, has been done by His permission, will, leave and pleasure to humiliate and disgrace the enemy and degrade them.” Mujahid said, “Some of the emigrants discouraged others from chopping down the date trees of Jews, saying that they were war spoils for Muslims. The Qur’an approved of the actions of those who discouraged and those who approved of cutting these trees, stating that those who cut them or did not, did so only by Allah’s leave.” There is also a Hadith narrated from the Prophet with this meaning. An-Nasa’i recorded that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah’s statement,
(What you cut down of the Linah, or you left them standing on their stems, it was by leave of Allah, and in order that He might disgrace the rebellious.) “They forced them to come down from their forts and were ordered to cut their trees cut down. So the Muslims hesitated, and some of them said, `We cut down some and left some. We must ask Allah’s Messenger if we will earn a reward for what we cut and if we will be burdened for what we left intact.’ Allah sent down this Ayah, t
(What you cut down of the Linah, or you left them standing on their stems, it was by leave of Allah).” Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah ordered that the date trees of Bani An-Nadir be cut down and burned. The Two Sahihs collected a similar narration. Al-Bukhari recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar said,”Bani An-Nadir and Bani Qurayzah fought (against the Prophet ), and the Prophet exiled Bani An-Nadir and allowed Bani Qurayzah to remain in their area until later, when the Prophet fought against Qurayzah. Their men were executed and their women, children and wealth were confiscated and divided among Muslims. Some of them, however, were saved because they returned to the Prophet’s side, who granted them asylum, and they embraced Islam. All of the Jews of Al-Madinah, Bani Qaynuqa`, the tribe of `Abdullah bin Salam, Bani Harithah and the rest of the Jewish tribes in Al-Madinah were exiled.” The Two Sahihs also recorded from Ibn `Umar that the Messenger of Allah burned down the date trees of Bani An-Nadir and had them cut down the date palms of Al-Buwayrah. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored revealed this Ayah,
(What you cut down of the Linah, or you left them standing on their stems, it was by leave of Allah, and in order that He might disgrace the rebellious.)” Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that the battle of Bani An-Nadir occurred after the battles of Uhud and Bi’r Ma`unah.
Allah the Exalted explains the regulations for Fai’, the booty that the Muslims acquire from the disbelievers, without fighting them or using cavalry and camelry in war against them. For instance, the booty collected from Bani An-Nadir was not acquired because of fighting them using horses and camels. The Muslims did not fight Bani An-Nadir in battle, but Allah forced them out of their forts on account of the fear that He placed in their hearts for Allah’s Messenger . Therefore, it was Fai’ that Allah awarded His Messenger, with his discretion to spend it however he sees fit. Indeed, the Prophet spent the Fai’ on righteous causes and for the benefit of Muslims in the areas that Allah mentioned in this Ayat,
(And what Allah gave as booty (Fai’) to His Messenger from them) meaning, from Bani An-Nadir,
(for this you made no expedition with either cavalry or camelry.) refering to using camels,
(But Allah gives power to His Messengers over whomsoever He wills. And Allah is Able to do all things.) mean, Allah is powerful and cannot be resisted or opposed; He is the Compeller over all things. Allah the Exalted said,
(What Allah gave as booty (Fai’) to His Messenger from the people of the townships) meaning, from all the villages and areas that are conquered in this manner; the booty collected from them falls under the same ruling as the booty acquired from Bani An-Nadir. This is why Allah the Exalted said,
(it is for Allah, His Messenger, the kindred, the orphans, the poor, and the wayfarer,) until its end and the following Ayah. mentioning the ways the Fai’ should be spent. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Umar said, “The wealth of Bani An-Nadir was of the Fai’ type that Allah awarded His Messenger and for which the Muslims did not have to use cavalry or camelry. Therefore, it was for the Messenger of Allah , and he used it for the needs of his family for a year at a time, and the rest was used to buy armors and weapons used in the cause of Allah the Exalted and Most Honored.” Ahmad collected the short form of this story. The Group, with the exception of Ibn Majah, collected this Hadith. Abu Dawud recorded that Malik bin `Aws said,”While I was at home, the sun rose high and it got hot. Suddenly the messenger of `Umar bin Al-Khattab came to me and I went along with him and entered the place where `Umar was sitting on a bedstead made of date-palm leaves and without a mattress. He said when I went in, `O Malik! Some of your people’s families came to me due to their famine, and I have ordered that relief aid should be given to them, so take it and distribute it among them.’ I said, `I wish that you ordered someone else to do it.’ He said, `Take it.’ Then Yarfa (the servant of `Umar) came saying, `O Commander of the faithful! May I admit `Uthman bin `Affan, `Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf, Az-Zubayr bin Al-`Awwam and Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas’ `Umar said, `Yes,’ and they came in. After a while Yarfa came again and said, `O Commander of the faithful! May I admit Al-`Abbas and `Ali’ `Umar said, `Yes.’ So, they were admitted and Al-`Abbas said, `O Chief of the believers! Judge between me and this one (i.e., `Ali).’ The group (being `Uthman and his companions) said, `O Chief of the believers! Judge between them and relieve both of them from each other.’ I (Malik bin Aws) thought that they asked the four men to come in before them for this purpose. `Umar said, `Be patient!’ He then asked the group (`Uthman and his companions), `I ask you by Allah by Whose permission the heaven and the earth exist, do you know that Allah’s Messenger said,
(Our (the Prophet’s) property will not be inherited. Whatever we leave, is charity)’ The group said, `He said so.’ `Umar then turned to `Ali and Al-`Abbas and said, `I beseech you by Allah by Whose permission the heaven and the earth exist, do you know both that Allah’s Messenger said,
(Our (the Prophets`) property will not be inherited. Whatever we leave, is charity)’ They replied, `He said so.’ `Umar then said, `Allah bestowed on His Messenger a special favor unlike what he gave all other people. Allah the Exalted said,
(And what Allah gave as booty (Fai’) to His Messenger from them — for this you made no expedition with either cavalry or camelry. But Allah gives power to His Messengers over whomsoever He wills. And Allah is Able to do all things.) Therefore, this property, the booty collected from Bani An-Nadir, was especially given to Allah’s Messenger . However, by Allah, neither did he take possession of it and leave you, nor did he favor himself with it to your exclusion. Allah’s Messenger took the yearly expenses from it for himself and his family and left the rest in the Muslim Treasury.’ He then asked the group, `I ask you by Allah with Whose permission the heavens and earth exist, do you know this’ They replied, `Yes.’ `Umar then said to `Ali and Al-`Abbas, `I ask you by Allah, with Whose permission that heavens and earth exist, do you know this’ They said, `Yes.’ `Umar added, `When Allah took His Prophet unto Him, Abu Bakr said: I am the successor of Allah’s Messenger ! Then you both came to Abu Bakr asking for your (Al-`Abbas’) share of inheritance from your nephew, and he (`Ali) asked for his wife’s share from her father’s inheritance. Abu Bakr said: Allah’s Messenger said,
(Our (the Prophets’) property will not be inherited. Whatever we leave, is charity.)” Allah knows that Abu Bakr was true, pious, rightly guided and a follower of what was right. So, Abu Bakr assumed the responsibility of that property. When Abu Bakr died, I said: I am the successor of Allah’s Messenger and the successor of Abu Bakr. So I managed it as long as Allah allowed me to manage it. Then you both (`Ali and Al-`Abbas) came to talk to me, bearing the same claim and presenting the same case, asking for that property. I said to you: I am ready to hand over this property to you if you wish. I will do so on the condition that you will take a pledge before Allah’s that you will manage it in the same way as Allah’s Messenger used to. So, both of you agreed and on that condition I handed it over to you. Now you come to me to render a different judgement over the property than the one I made before. By Allah, I will never give any decision other than what I have already given, until the Last Hour begins. If you are unable to manage it, then return it to me, and I will do the job on your behalf.,” They recorded this from the Hadith of Az-Zuhri. Allah said,
(in order that it may not become a fortune used by the rich among you.) means, `We made the expenditures for the Fai’ like this, so that the wealth does not remain among the wealthy, who would spend it as they wish and desire and give none of it to the poor.’
Allah the Exalted said,
(And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).) meaning, `whatever the Messenger commands you, then do it and whatever he forbids you, then avoid it. Surely, He only commands righteousness and forbids evil.’ Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, “Allah curses women who practice tattooing and those who get themselves tattooed, and the women who remove the hair from their eyebrows and faces and those who make artificial spaces between their teeth in order to look more beautiful, whereby changing Allah’s creation.” His statement reached a woman from Bani Asad called, Umm Ya`qub, who came to `Abdullah and said, “I have come to know that you have cursed such and such” He replied, “Why should I not curse those whom Allah’s Messenger has cursed and who are cursed in Allah’s Book!” Umm Ya`qub said, “I have read the whole Qur’an, but did not find in it what you say.” He said, “Verily, if you have read the Qur’an, you have found it. Didn’t you read,
(And whatsoever the Messenger gives you take it and whatsoever he forbids you, you abstain (from it).)” She replied, “Yes, I did.” He said, “Verily, Allah’s Messenger forbade such things. ” “She said, “But I think that your wife does these things” He said, “Go and look at her.” She went and watched her, but could not see anything in support of her claim. She went back to `Abdullah bin Mas`ud and said that she did not notice anything on his wife. On that he said, “If my wife was as you thought, I would not keep her with me.” The Two Sahihs recorded this from the Hadith of Sufyan Ath-Thawri. As well as a Hadith of Abu Hurayrah, who said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(When I order you to do something, then do as much as you can of it. If I forbid something for you, then shun it.) Allah’s statement,
(Have Taqwa of Allah; verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.) means, fear Allah by obeying His orders and refraining from His prohibitions. Surely, Allah is severe in punishment for those who defy Him and reject and disobey His commands as well as, those who commit what He forbids and prohibits.
Allah states the categories of needy people who also deserve a part of the Fai’,
(who were expelled from their homes and their property, seeking bounties from Allah and (His) good pleasure,) meaning, departed their homes and defied their people, seeking the acceptance of Allah and His favor,
(and helping Allah and His Messenger. Such are indeed the truthful.) meaning, `they are those who were truthful in statement and deed, and they are the chiefs of the Muhajirin.’ Allah the Exalted praised the Ansar next and emphasized their virtue, status and honor, preferring to give to others over themselves, even though they were in need, and not feeling enviousness. Allah the Exalted said,
(And (it is also for) those who, before them, had homes and had adopted the faith,) referring to those who resided in the city to which the migration occurred, before the emigrants arrived at it, and who embraced the faith before many of the emigrants. `Umar said, “I recommend the Khalifah, who will come after me, to know the rights and virtues of the foremost Muhajirin and to preserve their honor. I also recommend him to be kind to the Ansar, those who resided in the city of Hijrah and embraced the faith beforehand, that he accepts the good that comes from those who do good among them and forgives those among them who commit errors.” Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith. Allah said,
(love those who emigrate to them,) indicates that they, on account of their generosity and honorable conduct, loved those who emigrated to them and comforted them with their wealth. Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said, “The Muhajirin said, `O Allah’s Messenger! We have never met people like those whom we emigrated to; comforting us in times of scarcity and giving us with a good heart in times of abundance. They have sufficed for us and shared their wealth with us so much so, that we feared that they might earn the whole reward instead of us.’ He said,
(No they won’t, as long you thanked them for what they did and invoked Allah for them.)” I have not seen this version in the other books. Al-Bukhari recorded that Yahya bin Sa`id heard Anas bin Malik, when he went with him to Al-Walid, saying, “The Prophet called Ansar to divide Al-Bahrayn among them. The Ansar said, `Not until you give a similar portion to our emigrant brothers.’ He said,
(Perhaps, no; but you will soon see people giving preference to others, so remain patient until you meet me (on the Day of Resurrection).)” Al-Bukhari was alone with this version. He also recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “The Ansar said (to the Prophet ), `Distribute our date-palms between us and our emigrant brothers.’ He replied, `No.’ The Ansar said (to the emigrants), `Look tend to the trees and share the fruits with us.’ The emigrants said, `We hear and obey.”’ Al-Bukhari, but not Muslim, recorded it.
(and have no jealousy in their breasts for that which they have been given,) meaning, the Ansar did not have any envy for the Muhajirin because of the better status, rank, or more exalted grade that Allah gave the Muhajirin above them. Allah’s statement,
(that which they have been given,) refers to what the Muhajirin were favored with, according to Qatadah and Ibn Zayd.
(and give them preference over themselves even though they were in need of that.) meaning, they preferred giving to the needy rather than attending to their own needs, and began by giving the people before their own selves, even though they too were in need. An authentic Hadith stated that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The best charity is that given when one is in need and struggling.) This exalted rank is better than the rank of those whom Allah described in His statements,
(And they give food, inspite of their love for it.)(76:8), and,
(And gives his wealth, in spite of love for it.)(2:177) The latter give charity even though they love the wealth they give, not that they really need it, nor that it is necessary for them to keep it. The former prefer others to themselves even though they are in need and have a necessity for what they spend in charity. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq gave away all his wealth in charity and Allah’s Messenger asked him,
(What did you keep for your family,) and he said, “I kept for them Allah and His Messenger.” `Ikrimah (bin Abi Jahl) and two other wounded fighters were offered water when they were injured during the battle of Al-Yarmuk, and each one of them said that the sip of water should be given to another of the three wounded men. They did so even though they were badly injured and craving water. When the water reached the third man, he and the other two died and none of them drank any of the water! May Allah be pleased with them and make them pleased with Him. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “A man came to the Prophet and said, `O Allah’s Messenger! Poverty has stuck me.’ The Prophet sent a messenger to his wives (to bring something for that man to eat) but they said that they had nothing. Then Allah’s Messenger said,
(Who will invite this person or entertain him as a guest tonight; may Allah grant His mercy to him who does so) An Ansari man said, `I, O Allah’s Messenger!’ So he took him to his wife and said to her, `Entertain the guest of Allah’s Messenger generously.’ She said, `By Allah ! We have nothing except the meal for my children.’ He said, `Let your children sleep if they ask for supper. Then turn off the lamp and we go to bed tonight while hungry.’ She did what he asked her to do. In the morning the Ansari went to Allah’s Messenger who said,
(Allah wondered (favorably) or laughed at the action of so-and-so and his wife.) Then Allah revealed,
(and they give them preference over themselves even though they were in need of that). ” Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith in another part of his Sahih. Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i collected this Hadith. In another narration for this Hadith, the Companion’s name was mentioined, it was Abu Talhah Al-Ansari, may Allah be pleased with him. Allah said,
(And whosoever is saved from his own greed, such are they who will be the successful.) indicating that those who are saved from being stingy, then they have earned success and a good achievement. Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Be on your guard against committing oppression, for oppression is a darkness on the Day of Resurrection. Be on your guard against being stingy, for being stingy is what destroyed those who were before you. It made them shed blood and make lawful what was unlawful for them.) Muslim collected this Hadith. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Al-Aswad bin Hilal said that a man said to `Abdullah (bin Mas`ud),”O Abu `Abdur-Rahman! I fear that I have earned destruction for myself.” `Abdullah asked him what the matter was and he said, “I hear Allah’s saying,
(And whosoever is saved from his own greed, such are they who will be the successful.) and I am somewhat a miser who barely gives away anything.” `Abdullah said, “That is not the greed Allah mentioned in the Qur’an, which pertains to illegally consuming your brother’s wealth. What you have is miserliness, and it is an evil thing indeed to be a miser.” Allah said,
(And those who came after them say: “Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.) This is the third type of believers whose poor most deserve to receive a part of the Fai’. These three types are the Muhajirin, the Ansar and those who followed their righteous lead with excellence. Allah said in another Ayah,
(And of the foremost to embrace Islam of the Muhajirin and the Ansar and also those who followed them exactly, Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him.)(9:100) The third type are those who followed the Muhajirin and Ansar in their good works, beautiful attributes and who invoke Allah for them in public and secret. This is why Allah the Exalted said in this honorable Ayah,
(And those who came after them say), meaning, the statement that they utter is,
(Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred), meaning, rage or envy,
(against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.) Indeed, it is a beautiful way that Imam Malik used this honorable Ayah to declare that the Rafidah who curse the Companions do not have a share in the Fai’ money, because they do not have the good quality of those whom Allah has described here that they say,
(Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `A’ishah said, “They were commanded to invoke Allah to forgive them, but instead, they cursed them!” She then recited this Ayah,
(And those who came after them say: “Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed.”)
Allah states that the hypocrites, `Abdullah bin Ubayy and his like, sent a messenger to Bani An-Nadir promising them help. Allah the Exalted said,
(Have you not observed the hypocrites who say to their friends among the People of the Scripture who disbelieve: “If you are expelled, we indeed will go out with you, and we shall never obey anyone against you; and if you are attacked, we shall indeed help you.”) Allah then said,
(But Allah is Witness that they verily are liars.) meaning, the hypocrites lied when they issued this promise, because it was just words that they did not intend to fulfill. Also, what they said they would do, would never have been fulfilled by them, and this is why Allah said,
(and if they are attacked, they will never help them.) meaning, the hypocrites will not fight along with the Jews,
(And (even) if they do help them, ) and even if the hypocrites did fight along their side,
(they will turn their backs, and they will not be victorious.) This Ayah contains good news, just as the good news that this following Ayah conveys,
(Verily, you are more fearful in their breasts than Allah.) meaning, the hypocrites fear you more than they fear Allah, as He says;
(Behold! a section of them fear men as they fear Allah or even more.)(4:77) This is why Allah said,
(That is because they are a people who comprehend not.) Allah then said,
(They fight not against you even together, except in fortified townships, or from behind walls.) meaning, they will not fight Muslims except from behind besieged fortified forts, because of their cowardice and fear of Muslims. They only fight when they have to defend themselves (even though they threaten Muslims of reprisals). Allah the Exalted said,
(Their enmity among themselves is very great.) meaning, the enmity they feel against each other is intense,
(And make you to taste the violence of one another.)(6:65) Allah said in the Ayah,
(You would think they were united, but their hearts are divided.) meaning, even though one might see them combining forces and think that these forces are harmonious, yet in reality, they are divided severely. Ibrahim An-Nakha`i said that this Ayah refers to the hypocrites and the People of the Scriptures,
(That is because they are a people who understand not.) Allah said,
(They are like their immediate predecessors; they tasted the evil result of their conduct, and for them a painful torment.) referring to the Jewish tribe of Bani Qaynuqa`, according to Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah and Muhammad bin Ishaq.
(Like Shaytan, when he says to man: “Disbelieve.” But when (man) disbelieves, Shaytan says: “I am free of you…”) meaning, the example of the Jews being deceived by the promises of the hypocrites, who said that they will help them if Muslims fight them, is that of the devil. When matters got serious and the Jews were besieged, the hypocrites betrayed them and abandoned them to taste utter defeat. Likewise, the devil lures mankind into disbelief and when they obey him, he disowns them and declares himself free of their actions, saying,
(I fear Allah, the Lord of all that exists!) Allah said,
(So, the end of both will be that they will be in the Fire, abiding therein.) meaning, the end of both he, Shaytan, who commanded that dis- belief be committed, and those who accep- ted his call, was in the fire of Hell forever,
(Such is the recompense of the wrongdoers. ) means, this is the recompense of every unjust person.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Mundhir bin Jarir narrated that his father said, “While we were in the company of the Messenger of Allah in the early hours of the morning, some people came there who were barefooted, naked, wearing striped woolen clothes, or cloaks, with their swords hung (around their necks). Most of them, nay, all of them, belonged to the tribe of Mudar. The color of the face of the Messenger of Allah underwent a change when he saw them in poverty. He then entered (his house) and came out and commanded Bilal to pronounce Adhan. Bilal pronounced Adhan and Iqamah, and the Prophet led the prayer. He then addressed them, first reciting,
(O mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord, Who created you from a single person… ) (4:1), until the end of the Ayah. Then he recited the Ayah that is in Surat Al-Hashr:
(and let every person look to what he has sent forth for tomorrow,”) He then said, “A man donated his Dinar, his Dirham, from his clothes, from his Sa` of wheat, from his Sa` of dates” — until he said — “even if it was half a date.” Then a person among the Ansar came there with a moneybag, which his hands could scarcely lift; in fact, his hands could not lift it. Then the people followed continuously, until I saw two heaps of eatables and clothes. I saw the face of the Messenger radiate with pleasure, like gold. The Messenger of Allah said,
(He who sets a good example in Islam, there is a reward for him for this (act of goodness) and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards. Whoever sets in Islam an evil example, there is upon him the burden of that evil and the burden of him also who acted upon it subsequently, without any deduction from their burden.)” Muslim recorded this Hadith via the chain of Shu`bah. Therefore, Allah’s statement,
(O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah), ordains the Taqwa of Allah which pertains to obeying what He ordered and staying away from what He forbade. Allah said,
(and let every person look to what he has sent forth for tomorrow,) meaning, hold yourselves accountable before you are recompensed, and contemplate what you have kept for yourselves of good deeds for the Day of your return and being paraded before your Lord,
(Have Taqwa of Allah), again ordering Taqwa,
(Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what you do.) Allah asserts that surely, He knows all of your deeds — O mankind — and actions. Nothing that pertains to you ever escapes His observation, nor any matter of yours, whether major or minor, is ever beyond His knowledge,
(And be not like those who forgot Allah, and He caused them to forget themselves.) meaning, do not forget the remembrance of Allah, the Exalted, otherwise, He will make you forget to perform the good deeds that benefit you in your return, because the recompense is equated with the action. This is why Allah the Exalted said,
(Those are the rebellious.) referring to those who rebel against obedience to Allah, who will earn destruction on the Day of Resurrection and failure upon their return,
(O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers.)(63:9)
(Not equal are the dwellers of the Fire and the dwellers of the Paradise.) meaning, these two categories of people are never the same with regards to the judgement of Allah, the Exalted, on the Day of Resurrection. Allah said in other Ayat,
(Or do those who earn evil deeds think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe and do righteous good deeds, in their present life and after their death Worst is the judgement that they make.)(45:21),
(And not equal are the blind and those who see; nor are those who believe and do righteous good deeds and those who do evil. Little do you remember!)(40:58), and,
(Shall We treat those who believe and do righteous good deeds as corrupters on earth Or shall We treat those who have Taqwa as the wicked)(38:28) Therefore, Allah asserts that He will honor the righteous and humiliate the sinners, and this is why He said here,
(It is the dwellers of Paradise that will be successful.) that is, they are those who will earn safety and deliverance from the torment of Allah the Exalted and Most Honored.
Allah the Exalted emphasizes the greatness of the Qur’an, its high status and of being worthy of making hearts humble and rent asunder upon hearing it, because of the true promises and sure threats that it contains,
(Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rent asunder by the fear of Allah.) If this is the case with a mountain which is hard and huge, that if it was made able to comprehend and understand this Qur’an, will feel humble and crumble from fear of Allah the Exalted, then what about you — O mankind Why do your hearts not feel softness and humbleness from the fear of Allah, even though you understand Allah’s command and comprehend His Book This is why Allah said,
(Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect.) There is a Hadith of the Mutawatir grade that states that the Messenger of Allah had someone make him a Minbar. Before that, he used to stand next to a tree trunk in the Masjid to deliver speeches. So, when the Minbar was made and placed in the Masjid, the Prophet came to deliver a speech and passed the tree trunk, headed towards the Minbar, the tree trunk started weeping, just like an infant. The tree trunk missed hearing the remembrance of Allah and the revelation that were being recited next to it. In one of the narrations for this Hadith, Al-Hasan Al-Basri said after narrating the Hadith, “You – mankind — are more worthy to miss the Messenger of Allah than the tree trunk!” tLikewise, this honorable Ayah asks that if the solid mountains feel humble and are rent asunder from the fear of Allah, if it heard Allah’s Speech and comprehended it, what about you — O mankind — who heard the Qur’an and understood it Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,
(And if there had been a Qur’an with which mountains could be moved, or the earth could be cloven asunder, or the dead could be made to speak.)(13:31) We mentioned the meaning of this Ayah as stating that, if there were a Qur’an that has these qualities, it would be this Qur’an. Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,
(And indeed, there are stones out of which rivers gush forth, and indeed, there are of them (stones) which split asunder so that water flows from them, and indeed, there are of them which fall down for fear of Allah.)(2:74)
Allah the Exalted said,
(He is Allah, beside Whom La ilaha illa Huwa, the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.) Allah states that He Alone is worthy of worship, there is no Lord or God for the existence, except Him. All that is being worshipped instead of Allah are false deities. Allah is the All-Knower in the unseen and the seen, He knows all that pertains to the creations that we see, and those we cannot see. Nothing in heaven or on earth ever escapes His knowledge, no matter how great or insignificant, big or small, including ants in darkness. Allah’s statement,
(He is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.) was duly explained before at the very beginning of this Tafsir, so it is not necessary to repeat it here, and it asserts that Allah is the Owner of the wide encompassing mercy that entails all of His creation. He is Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim of this life and the Hereafter. Allah the Exalted said in other Ayat,
(And My mercy embraces all things.)(7:156),
(Your Lord has written (prescribed) mercy for Himself.)(6:54), and,
(Say: “In the bounty of Allah, and in His mercy; — therein let them rejoice.” That is better than what (the wealth) they amass.)(10:58) Allah the Exalted said,
(He is Allah, beside Whom La ilaha illa Huwa, Al-Malik.) Al-Malik, meaning “The Owner and King of all things,” Who has full power over them without resistance or hindrance. Allah’s statement,
(Al-Quddus,) meaning “The Pure,” according to Wahb bin Munabbih, while Mujahid and Qatadah said that Al-Quddus means “The Blessed.” Ibn Jurayj said that Al-Quddus means “He Whom the honorable angels glorify.”
(As-Salam,) meaning “Free from any defects or shortcomings that lessen or decrease His perfect attributes and actions.” Allah’s statement,
(Al-Mu’min,) means “Who has granted safety to His servants by promising that He will never be unjust to them, ” according to Ad-Dahhak who reported it from Ibn `Abbas. Qatadah said that Al-Mu’min means that “Allah affirms that His statements are true,” while Ibn Zayd said that it means, “He attested to His faithful servants’ having faith in Him.” Allah’s statement,
(Al-Muhaymin,) means, according to Ibn `Abbas and others, “The Witness for His servants actions,” that is, the Ever-Watcher over them. Allah said in similar Ayat,
(And Allah is Witness over all things.)(58:6),
(and moreover Allah is Witness over what they used to do.)(10:46), and,
(Is then He (Allah) Who takes charge (guards) of every person and knows all that he has earned)(13:33) Allah said,
(Al-`Aziz,) meaning that “He is the Almighty, Dominant over all things.” Therefore, His majesty is never violated, due to His might, greatness, irresistible power and pride. Allah said;
(Al-Jabbar, Al-Mutakabbir), meaning “The Only One worthy of being the Compeller and Supreme.” There is a Hadith in the Sahih Collection in which Allah said,
(Might is My Izar and pride is My Rida; if anyone disputes any one of them with Me, then I will punish him.) Allah the Exalted said,
(Glory be to Allah! (High is He) above all that they associate as partners with Him.), then He said,
(He is Allah, Al-Khaliq, Al-Bari, Al-Musawwir.) Al-Khaliq refers to measuring and proportioning, Al-Bari refers to inventing and bringing into existence what He has created and measured. Surely, none except Allah is able to measure, bring forth and create whatever He wills to come to existence. Allah’s statement,
(Al-Khaliq, Al-Bari, Al-Musawwir.) means, if Allah wills something, He merely says to it “be” and it comes to existence in the form that He wills and the shape He chooses,
(In whatever form He willed, He put you together.)(82:8) Allah describing Himself as being Al-Musawwir, Who brings into existence anything He wills in the shape and form He decides.
Allah the Exalted said,
(To Him belong Al-Asma’ Al-Husna (the Best Names).) We explained the meaning of this Ayah in the Tafsir of Surat Al-A`raf. The Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Allah the Exalted has ninety-nine Names, one hundred less one; whoever then preserves them, will enter Paradise. Allah is Witr (One) and He likes the Witr.)
(All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him.) is similar to His other statement,
(The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft–Forgiving.)(17:44) Allah’s statement,
(and He is Al-`Aziz) The Almighty, meaning, His greatness is never humbled,
(Al-Hakim) the All-Wise, in His legislation and decrees
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Hashr. All praise is due to Allah.
[59:1] Allah’s purity has been proclaimed by all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
Sequencing of Surahs
The preceding Surah had condemned the close friendship developed by the hypocrites with the Jews. The present Surah describes the punishment faced by the Jews in this world in the form of exile and in the Hereafter in the form of grievous torment.
Cause of Revelation
The story of their banishment from Madinah is that when the Messeger of Allah ﷺ migrated to Madinah, he concluded a peace treaty with the Jews. Banu Nadir, one of the Jew tribes living around Madinah, were one of the three signatories. The latter tribe lived about two miles away from Madinah. Once it happened that ` Amr Ibn ‘Umayyah Damuri killed two persons by mistake. According to Law, the Muslims jointly had to settle the blood-wit. The Holy Prophet ﷺ first collected money from the Muslims for this purpose. Then he decided to collect money from the Jews as well in terms of the treaty he already had with them. The Holy Prophet ﷺ visited the tribe of Banu Nadir for this purpose. Before his arrival, they conspired to put an end to his life. When he reached there, they made him sit against a wall and said to him that they were going to gather the blood money. In the meanwhile, they secretly plotted that someone should climb the particular wall in the shade of which the Holy Prophet ﷺ was sitting and drop a rock on him and kill him. But before the Jews could execute their sinister plan, Allah revealed to him in time about their plot and conspiracy. The Holy Prophet ﷺ instantly left the place, returned to Madinah and sent a message to Banu Nadir that they have betrayed the treaty. Therefore, they are given ten days in which to leave the town and go into exile, and were warned that if they would not meet the deadline, they might be killed at sight. They decided to leave, but ` Abdullah Ibn ‘Ubayy prevented them. He said that they did not have to leave because he had an army of two thousand men who were willing to lay down their lives to protect the Jewish lives. It is stated in Ruh-ul-Ma` ani on the authority of Ibn Ishaq that along with ` Abdullah were Wadi’ah Ibn Malik, Suwaid and Ra’ish. The Jews fell into the trap of the three and sent a message to the Holy Prophet that they would not leave. As a result, he together with the noble Companions ؓ marched on that tribe. The Jews locked themselves up in the fortresses, but the hypocrites, being essentially cowards, hid themselves. The Holy Prophet ﷺ laid a siege to the Jewish fortresses. Some of their date palms were felled and others were burnt down. Eventually, they agreed to go into exile. So, the Holy Prophet ﷺ forced them to evacuate and abandon their fortresses and, in kindness, allowed to take with them enough provisions, whatever their cavalry and camelry could carry except arms and weapons, which, they were told, would be confiscated. Some of them went to Syria, while others went to Khaibar. On account of their greed, they carried with them even beams, rafters, woods and the doors of their houses. This incident took place after the battle of Badr in RabI’-ul Awwal 4 AH. Sayyidna ` Umar ؓ ، during his caliphate, sent them away to Syria to live with the rest of the Jews. The two banishments go under the names of the ‘first banishment’ and the ‘second banishment’. [ Zad-ul-Ma’ ad ].
The Characteristics of Surah AI-Hashr and the History of Banu Nadir
The entire Surah Al-Hashr was revealed in connection with Bani Nadir [ Ibn Ishaq ]. Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ used to call this Surah, Surah Banff Nadir. [ Ibn Kathir ]. Bani Nadir were the descendents of the Holy Prophet Harun ﷺ . Their forefathers were scholars of Torah, which contained a full description of the Last Prophet ﷺ such as his physical features, his signs of Prophet-hood and his migration to Yathrib (Madinah). This tribe was under the impression that the Last Prophet ﷺ would be one of the descendents of Holy Prophet Harun (علیہ السلام) and they would have the pleasure of being in his company. For this reason, they migrated from Syria and settled in Yathrib. Some of the contemporaries of the Holy Prophet ﷺ were also scholars of the Torah, who saw his physical features and other signs of Prophet-hood and recognized him as the Final Messenger but, as they thought that he would be one of the descendents of Harun they were disappointed when he was raised among the descendents of Ismail (علیہ السلام) . They were jealous and, on account of their jealousy, they were inhibited from embracing the Faith. But in their heart of hearts they knew that Sayyidna Muhammad ﷺ was the Final Messenger of Allah. When, in the battle of Badr, they saw the amazing victory of the Muslims and the humiliating defeat of the pagan Quraish, their degree of certainty was somewhat augmented. They even expressed their amazement. But distinguishing between truth and falsehood on the basis, measurement, or standard of the apparent victory and defeat is a weak yardstick. As a result, when in the battle of Uhud, Muslims initially suffered a temporary setback and some of the Companions ؓ were martyred, their certainty was shaken. After that they started conspiring with the pagan Arabs.
When the Messenger of Allah ﷺ migrated to Madinah, as stated earlier, he with his political sagacity felt his first task was to enter into a peace treaty with the Jews of Madinah and other neighbouring Jewish tribes, stipulating that he would not fight them and they would not fight him, nor would they aid and abet those who take up arms against the Muslims, and if the Jews were attacked, the Muslims would assist them. There were many other clauses in the peace accord, the details of which are available in ‘Sirah of Ibn Hisham’. All the Jewish tribes, including Banu Nadir, had their area, strong fortresses and orchards at a distance of 3.2 kilometers from Madinah.
Up to the point of the battle of ‘Uhud, they apparently kept to the terms of the treaty. But after that battle, they betrayed the treaty and started conspiring secretly, in that a leader of Banu Nadir, Ka’b Ibn Ashraf, went to Makkah with a caravan of forty Jewish members to curry favour with the pagan Quraish who were anxious to avenge the defeat of the battle of Badr, and had gone to the battle of ‘Uhud for that reason but were eventually defeated in the latter battle as well. The defeated men returned and the Jews met them. They conspired and agreed to wage a war against the Messenger of Allah and the Muslims. Ka’b Ibn Ashraf with his forty Jewish members and Abu Sufyan with his forty members of pagan Quraish entered the Sacred Mosque and, holding on the curtain of the House of Allah, pledged that they would jointly fight the Muslims and annihilate them.
When, after this pledge, Ka’b Ibn Ashraf returned to Madinah, Jibra’il (علیہ السلام) descended and informed the Messenger of Allah ﷺ about the entire episode and the details of the pledge. In the meantime, the Holy Prophet ﷺ issued the command to kill Ka’b Ibn Ashraf. A noble Companion Muhammad Ibn Maslamah killed him.
Subsequently, Banu Nadir hatched many different plots to harm the Messenger of Allah ﷺ ، one of which was, as reported earlier, their plot to kill him. The Holy Prophet ﷺ ، after collecting blood money from the Muslims in a particular case of murder, decided to collect money from the Jews in terms of the treaty that was concluded between himself ﷺ ، the tribes of Banu Nadir, Banu Qainuqa` and Banu Quraizah. Before his arrival, they planned to kill him, as detailed above. The person who was entrusted with the task of throwing a rock on the head of the Holy Prophet ﷺ was a Jew ` Umar Ibn Jahhash by name who had volunteered himself for the task. Had it not been for the revelatory information the Holy Prophet ﷺ ; received from Allah, their plot would have worked. But Allah protected His Messenger ﷺ and the conspiracy was thus thwarted and their plan failed.
It is a remarkable co-incidence that subsequently the entire Banu Nadir clan was expelled from Madinah except for two persons who embraced the Islamic Faith and were spared: One of them was ` Umar Ibn Jahhash and the other was his paternal uncle Yamin Ibn ` Amr Ibn Ka’b. [ Ibn Kathir ].
The Story of Amr Ibn Umayyah Damuri
Under the rubric of ’cause of revelation’ above, reference was made to the incident that ` Amr Ibn Umayyah Damuri accidentally killed two men. The Muslims as well as the Jews had to jointly settle the blood-wit in terms of the treaty existing between them. The Holy Prophet ﷺ collected money from the Muslims for this purpose. Then he decided to collect money from the Jews. The Holy Prophet ﷺ visited the tribe of Banu Nadir in their area for this purpose. Ibn Kathir writes that the enemy plans to harm the Muslims are many and long-drawn-out. One famous incident in Islamic history is that of Bi’r Ma` unah: Some of the hypocrites and the non-believers requested the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to send a band of the noble Companions ؓ to preach the religion of Islam. He dispatched about seventy Companions ؓ for the purpose. Later on it was discovered that this was a mere conspiracy. The plan was to surround them and kill them, in which they succeeded. Of the seventy Muslims, only ` Amr Ibn Umayyah Damuri managed to escape. He had seen and experienced the dishonesty and treachery of the non-believers, and how they mercilessly massacred sixty-nine of his brethren. In the circumstances, one can imagine how his emotions would have been against the enemies. Co-incidentally, when he was returning to Madinah he encountered two non-believers and killed them. Later on it was discovered that the two men killed were members of Bani ` Amir, a tribe which was an ally of the Holy Prophet ﷺ . Banu Nadir was also an ally of Bani ` Amir tribe.
The agreements of Muslim politicians were not like the political agreements of today in which every effort is made at the very beginning to find out ways to escape or violate it. In the case of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and the early sincere Muslims, whatever the tongue uttered or the pen wrote was treated as part of religion and Divine law and binding. When the Messenger of Allah ﷺ learnt about ` Amr Ibn ‘Umayyah Damrui’s error of judgment, he decided to pay the blood-wit, in terms of the sacred law of Shari’ ah, for the two men killed. In this matter, he first collected money from the Muslims and then he had to go to Banu Nadir for collection. [ Ibn Kathir ]
Tolerance and Human Rights in Islam: A Model for Present-day Politicians
There are many lessons in the incidents cited above for the heralds of human rights, and for the political leaders and the big powers who talk highly about them and are deemed as ‘Champions of Human Rights’. Let us look at the case of Banu Nadir: They unceasingly were involved in conspiracies, endlessly behaved treacherously and continuously plotted to kill the Messenger of Allah ﷺ . Would the present-day political leaders or heads of governments tolerate all this? How would they treat them? Nowadays, the opponents are killed even by sprinkling petrol on them or in some other execution style. There is no need for political leadership or government for that purpose. A few wicked hooligans gather together and carry out the executions. The official wrath and anger manifest itself much more grievously.
But here we are describing the government of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ : Even when the enemy conspiracies and treacheries reached the peak, no massacre was contemplated. No thought of usurping their property and wealth was ever considered. In fact, the following humane punitive measures were taken:
[ 1] They were allowed to take all their wealth with them, and were ordered only to evacuate the town.
[ 2] To do this, they were given ten days, so that they might be able to take their things comfortably and transfer themselves to some other place. When they did not comply, it became necessary to take a sterner measure at national level.
[ 3] Some trees were though cut down and others were burned down, but even at that stage, no edict was issued to burn down their fortresses or attack them and kill them on a large scale.
[ 4] When they expressed that it was in their best interests to go into exile, they were given the choice that each man could take with him as much provisions as his camel could carry. As a result, they carried their hooks, latches, doors, planks, beams and rafters.
[ 5] No Muslim ever frowned upon any of the persons transferring his stuff. They took their things and moved out peacefully and safely.
The Holy Prophet ﷺ showed this kindness to them when they were completely subdued and he was in complete command of the situation. He had the power to fully avenge their treachery, dishonesty and conspiracy. But he did not do it. This behavior of the Holy Prophet ﷺ corresponds to his behavior with the pagans of Makkah when he entered the city after the triumph.
Let us now explain some expressions of these verses in the background of these events.
[59:2] He is the One who expelled the disbelievers of the People of the Book from their homes at the time of the first gathering.1 You did not expect that they would leave, and they deemed that their fortresses would protect them from Allah. But Allah came to them from where they did not expect, and cast fear in their hearts when they were spoiling their homes with their own hands and with the hands of the believers. So, learn a lesson, 0 those who have eyes.
(1) The original word used in the text is ‘hashr’ which means ‘gathering’ or ‘mustering’ and after which this Surah is named. In the present context, it may be interpreted in two different ways. One, that it refers to the gathering of the Muslims who ordered the Jews to leave Madinah due to their constant conspiracies and breaches of the treaty they had with the Muslims. According to this interpretation, the verse means that the Jews of Bani Nadir were made to leave the city at the first gathering of the Muslims without fighting and without any further attempt to attack them. The second interpretation is that it refers to the gathering of the Jews for the purpose of emigration. In this case the verse indicates that it was their first exile before which they did not face such a situation. It has another subtle indication to the fact that this was their first exile which will be followed by another one, i.e. the exile faced by the Jews in the days of Sayyidna ` Umar . (Muhammad Taqi Usmani)
لِأَوَّلِ الْحَشْرِ (…at the time of the first gathering…59:2). The word hashr means ‘to rise’. One reason for referring to it as the ‘first mustering’ is given by Maulana Thanawi (رح) in his Tafsir. They were settled at one place since ancient times. This event of banishment took place for the first time in their life. The second reason could be that all the non-Muslims of the Arabian peninsula would have to be evacuated in future, so that the peninsula might become a strong fortress of Islam. As a result, a second banishment was to take place at some later time. This happened during the caliphate of ` Umar ؓ ، the Holy Prophet’s Second Successor. He banished all the Jews who had settled in Khaibar. He ordered all the Jews to leave the Arabian peninsula. From this point of view, Banu Nadir’s banishment is the ‘first banishment’ and the ‘second banishment’ took place in the time of Sayyidna ` Umar ؓ .
فَأَتَاهُمُ اللَّـهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَمْ يَحْتَسِبُوا (…But Allah came to them from where they did not expect… 59:2). The phrase ‘Allah came’ means ‘the command of Allah and His obedient angels came’.
يُخْرِبُونَ بُيُوتَهُم بِأَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَيْدِي الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (…they were spoiling their homes with their own hands and with the hands of the believers….59:2) Banu Nadir had spoiled their houses by removing their doors and shutters. ‘Spoiling their homes with the hands of the believers’ means that when the Jews locked themselves up in their fortresses, the Muslims destroyed the trees and homes outside the fortresses to make them surrender.
[59:3] And if Allah had not destined exile for them, He would have punished them in the world. And for them in the Hereafter is the torment of the Fire.
[59:4] That is because they were hostile to Allah and His Messenger. And whoever has hostility with Allah, then Allah is severe in punishment.
[59:5] Whatever palm-trees you have cut down, or have left them standing on their roots, it was with Allah’s permission, and so that He might disgrace the transgressors.
مَا قَطَعْتُم مِّن لِّينَةٍ أَوْ تَرَكْتُمُوهَا قَائِمَةً عَلَىٰ أُصُولِهَا فَبِإِذْنِ اللَّـهِ وَلِيُخْزِيَ الْفَاسِقِينَ (Whatever palm-trees you have cut down, or have left them standing on their roots, it was with Allah’s permission, and so that He might disgrace the transgressors….59:5). The word linah refers to a ‘palm-tree’. Another opinion states that besides ` ajwah, all other palm trees are referred to as linah. Banu Nadir’s orchards were comprised of palm trees. The reference in the verse is to the cutting, by the orders of the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، of the palm trees of Banu Nadir who had shut themselves in their fortresses in defiance of the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ orders to surrender. So, some of the blessed Companions, in order to anger them or cast terror into their hearts, cut and burned down some of their date trees. Other Companions felt that the palm-trees should not be destroyed because soon, God willing, the Muslims will be victorious and the orchards will fall to their lot as booty. Thus they did not participate in the destruction of the trees. This was a difference of opinion. Later on when this disagreement was discussed, the Companions who participated in the destruction of the trees or orchards felt guilty. They asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ whether they were really guilty of a sin, in that they destroyed the property that was going to fall to the lot of the Muslims. Verse [ 5] was revealed on that occasion to assuage the guilt-feeling of the Muslims that whatever they have done, whether they cut the trees or left them uncut, was by Allah’s leave and it was done to degrade the ungodly Jews.
Commandment of the Holy Prophet ﷺ is in fact the Commandment of Allah: A Warning for those who Refute the authority of the Ahadith
In verse [ 5], the cutting down of the trees or leaving them uncut is called bi-idhni-llah [ with Allah’s permission ] whereas neither of the actions was the explicit command of Allah. Apparently, whatever each group did was on the basis of independent reasoning [ Ijtihad ]. At most, it is possible that they might have sought the permission of the Holy Prophet ﷺ which is a Hadith. The ‘Prophet’s ﷺ permission’ is referred to as ‘Allah’s permission’ in the Qur’an. Thus the Qur’an makes plain that Allah has given His Messenger ﷺ the right to legislate laws. The forthcoming verse [ 7] of this Surah puts it that believers need to hold fast to what the Messenger ﷺ bids them and abstain from what he forbids them. This shows conclusively that the Sunnah is an independent source of the Islamic Law.
Disagreement in ijtihad is not a sin
Another important principle derived from this verse is that if those who are competent to undertake ijtihad disagree with another on a particular issue, so as one of them holds something as permissible, while the other takes it as impermissible, neither of them would be counted as sinners, nor will the principle of nahy ` anil-munkar (forbidding evil) be applied to this situation, because none of the two rulings is an ‘evil’ in the sight of Allah. Under the concluding phrase of verse [ 5] لِيُخْزِيَ الْفَاسِقِينَ (…and that he might disgrace the transgressors) it was explained that the act of cutting or burning down the trees cannot be construed as disorderliness. But it was done to degrade the unbelievers, and therefore it carries reward in the Hereafter.
Is it legitimate to demolish or burn down the homes of the infidels, or cut or burn down their trees, or destroy their fields and farms? The leading authorities on Islamic Jurisprudence are not unanimous on this question. Imam A’zam Abu Hanifah (رح) rules that all of these actions are permitted. Shaikh Ibn Humam (رح) ، however, qualifies the ruling and restricts it. He rules that all of the above are permitted if and only if the enemies cannot be vanquished or overpowered without resorting to the above measures, or if the victory of Muslims is not probable or likely. The whole purpose of this ruling is to break the might and power of the enemy. In the case where Muslims do not win the struggle, destruction of their moveable and immovable properties may be included in weakening their might and main. [ Mazhari ]
[59:6] And whatever fai’1 (left over property) Allah has passed on to His Messenger from them, you had not urged on your horses or camels for it, but Allah gives predominance to His messengers over whomsoever He wills, and Allah is Powerful over everything.
[ 1] fai’ is a term for the properties left over by the non-Muslims and possessed by a Muslim state without fighting. As opposed to this, ghanimah (booty) is a property taken over by fighting. The properties of Bani Nadir were taken over without fighting, hence the word fai’. That is why we did not translate fai’ as ‘booty’. (Muhammad Taqi Usmani)
[59:7] Whatever fai’ Allah has passed on to His Messenger from the people of the towns is for Allah and for the Messenger, and for the kinsmen and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, so that it may not circulate only between the rich among you. And whatever the Messengers gives you, take it, and whatever thing he forbids you, abstain (from it). And fear Allah. Indeed Allah is severe in punishment.
The Concept of Fai’ and its Law of Distribution
وَمَا أَفَاءَ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ مِنْهُمْ (And whatever fai’ [ left over property ] Allah has passed on to His Messenger from them, …59:6). The word afa’a is derived from fai’un which means ‘to return’. Thus the time of the afternoon when the shade of things returns to the east is referred to as fai’. The real ownership of the entire universe belongs to Allah. The ownership of things can be ascribed to human beings when Allah Himself declares them, through His Law, to be under the ownership of a human being. However, when people rebel against Allah, indulging in disbelief and shirk, their lives and properties are confiscated through properly constituted Authority and their ownership return to the Real Owner, Allah. From this point of view, all properties acquired from the unbelievers should be called fai’. However, the sacred Law of Shari` ah draws a distinction between the terms ghanimah [ spoils ] and fai’. The former refers to a property which is acquired from non-Muslims through active armed struggle, as in [ 8:41] وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ (And know that whatever spoils you receive…). However, the word ‘fai’ refers to a property acquired without resorting to an actual fight, (like in a state of peaceful surrender.) These two terms have been used to set down rules of these two types in the Holy Qur’an. Surah Al-Anfal dealt with injunctions relating to ghanimah or spoils, which is acquired from non-Muslims in the wake of armed struggle. The present Surah takes up the subject of fai’ and the law of its distribution. The term fai’ includes any property or wealth which the non-Muslims might leave behind and run away, or make over to the Muslim Authority willingly or with consent like Khiraj, jizyah or commercial duty.
مَّا أَفَاءَ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَىٰ (Whatever fai’ Allah has passed on to His Messenger ﷺ from the people of the towns… 59:7). The phrase ahl ul-qura or ‘the people of the towns’ refers to the Jewish tribes like Banu Nadir and Banu Quraizah whose wealth and property were obtained without armed struggle. The laws pertaining to the distribution of the two types of spoils are different. Unlike ghanimah [ spoils of war ], fai’ is not distributed among the mujahidin (participants in fighting). The Holy Prophet ﷺ is granted full authority to give as much as he likes to whomsoever he likes or to retain for himself at his discretion. However, a few classes of beneficiaries have been clearly defined. The fai’ must be distributed among the defined five classes.
The foregoing verses set down the rules pertaining to fai’, its beneficiaries and its method of distribution. Some details are available at the beginning of Surah Al-Anfal in Volume 4 of Ma` ariful Qur’an, pages 148-151 and more details of the injunctions are available in the same volume on pages 221-229, under verse 41. It needs to be borne in mind that the wordings of Surah Al-Anfal regarding Khums [ 1/5th ] of ghanimah is almost identical to the wordings of fai’ mentioned in the present verse. Let us compare: 8:41 reads: وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَأَنَّ لِلَّـهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ (And know that whatever spoils you receive, its one-fifth is for Allah and His Messenger and for kinsmen and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer… 8:41). Verse [ 7] of the present Surah reads as above which means: “Whatever fai’ Allah has passed on to His Messenger from the people of the towns is for Allah and for His Messenger ﷺ ، and for kinsmen and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer….59:7). In both these verses, six classes of beneficiaries are mentioned: Allah, the Messenger, kinsmen, orphans, the needy and the wayfarer. It is all too clear that Allah is the Real Owner and Master of this world, the next world and the entire creation. The name of Allah in relation to the shares has been mentioned by way of blessing or benediction, because the wealth or property thus associated with Allah’s name attains honour and distinction. It also points to the permissibility and purity of the wealth. This is the view of Sayyidna Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah, ` Ata’, Ibrahim, Sha’bi رحمۃ اللہ علیہم and the commentators in general. [ Mazhari ]
In the commentary of Surah Al-Anfal, it was fully and exhaustively explained how wealth attains honour and distinction by the mention of Allah’s name which, in brief, amounts to the following: The prophets are not allowed to avail of Sadaqat or charities, even though they are derived from the pure wealth of the Muslims. The question might arise how the ghanimah and fai’ are made lawful for the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، while they are derived from the infidels? By mentioning Allah’s name at the beginning of the verse, this doubt has been removed. The point is that Allah is the real owner of the entire universe. Human beings come to own certain things when Allah by His own grace declares for them to pass into human ownership. However, when a certain segment of human beings rebels against Allah, Jihad is waged against them by Allah’s command, which means that, during the war, their lives and properties are no longer sacred. In this way, all their wealth is confiscated in the name of the Authority in command. The confiscated properties are named ghanimah, spoils or war booty – which goes out of the ownership of disbelievers and gets itself deposited separately as being under the ownership of Allah alone. And as stated earlier, the word fai’ contains the meaning of ‘return’ and the wealth is so called because its ownership is restored to the original owner, Allah. No human being has any entitlement to it. The beneficiaries who will receive a share of it will receive it direct from Allah, and therefore it will be lawful and pure like water and self-growing grass which are direct Divine gift, lawful and pure.
In short, the mention of Allah’s name in this context points to the fact that the entire wealth belongs to Allah, and it is granted to the beneficiaries on His behalf. It is no sadaqah or khairat [ charity ].
This leaves us with five classes of beneficiaries: [ 1] The Messenger ﷺ ; [ 2] kinsmen; [ 3] orphans; [ 4] the needy; and [ 5] the wayfarer. The same five classes of beneficiaries of khums [ 1/5th ] were determined in [ 8:41] and now the same classes of beneficiaries are determined for fai’ property. The rules relating to both ghanimah and fai’ properties are identical: They are in full authority of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ ، and after him in the authority of the Caliphs. The Authority may retain them for the benefit of Muslims in general, or they may deposit them in bait-ul-mal [ public treasury ] and do not grant anything to anyone, or they may distribute them. If it is decided to be distributed, it must be done within the five classes defined. [ Qurtubi ]
Companions shows that fai’ property was in the Authority of the Holy Prophet ﷺ during his time, and was left to his discretion. He may disburse it as he deemed fit. After him, his Caliphs controlled it and disbursed it according to their best judgment.
After the demise of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ ، his share of the booty fell into disuse. The word ‘Kinsmen’ in the verse means the kinsmen of the Holy Prophet ﷺ . There were two reasons why they were granted a share from this booty: Firstly, because they helped the Holy Messenger ﷺ and supported him in his Islamic activities. Therefore, even the rich kinsmen of the Holy Prophet ﷺ used to be granted a share from the booty. [ 2] Sadaqah [ charity ] was unlawful for the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ kinsmen. Therefore, the poor and needy relatives of the Holy Prophet ﷺ used to be granted a share from the fai’ rather than from the Sadaqah [ charity ]. After the demise of the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، helping and supporting him came to an end. The first reason no longer existed. Therefore, the share from the fai’ of the rich relatives fell into disuse like that of the Holy Prophet ﷺ . However, the poor and the needy relatives continued to receive their share from the fai’ on account of poverty and need. Priority was given to the poor and needy relatives of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ over other poor and needy people. [ Hidayah ]. See Ma’ ariful Qur’ an, Vol. 4/pp 228-229.
كَيْ لَا يَكُونَ دُولَةً بَيْنَ الْأَغْنِيَاءِ مِنكُمْ (…so that it may not circulate only between the rich among you 59:7). The word dulatah refers to the ‘wealth or good fortune that exchange hands’. [ Qurtubi ] The verse means that Allah has determined the heads of expenditure for the fai’ in this way so that the wealth does not circulate among the wealthy, who would spend it as they wish and desire and give none of it to the poor. The verse is aimed at abolishing an old practice of the Days of Ignorance where the circulation of such wealth used to remain confined to the privileged and propertied class or caste. The poorer segment of the society had no entitlement to the wealth of the nation.
Effective Measures taken by Islam against concentration of wealth
Allah is the creator, cherisher and sustainer of the universe. He knows the human needs. All human beings, whether believers or non-believers, whether lineally rich or poor, are equal in the sight of Allah. Allah has to a very large extent kept the distribution of man’s natural and basic needs in His own Hands, so that every class, every region, every weak and strong people might be able to benefit equally. Allah has, through His consummate wisdom, kept all such needs beyond man’s personal domination. No human being dare take possession of these things personally. Air, wind, atmosphere, the Sun, the Moon, the light of the stars and planets, the rain-laden clouds – all these things are such without which no human can survive for a moment. Allah, the Almighty, has declared all natural resources a public endowment for all. Not even the greatest of sovereign authorities, by virtue of their ruling powers, can ever monopolize or take possession of them. Allah’s creation avails of them equally everywhere.
The second category of necessities of life is what the earth produces, as for instance water and other food-stuff. This is not commonly available. However, Islamic law has declared hills and mountains, unpopulated jungles and natural springs as public endowments. However, legitimate right of ownership of some parts of the earth are allowed under special laws to specific human beings. Some people illegitimately grab the land, but naturally even the greatest capitalist cannot derive benefit from the land without the help of the poor, the farmers or the laborers. Thus despite a sort of ownership of it, he is forced to give shares to other powerless and the indigent.
The third category is gold, silver and money, which do not fall under the basic and natural necessities of life. But Allah has made them the means of acquiring all essentials of life. People who mine gold and silver from the ground become their owners subject to certain rules. The right of their ownership is transferred in various ways to other people. If they are widely distributed and are in easy circulation in human society, no individual will go without food and clothing. But what happens in our days is that the greedy people want to benefit from the wealth to the exclusion of others. This led to miserliness and greed which, in turn, led to some old and some new systems of monopolization and concentration of wealth. As a result, people’s wealth concentrated in the hands of a few capitalists and people at the helm of affairs. The rest of the population who were poor and indigent had to suffer, because they were deprived of their share in the nation’s wealth. This economic situation, as a reaction, gave birth to such unreasonable economic systems as communism and socialism.
Islamic economic system, on the one hand, shows the highest respect to individual property rights, in that an individual’s lawful property is as sacred and inviolable as human life itself, and human life is as sacred and inviolable as the House of Allah. Its violation has been most strongly prohibited. On the other hand, if a hand filches or steals it, it is, under penal law, amputated. In the third place, all such doors have been shut, through which a particular individual or group of individuals might monopolize it and deprive the general public.
The unjust and unbalanced way of acquisition of wealth, such as by usury, speculation, gambling and betting, allows wealth to concentrate and circulate in the hands of a few individuals. Islam has declared all such gains as unlawful and cut at the root of all such transactions in trade and tenancy that are based on unlawful practices. Wealth that is gained through lawful means has specific ways of spending: The needy and the indigent are shareholders in the wealth in the form of Zakah, ` Ushr, Sadaqat-ul-Fitr [ Id charity ], various forms of expiation and so on. The surplus wealth may be given away in voluntary charity. If a man leaves behind assets at the time of his death, Divine wisdom has set down specific rules according to which it must be distributed. The shareholders in the assets are the relatives of the deceased, the principle in this case being al-‘aqrab- fal-‘aqrab, that is ‘relatives in order of relationship’. In other words, Islamic law of succession is based on blood relationship; the nearer in degree to the deceased excludes the more remote. The needy in general have not been made the shareholders, because if that were the case, the dying person would have felt the need to spend his assets anyhow, rightly or wrongly, before his death. When he sees only his near and dear ones receiving, this urge does not develop in his heart.
This means of acquiring wealth blocks the way to monopolization. The second means of acquiring wealth is war and jihad. The gains made in this way are distributed according to the Islamic rules. Some of them have been set down in Surah Al-Anfal and others in this Surah. How unwise and short-sighted are those people who give up Islam’s balanced system of economics based on justice, fair-play and compassion, and innovate new systems of wealth distribution, which are unjust and unbalanced, and disturb world peace?
وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ (…Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it; and whatever thing he forbids you, abstain [ from it ]. And fear Allah….59:7). This verse is in connection with fai’ property, and it purports to say that Allah has set down the beneficiaries of this property. However, the question which beneficiary will receive how much have been left to the discretion of the Holy Prophet ﷺ . Therefore, the Muslims are advised to happily accept the amount the Holy Prophet ﷺ grants them, and they should not be anxious to receive what he has not given to them. This has been further emphasized by the injunction all (Fear Allah). If anyone collects under false pretext more than what he is granted, Allah is fully aware and will punish him.
The Messenger’s Command is Binding like the Qur’ anic Command
Although the verse was revealed in connection with fai’, its words are general. They are not specific to wealth. They cover all the commands as well. Hence, the generalized meaning of the verse is that whatever the Holy Prophet ﷺ gives to a person, be it wealth, any other grant or any command, the people must show their willingness to accept it. And whatever he forbids them, they should stay away from it.
Many of the Companions took the generalized sense of the verse, and on the basis of it, they took the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ commandment as binding as the Qur’anic commandment. Qurtubi said that in this verse the antonym of ata [ gives ] is naha [ forbids ]. This shows that the verb ata [ gives ] is used in the sense of amara [ commands ] which is the direct antonym of naha [ forbids ]. The Qur’an, instead of using the direct opposite of naha [ forbids ] which is amara [ commands ], employed the verb ` ata [ gives ] presumably to embrace the context of the subject-matter where the verse occurs, that is, the disbursement of fai’ property.
Sayyidna Abdullah Ibn Masud ؓ once saw a person in the state of ihram wearing sewn clothes (which is impermissible in that state). He asked him to take off the clothes. The person asked him to recite a Qur’anic verse in support of his claim that a pilgrim is prohibited to put on a sewn garb. Sayyidna ` Abdullan Ibn Masud ؓ recited this very verse آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ (Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it….”.
Imam Shafi i (رح) once said to his congregation: (Ask whatever question you wish, and I will answer from the Qur’an.) A person said that a pilgrim killed a wasp in the state of ihram and asked: “What is the rule about it?” Imam Shafi` i (رح) recited this verse of the Qur’an مَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ. (Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it….” and coupled it with a Tradition which gives the injunction relating to the killing of a wasp. [ Qurtubi ].
لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ ([ And fai’ is especially ] for the poor emigrants…[ 59:8] “. The few verses from here till the end of the section describe the poor emigrants (muhajirin), helpers (Ansar) and the general members of Ummah that were yet to come in this world. Grammatically, the prepositional phrase ‘for the emigrants’ is a complement to the prepositional phrase ‘for the kinsmen’ occurring in verse [ 7] [ Mazhari ]. What this verse purports to say is that although the beneficiaries of fai’ are orphans, the needy and the wayfarers as mentioned in the preceding verse, priority and precedence will be given to those whose service to religion, personal qualities and religious perfection are well- known.
Priority should be given to the Indigent Righteous and Religious Scholars serving the Cause of Islam when distributing Charity
This shows that although charities, especially fai’ are meant to fulfill the needs of the indigent Muslims in general, the righteous, especially students and learned scholars serving the cause of religion should be given priority over all others. This is the reason why Islamic governments gave allowance from the fai’ fund to learned scholars, muftis and judges for serving the cause of education, propagation of Islam and reform of human beings, because these verses establish two categories of the noble Companions. Under the first category fall the emigrants who in the very first instance made great sacrifices for Islam and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ . They endured great hardships, and eventually bid farewell to their wealth and property, to their land and country, and to their relatives and the near and dear ones, and emigrated to Madinah. Under the second category fall the Ansar, the natives of Madinah who helped the emigrants and cooperated with them. They invited the Messenger of Allah and with him the emigrants and thus caused the whole world around them to stand in their opposition. Their hospitality is unparalleled in the annals of the nations of the world. After these two major categories, comes a third category which comprises those people who embraced Islam after the blessed Companions and followed their footsteps closely. The last category embraces all Muslims who will follow until the Last Hour. The three categories are discussed below, in succession.
[59:8] (And fai’ is especially) for the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and properties, while they were seeking the grace of Allah and (His) pleasure, and were helping Allah and His Messenger. They are the truthful.
The Merits of al-Muhajirin [ The Emigrants ]
لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُوا مِن دِيَارِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَرِضْوَانًا وَيَنصُرُونَ اللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ
([ And fai’ is especially ] for the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and properties, while they were seeking the grace of Allah and (His) pleasure, and were helping Allah and His Messenger. They are the truthful…. 59:8)
This verse describes all the characteristics of the emigrants. The first of them is that they were driven from their homes and wealth, that is to say, their only crime was that they had embraced Islam and supported the Messenger of Allah ﷺ ، as a result of which the pagans of Makkah persecuted them, so much so that they had to abandon their hearths and homes and emigrate to Madinah. Some of them had to tie stones to their stomach on account of unbearable hunger, and others used to protect themselves against cold by digging holes in the ground, because they did not have clothes to save them from the chill of winter. [ Mazhari, Qurtubi ]
An Important Issue: The rule about the control of unbelievers over the wealth and property of the Muslims
This verse describes the emigrants as poor, whereas a faqir [ poor ] in Islamic law refers to a person who has no property whatever, or a person who possesses a little property, but is poor because he does not possess the minimum amount of property constituting nisab of Zakah. However, most of the emigrants were rich, wealthy and affluent while they were in Makkah. Even after migration, if the wealth had remained in their ownership, it would be inappropriate to refer to them as ‘poor’ because they had nisab of Zakah. But the Qur’an refers to them as ‘poor’ and thus points out that the wealth and property which they had left behind in Makkah, and the pagans subsequently took possession of them, became the property of the pagans and the Muslims lost its ownership.
Therefore, Imams Abu Hanifah and Malik رحمۃ اللہ علیہما ruled that if Muslims abandon their homes and possessions and migrate to some other land, and the non-believers take control of their abandoned homes and property, the ownership passes into their hands and Muslims lose ownership. Similarly, if – God forbid! – the unbelievers conquer an Islamic country, usurping Muslim property and wealth, then after having full control over it, they are deemed as owners of that property. Consequently, their transactions of sale and purchase of such properties are recognized in Shari` ah. Mazhari has, on this occasion in his commentary, cited all the relevant Traditions supporting this view.
The second characteristic of the emigrants is described thus: يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّـهِ وَرِضْوَانًا (…seeking the grace of Allah and [ His ] pleasure…59:8). When they embraced Islam, abandoned their country and wealth and migrated, they did not have any ulterior motive. They did all this only to seek Divine favour and gain His good pleasure. This indicates their perfect sincerity. The word fadl [ bounty, grace ] is normally used for worldly blessings and ridwan [ good pleasure ] for blessings of the Hereafter. From this viewpoint, the verse purports to describe that the emigrants gave up all their previous means of luxury, such as their hearths and homes, and now they were in quest of their worldly needs and the blessings of the Hereafter in the shade of Islam. Their objective was to seek the necessities of worldly life under the banner of Allah’s and His Messenger’s efficacious grace.
The third characteristic of the emigrants is described thus: وَيَنصُرُونَ اللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُ (…and were helping Allah and His Messenger…59:8). The phrase ‘help Allah’ means to help His religion, for which they made tremendous and amazing self-sacrifices.
The fourth characteristic of the emigrants is described thus: أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ (… They are the truthful…59:8). That is, such people are sincerely true in words and deeds. The covenant they made with Allah and His Messenger by reciting the kalimah, they duly fulfilled it and proved themselves to be true about it. This verse candidly testifies to the truthfulness of all emigrant Companions. Anyone calling any of them a ‘liar’ cannot be a Muslim, because he is rejecting this verse. God forbid! Rawafid call these Companions ‘hypocrites’. This is a clear rejection of the verse. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ held the emigrant Companions ؓ in such high esteem that when he prayed to Allah, he would supplicate through their wasilah. [ as transmitted by Al-Baghawi and Mazhari ].
[59:9] And (fai’ is also for) those who established themselves in the homeland (of Madinah) and in faith before the former ones (arrived in Madinah), who have love for those who emigrated to them, and do not feel in their hearts any need for what is given to the former ones (from fai’ ), and give preference to them over themselves, even though they are in poverty. And whoever is saved from the greed of his soul, then such people are the successful.
The Merits of Ansar [ The Helpers ]
وَالَّذِينَ تَبَوَّءُوا الدَّارَ وَالْإِيمَانَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ( And [ fai’ is also for ] those who established themselves in the homeland [ of Madinah ] and in faith before the former ones [ arrived in Madinah ] …59:9). The word tabawwu’ means ‘to make dwelling in the abode’. The word dar refers to Madinah which has a special distinction. Therefore, Imam Malik (رح) ، from one point of view, regarded Madinah Tayyibah as the most distinguishable of all the cities in the world. He used to say that wherever Islam reached and any city that was conquered, it was conquered by means of jihad – including Makkah Mukarramah. Madinah Tayyibah is the only exception. It was conquered by means of ‘Iman. [ Qurtubi ].
In this verse, under the word tabawwu’ [ to settle in an abode ] the words dar [ home ] and ‘iman [ faith ] are coupled. It could be objected that a ‘home’ can be found in a place where a person might settle in, but ‘faith’ is not an ‘abode’ where a person might find a place to settle in. Some of the scholars take the position that in this context the following verbs اَخلَصُوا or تَمَکَّنُوا to be understood and they mean “These are the people who settled in their abode and became sincere and strong in their faith”. It is possible to take the word ‘faith’ in its metaphorical sense, that is in the sense that ‘it is a fortified house’ where refuge is taken. The phrase min qablihim [ before them ] describes another characteristic of Ansar, which means that they had settled in Madinah before the Emigrants, while Madinah was so important a city that all the Muslims living in Makkah were ordered to emigrate to it and it became the center of Islam.
The second characteristic of the Helpers is described in يُحِبُّونَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ (…have love for those who emigrated to them…59:9) The Emigrants from Makkah came to the Helpers, deprived and denuded of all their possessions. Normally, no community is willing to allow such a large number of distressed people to settle in their city. Instead, the quarrels between natives and emigrants are found everywhere. But the Ansar received them with open arms and made them equal partners in their belongings. The bond of love and brotherhood which the Messenger of Allah ﷺ established between the Emigrants and the Helpers, and to which this verse bears an eloquent testimony, stands unrivalled in the whole history of human relationships. There was no dearth of the Helpers who were eager to take on the Emigrants. In fact, for each Emigrant there were several applications to take him on. There were many instances in which lots had to be cast. When the lot of a particular Helper fell in favour of a particular Emigrant, he was handed to him. [ Mazhari ]
The third characteristic of the Helpers is described in وَلَا يَجِدُونَ فِي صُدُورِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّا أُوتُوا (…and do not feel in their hearts any need for what is given to the former ones [ from fai’], …[ 59:9] “. This statement is concerned with the banishment of Banu Nadir and their orchards and homes falling into Muslim hands.
Distribution of Banu Nadir’s properties
As stated earlier, the relevant verse has given discretionary powers to the Holy Prophet ﷺ in matters of distributing the fai’ property. It was a time when the Muhajirin (Emigrants) had neither homes of their own nor any property. They lived in the homes of the Ansar, and worked on their farms to earn their livelihood. When the wealth of Banu Nadir and Banu Qainuqa` were obtained as fai’, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ called the leader of the Ansar, Sayyidna Thabit Ibn Qais Ibn Shammas ؓ ، and asked him to bring his people to him. He asked: “O Messenger of Allah, should I call my tribe of the Ansar, Banu Khazraj, or all of the tribes of the Ansar?” He replied: “All of them.” They all gathered. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ delivered a sermon in which he spoke highly of the Ansar as to the manner in which they accommodated the Refugee brethren. He said it was a work of great determination and courage. After that he said: ‘Allah has granted you the wealth of Banu Nadir. If you wish, I will divide the wealth between the Muhajirin and the Ansar; and the Refugees will remain as usual in the homes of the Ansar. Or if you wish, the wealth may be distributed among the homeless Refugees; and they may move out of your homes and settle in their own homes.’
Having heard this sermon, two of the great chiefs of the Ansar, Sayyidna Sa’d Ibn ` Ubadah and Sa’d Ibn Mu` adh ؓ – stood and said: “0 Messenger of Allah, we are of the view that the entire wealth of fai’ be distributed among the Refugee brethren, and in addition they may continue to reside in our homes as usual.” At this all the Ansar unanimously said, “We concur with this decision and are happy with it.” On that occasion, the Holy Prophet ﷺ supplicated for the Ansar and their children. He then distributed the entire fai’ among the Muhajirin. Only two of the Ansar received a grant from the fai’ , because they were very poor. Their names are Sayyidna Sahl Ibn Hunaif ؓ and Abu Dujanah ؓ . Sayyidna Sa’d Ibn Mu` adh ؓ was given a sword which was a distinguished sword of Ibn Abil-Huqaiq. [ Mazharl with reference to Sabi-ur-Rashad by Muhammad Ibn Yusuf As-Salihi ]
The present verse admires the Ansar on this attitude by saying, وَلَا يَجِدُونَ فِي صُدُورِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّا أُوتُوا (…and do not feel in their hearts any need for what is given to the former ones [ from fai’], ….59:9). The word ‘need’ means ‘any item of need’. The verse means ‘Whatever the Muhajirin were granted in this distribution, the Ansar happily accepted it as if they had no need for any of those items. It was inconceivable that they would complain about it enviously.’ When Bahrain was conquered, the same spirit of self-sacrifice was displayed again by the Ansr. The Holy Prophet ﷺ expressed his intention to distribute the entire conquered lands of that territory among the Ansar, but they courteously refused to accept any share of it unless a similar share was granted to the Muhajirin.
The fourth characteristic of the Ansar is described in the verse is: وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ (…and give preference (to them) over themselves, even though they are in poverty ….59:9). The word khasasah means ‘poverty’ and the word ` ithar means ‘to prefer the wish, need and desire of others above those of oneself. The meaning of the verse is that the Ansar used to prefer the needs of others (i.e. the Muhajirin,) to their own needs. That is, the former used to fulfill the needs of the latter first, then they would fulfill their own needs, even though they themselves were poor and needy.
For the interpretation of the Qur’anic verses, there is no need to recount incidents. But because they develop in human beings the highest degree of human qualities and bring about a reform in their lives, the commentators have recounted these events in detail on this occasion, especially Qurtubi. We cite below a few of them from his commentary.
It is recorded in Tirmidhi on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Hurairah ؓ that one night a guest came to ansari’s house. The latter had only as much food as he and his children could eat. He said to his wife: ‘Put the children off to sleep somehow, and put out the lamp. Then place the food in front of the guest, and sit next to him so that he may be under the impression that we too are eating, but we will not eat so that the guest may be able to eat comfortably.’ At this, the present verse was revealed. [ At-Tirmidhi has rated this hadith as ‘hasan, sahih’].
Tirmidhi records another narration on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Hurairah ؓ that a person came to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and said: “I am hungry and distressed.” The Holy Prophet ﷺ sent a message to one of his blessed wives, but she replied: “We do not have anything except water.” Then he sent a message to his another wife, and she made the same reply. Then to a third one and then to a fourth one until the message went to all the mothers of the faithful, and they all replied that they had nothing besides water. Then he addressed the congregation and asked if any of them would be willing to entertain the guest, in response to which a venerable Ansari said: “0 Messenger of Allah, I will entertain him.” So he took him with and asked his wife whether there was anything to eat. She replied: “Only as much as our children could eat.” He asked his wife to put the children to sleep and then said: “Place the food in front of the guest, sit and then get up and put out the lamp. The guest should not feel that we are not eating.” The guest ate the food. In the morning, the Companion went to the Holy Prophet ﷺ who informed him that Allah was very pleased with the way he handled the situation the previous night.
Mahdawi narrates a similar incident of Sayyidna Thabit Ibn Qais ؓ ، a venerable Ansari who entertained his guest one night by putting the light off. There is a common statement appended to all these incidents: ‘The above verse was revealed in connection with this event.’
Qushairi cites a story on the authority of Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Umar ﷺ who reports that a person sent the head of a goat as a gift to a venerable personality from among the blessed Companions. He thought that about a Muslim brother that he and his family are more in need of this, so he sent the head to him. When the second venerable Companion received it, he sent it to a third person who in turn sent it to a fourth person. In this way it circulated in seven houses and eventually it returned to the first venerable personality. On this occasion, the verse was revealed. Tha’labi has also recorded this narration on the authority of Sayyidna Anas ؓ .
It is recorded in Muwaatta’ of Imam Malik (رح) on the authority of Sayyidah ` A’ishah ؓ that a poor person wanted something to eat. She had only one bread, and she was fasting that day. She asked her maid to give him the bread. The maid said that if it was given away, there would be nothing left for her to break her fast in the evening. Sayyidnh ` A’ishah ؓ insisted and gave the bread to the poor person. The maid says: “It so happened after this that a person, who was not accustomed to send any gift, sent a whole roasted goat which was completely covered with batter on the outside, which is thought to be the best Arab dish.” Sayyidah ` A’ishah ؓ called the maid and said: “Come, eat this. This is better than that bread of yours.”
Nasa’i has recorded that once Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Umar ؓ fell sick and he felt like eating grapes. A bunch of grapes was bought for him for a dirham. Co-incidentally, a poor person came begging. Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Umar ؓ said that the bunch be given to him. One of the Companions furtively followed him, and bought off the bunch from the beggar and gave it back to Sayyidna Ibn ` Umar ؓ ، but the beggar came again and begged, Sayyidna Ibn ` Umar ؓ gave it to him again. Again someone went behind the beggar secretly and bought off the bunch from him for a dirham and gave it to Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Umar ؓ . The beggar wanted to turn up the third time and beg, but the people stopped him. If Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Umar ؓ knew that the bunch is the same one that he gave out in sadaqah, he would never have accepted it and eaten it. He probably thought that someone had brought it for him from the market-place, and therefore he had eaten it.
Sayyidna Ibn Mubarak reports on the authority of his chain of transmitters that once Sayyidna ` Umar ؓ sent four thousand Dinars in a moneybag to Sayyidna Abu ` Ubaidah ؓ with his servant, with the message that the money was being sent as a gift. He should use it as he deemed fit. The servant was instructed to remain for a while in the house to see what he would do with the money. The servant, accordingly, gave the moneybag to him and waited for a while. Sayyidna Abu ‘Ubaidah ؓ took the bag full of money and supplicated for Sayyidna ` Umar ؓ that Allah may reward him and shower his mercy upon him. Instantly, he called his slave-girl and instructed her to give seven Dinars to so-and-so, five Dinars to so-and-so until all four thousand Dinars were distributed then and there.
The servant came back and narrated the story. Sayyidna ` Umar ؓ filled another moneybag with four thousand Dinars and sent it with the servant to Sayyidna Mu` adh Ibn Jabal ؓ ، with the same message to him and with the same instruction to the servant. The servant followed the instruction. Sayyidna Mu’dh Ibn Jabal ؓ took the bag of money and supplicated to Allah for Sayyidna ` Umar ؓ ، thus: رَحِمَہُ اللہ وَ وَصلہ May Allah shower His mercy upon him and reward him.” Then he too immediately sat down to distribute the money. He divided the money into many portions and sent them to different houses. His wife was watching all that was happening. She could not hold herself and eventually spoke out: “By Allah! We too are poor and we should also receive something.” At that time only two Dinars had remained in the bag, and he gave them to her. The servant saw all this, returned to Sayyidna ` Umar ؓ ، and reported to him all that he saw. He said: “They are all brothers, and they all have the same disposition.”
Sayyidna Hudhaifah ` Adawi ؓ narrates: “During the battle of Yarmak, I went out in search of my paternal uncle’s son [ cousin ] among the martyrs, and took with me some water just in case there was the last breath of life left in him, so I would give him a sip of water. When I reached him, there was the last spark of life left in him. I asked him whether he would like to have a sip of water, and he nodded ‘yes’. Just as I was going to pour the water into his mouth, another martyr next to him heaved a sigh. My cousin indicated to give him the water. When I reached him and was about to give him the water, I heard the voice of a third martyr. The second martyr indicated to give the water to the third one. This series of events continued up to seven martyrs. When I reached the seventh martyr to give water, he had already breathed his last. From there I went back to my cousin, he had also met his end.”
These are a few events, some of which relate to the Ansar, and others to the Muhajirin. About a number of these incidents, it is said that the verse under comment was revealed regarding them. In fact, there is no contradiction in these narrations, because it is a well-known habit of narrators that if a verse was revealed under a certain circumstance, and a similar incident took place on another occasion, they mention the second incident as a cause of revelation of that verse as well. In fact, all similar incidents can be said to be the cause of revelation of the verse or, at least, included in its purport.
Disposing of a Possible Doubt
Here we need to dispose of a possible doubt that might arise from the noble Companions’ narratives of self-sacrifice that were recounted above. The Holy Prophet ﷺ has prohibited for a Muslims to give away all his wealth in charity. For instance, it is reported in a Tradition that a person came with a piece of gold, about the size of an egg, so that it may be given in charity. The Holy Prophet ﷺ threw it towards himself and said: Some of you bring all your wealth to be given away in charity, then they become poor and go around begging.” The question is how and why did the Companions of the Holy Prophet ﷺ give away whatever they had in the incidents cited above despite the prohibition of such an act?
Answer to this question can be inferred from these very narratives. In fact, people’s conditions are different. Accordingly, the rulings differ from condition to condition. The ruling of prohibition applies to those people who, after giving away all their wealth in charity, regret, and cannot endure their poverty but go around begging. But those people who, after giving away all their wealth in charity, do not regret or feel distressed or agitated, they in fact face the situation with calm courage and resolute endurance. For such people, it is permitted to spend all their wealth in Allah’s way. Let us take the case of Sayyidna Siddiq Akbar ؓ who donated all his belongings when fund was being collected for a jihad. The stories narrated above belong to this category. Such people trained and developed their families also to face the ordeals of life with the same calm courage and resolute endurance. Therefore, their rights were not usurped or destroyed either. If the wealth were in the control of their families, they too would have done the same thing.
Muhajirin [ The Refugees ] Reciprocate the Ansars’ Self-Sacrifice
No social activities or self-sacrifice is possible unilaterally. It has to be bilateral. Therefore, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ has urged the Muslims to exchange gifts with each other and thus enhance their mutual love. So likewise, if a Muslim has given a gift to another, he should repay the gift as a gesture of goodwill. If Allah has granted him abundant wealth, then he should use the wealth to reciprocate. Otherwise, supplication should be enough to reciprocate. It is not in keeping with the principles of ethics or good manners to owe a debt of gratitude to people.
The Ansar displayed a great deal of self-sacrifice in the matter of the Muhajirin. The former made the latter partners in their homes, their shops, their businesses, their land and their agriculture. When Allah gave the Muhajirin affluence, they did not fall short in doing a good turn in return for their favours.
Qurtubi cites a narration of the two Sahihs on the authority of Sayyidna Anas Ibn Malik ؓ that when the Muhajirin arrived in Madinah from Makkah, they were absolutely empty-handed. The Ansar, on the other hand, had properties and lands, and they shared half-and-half of all their holdings with the Muhajirin. The former gave half of their fruits to the latter annually. Umm Sulaim ؓ the mother of Sayyidna Anas ؓ ، gave a few of her palm trees to the Holy Prophet ﷺ which he granted to Usamah Ibn Zaid’s mother, Umm ‘Aiman ؓ .
Imam Zuhri says that Sayyidna Anas Ibn Malik ؓ reports that when the Holy Prophet ﷺ returned successfully from the expedition of Khaibar to Madinah, the Refugees – all of them – calculated all the gifts of the Ansar and returned them. The Holy Prophet ﷺ took back the trees that were granted to ‘Umm ` Aiman and returned them to ‘Umm Sulaim ؓ and granted trees to ‘Umm ‘Aiman from his own orchard.
وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ (… And whoever is saved from the greed of his soul, then such people are the successful….59:9) After the mention of the Ansar’s selflessness and self-sacrifice, a general rule of law or a universal principle is being laid down in the concluding part of verse [ 9]. The words shuhh [ avarice ] and bukhl [ greed, miserliness ] are near synonyms. The word shuhh, however, yields the sense of intensive greed for money and possessions. Shuhh [ avarice ] and bukhl [ greed, miserliness ] are absolutely forbidden when a person fails to fulfill obligatory rights, which might be Divine rights, such as Zakah, sadaqat-ul-fitr, ` Ushr, oblation and so on, or they might be human rights, such as the maintenance of the family, needy parents and relatives. It is repugnant and reprehensible if shuhh [ avarice ] and bukhl [ greed, miserliness ] prevent one from spending for laudable and rewardable acts. If one does not spend on customary things, it is not shuhh [ avarice ] and bukhl in terms of the sacred laws of Shari` ah.
Avarice, niggardliness and jealousy are such evil qualities as the Qur’an and Prophetic Traditions have severely denounced. There are glad tidings for those who avoid them. The Ansar have many good qualities, among which is their immunity from avarice and jealousy.Being free of Malice and Jealousy is a sign of one’s being in Paradise
Ibn Kathir, with reference to Imam Ahmad (رح) ، cites the following narration on the authority of Sayyidna Anas ؓ ، who says:
“We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ when he said, ‘A man is about to arrive who is from among the inmates of Paradise’. One of the Ansars arrived, from whose beard dripped fresh water of minor ablution [ wudu ] and in his left hand were his shoes. The same incident occurred the following day. The same person came in front in the same condition. The same incident happened the third day. The same person entered in the condition described above. When the Messenger of Allah ﷺ dissolved the assembly, Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Amr Ibn-ul-` As ؓ followed the Ansari [ so as to find out the secret of his being an inmate of Paradise ] and said to him: ‘I had a quarrel in some matter and took an oath that I would not go home for three days. If possible, please accommodate me for three days at your home.’ He agreed. Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr ؓ spent the three nights with him. But he noticed that he did not wake up for ‘tahajjud’ (voluntary nightly prayers) at night. However, when he lied on bed, he recited some ‘dhikr of Allah’. Then he would wake up for Fajr salah. In the course of three days, he did not hear him utter a single word but that of good. ` Abdullah says, ‘When three nights were over, and I almost thought his actions were insignificant, I gave up my secret that I had no domestic quarrel. But I continuously heard for three days the Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying a man is about to arrive who is from among the inmates of Paradise’. And for three days you arrived. Therefore, I was curious to stay with you and find out your secret act, on account of which you have attained this high status. But strangely enough I did not see you do any extraordinary deed.’ Then I asked him: ‘What gave you this high status?’ He said, ‘I have no deed more than what you have seen.’ I heard this and was about to return. He called me back and said: ‘0 Yes, there is something. I do not harbour in my heart any malice or evil against any Muslim, I am not jealous or envious of any Muslim, if Allah has given him anything good.’ Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Amr Ibn-ul-` As ؓ said: ‘That exactly is the quality that has taken you to the lofty status.’
Having cited this narration, Ibn Kathir says that Nasa’i has also cited this narration in his ` Amal-ul-Yawm wal-Laylah’ and its chain of narrators is authentic according to the standard of Bukhari and Muslim.
[59:10] And (fai’ is also) for those who came after them saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and those of our brothers who preceded us in faith, and do not place in our hearts any rancor against those who believe; Surely, Our Lord, you are Very-Kind, Very-Merciful.”
All Muslims after the Muhajirin and the Ansar are entitled to fai’
وَالَّذِينَ جَاءُوا مِن بَعْدِهِمْ “And [ fai’ is also ] for those who came after them ….59:10) This verse lays down that all Muslims until the Last Hour, after the noble Companions from amongst the Muhajirin and Ansar, are entitled to a share in the fai’ property. This was the reason why Sayyidna ` Umar Al-Faruq ؓ conquered great territories like ` Iraq, Syria, Egypt and so on, but did not distribute them among the fighters. He retained them as public endowment for next generations, so that the income might accrue to the Islamic public treasury and the Muslims till the Last Hour may benefit from it. When some of the blessed Companions enquired about the distribution of the conquered territories, he referred to this verse and said: Had it not been for the future generations of Muslims, I would have distributed all the conquered territories among the fighters as they were captured, following the example of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ . When Khaibar was conquered, the Holy Prophet ﷺ distributed all its lands. If all the lands are distributed among the present Muslim generation, nothing will be left for future generations.” [ Transmitted by Malik and Qurtubi ].
Love for the Blessed Companions ؓ is a sign that the Ummah is on Truth
On this occasion, Allah has put the Ummah of Muhammad ﷺ into three different categories: [ 1] Muhajirin; [ 2] Ansar; and [ 3] the general body of the Ummah. The special characteristics of the Muhajirin and the sterling qualities of the Ansars are described in the relevant verses above. As for the merits of the rest of the Ummah, the verse merely mentions one quality of theirs that they recognize the high status of Muhajirin and the Ansar in that they had preceded them in faith and were means of communicating it to us. Further, they pray for forgiveness of all, and also pray that their own hearts be completely cleansed of all bitterness and spite towards true and sincere Muslims.
This shows that for the validity and acceptance of faith and Islam of all the coming generations of Muslims, after the blessed Companions, it is a necessary condition that they have love and respect for the Companions of the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، and pray for their brethren in Faith of earlier generations. Where this necessary condition is lacking, such people are not worthy of being called Muslims. Therefore, Sayyidna Mus’ab Ibn Sa’d ؓ says that the Muslims of this Ummah are divided into three categories, of which two categories [ those of Muhajirin and Ansar ] have already been mentioned. The third category remains. If anyone wishes to have a place in the Ummah, he should join the third category by showing love, respect and honour to the blessed Companions.
Someone approached Sayyidna Husain ؓ and inquired about Sayyidna ` Uthman ؓ [ who had by then been martyred ], the former asked the inquirer: “Are you one of the Muhajirin?” He replied: “No”. Then he asked him: “Are you one of the Ansar?” He replied: “No.” He then said: ‘There remains only the third verse وَالَّذِينَ جَاءُوا مِن بَعْدِهِمْ “And… those who came after them…[ 59:10] “: If you wish to create doubt about Sayyidna ` Uthman ؓ ، then you will have to leave this category as well.’
Qurtubi says that this verse is a proof that love of the blessed Companions is obligatory. Sayyidna Imam Malik (رح) says that any person who reviles a Companion or holds a grudge against him, will not have a share in the fai’ property of the Muslims. Then he argues, on the basis of this verse, that every Muslim has a share in the fai’ property, and anyone who has no share, his faith in Islam is doubtul.
Sayyidna Abdullah Ibn Abbas ؓ has stated that Allah has commanded all Muslims to pray for the Companions of Muhammad ﷺ and for their forgiveness, whereas Allah knew that there would be conflicts and civil wars between them. Therefore, it is not permissible for any Muslim to hold evil thoughts about them on account of their conflicts.
Sayyidah A’shah Siddiqah ؓ says, “I have heard your Holy Prophet ﷺ say that this community will not perish unless the later generations curse the earlier generations.”
Sayyidna Abdullah Ibn ` Umar ؓ says: “When you hear anyone reviling a Companion, tell him, ‘May the curse of Allah be upon the one who is the worst of you’.” Obviously, no Companion can ever be worse. The one who is cursing would be the worst one. In a word, it is a cause of curse to revile a Companion.
Amr Ibn Haushab (رح) says: “I have found the earlier generations of this Ummah uniformly and strongly advise people to describe the merits of the noble Companions ؓ and their good qualities, so that they may develop love for them. Do not ever talk about their conflicts and disagreements, so that people may become bold and show disrespect to them.” [ All these narratives have been adapted from Qurtubi ].
[59:11] Did you not see the hypocrites saying to their brothers who disbelieve from the people of the Book, “If you are expelled, we will certainly go out with you, and we will not obey any one about you. And if you are fought against, we will definitely help you.” And Allah bears witness that they are pure liars.
[59:12] If they are expelled, they will not go out with them, and if they are fought against, they will not help them. And even if they help them, they will surely turn their backs; then they will not be helped.
[59:13] In fact, your fear in their hearts is greater than (that of) Allah. That is because they are a people who do not understand.
[59:14] They do not fight you, even assembled together, but in fortified towns, or from behind the walls. Their battle between themselves is severe. You think that they are united, while their hearts are divided. That is because they are a people who have no sense.
[59:15] The example (of Banu Nadir) is like those who were before them in near past, (i.e. the Jews of Banu Qainuqa’ ) who tasted the evil consequence of their conduct, and for them (in the Hereafter) there is a painful punishment.
كَمَثَلِ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ قَرِيبًا (…like those who were before them in near past ….59:15) This refers to the case of Banu Nadir, and Mujahid (رح) says that the phrase الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ قَرِيبًا “those who were before them in near past ” refers to the Quraish of Makkah who sustained an ignominious defeat at Badr. According to Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Abbas ؓ it refers to Banu Qainuqa’, a Jewish tribe, who were punished for their mischief and machinations after Badr. Banu Nadir were banished after the battles of Badr and ‘Uhud, and Banu Qainuqa’ had been banished after Badr. At Badr seventy thousand pagan Arabs were killed, and the survivors returned home disgracefully. Since pagans of Makkah and Banu qainuqa’, both of them faced a deterrent punishment after Badr, both can be the purport of the words, who were before them in the past, and of: ذَاقُوا وَبَالَ أَمْرِهِمْ…tasted the evil consequence of their conduct…[ 59:15] “
The Expulsion of Banu Qainuqa’
As stated earlier, when the Holy Prophet migrated from Makkah and settled in Madinah, he concluded a peace treaty with the Jewish tribes of Madinah, and of its neighbourhood. One of its conditions stipulated that they would not fight the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and the Muslims, or assist their enemies. Banu Qainuqa’ was a party to this peace agreement and was the first one to break the pledged word, within a few months. On the occasion of the battle of Badr, they connived with the Quraish of Makkah, and some incidents of their connivance came out in the open. On that occasion, the following verse was revealed وَإِمَّا تَخَافَنَّ مِن قَوْمٍ خِيَانَةً فَانبِذْ إِلَيْهِمْ عَلَىٰ سَوَاءٍ (And if you apprehend a breach from a people, then, throw [ the treaty ] towards them being right forward…[ 8:58] “. Banu Qainuqa`, through their treachery, had already broken the treaty. Therefore, The Holy Prophet ﷺ declared war against them and the banner of jihad was given in the hands of Sayyidna Hamzah ؓ and appointing Sayyidna Abu Lubabah ؓ his deputy in the city of Madinah, the Holy Prophet ﷺ himself joined the fighting force. Having seeing the Muslim army, the Jews shut themselves up in the fortress. The Holy Prophet ﷺ laid a siege to it for fifteen days, and the Jews had no choice but to surrender. Eventually, Allah cast terror into their hearts and they realized that fighting would not pay off. So, they opened the gate of the fortress and expressed their willingness to abide by the decision of the Holy Prophet ﷺ .
The Holy Prophet’s ﷺ decision was to have the Jewish men executed. But ` Abdullah Ibn ‘Ubayy, the hypocrite, intervened and pleaded to the Holy Prophet ﷺ to pardon them. In the end, it was decided that they should leave the area and go into exile and their belongings would be the spoils falling to the lot of the Muslims. Accordingly, they left Madinah and proceeded to settle in an area called Adhra` at in Syria. In compliance with the law of spoils, one-fifth was retained for Bait-ul-mal [ public treasury ] and the rest of the spoils was disbursed among the fighters. After the battle of Badr, this was the first one-fifth of the booties that was retained for the public treasury. This incident took place on Monday, 15th Shawwal, in the 2nd year of Hijrah – twenty months after the migration.
[59:16] The example (of the hypocrites) is like the Shaitan when he says to a human being, ‘Become a disbeliever” then once he disbelieves, he says, “I disown you; I fear Allah, the Lord of the worlds.”
كَمَثَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِذْ قَالَ لِلْإِنسَانِ اكْفُرْ (The example [ of the hypocrites ] is like the Shaitan when he says to a human being, “Become a disbeliever” then once he disbelieves, he says, “I disown you; I fear Allah, the Lord of the worlds.”….59:16) This is another example of the hypocrites who made false promises of solidarity and support to the Banu Nadir, and provoked the latter to fight against the Messenger of Allah ﷺ . But when the Muslims besieged them, not a single hypocrite came forward to assist. The Qur’an here uses a simile to illustrate the similarity between a hypocrite and the Shaitan. The Shaitan incited man to disbelieve and promised him the world, but when he was seriously involved in disbelief, he said that he has nothing to do with him. Only Allah knows how many such episodes the devil must have been involved in, textually, however, we find one such episode narrated in the Qur’an in Surah Anfal, verse [ 48]:
وَإِذْ زَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ وَقَالَ لَا غَالِبَ لَكُمُ الْيَوْمَ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَإِنِّي جَارٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ فَلَمَّا تَرَاءَتِ الْفِئَتَانِ نَكَصَ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ وَقَالَ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِّنكُمْ إِنِّي أَرَىٰ مَا لَا تَرَوْنَ إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللَّـهَ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
“And when the Shaitan beautified their deeds for them and said, ‘None of the people is to overpower you today, and I am a protector for you.’ But, when the two groups saw each other, he turned back on his heels and said, ‘I have nothing to do with you. I am seeing what you do not see. I am scared of Allah, and Allah is severe in punishment.’
This incident occurred on the occasion of the battle of Badr when the Shaitan misled the pagan Quraish, urged them to wage a war against Muslims, and then he withdrew, and left them in the lurch when they were in the middle of a pitched-battle. It is not clear how the Shaitan did all this, whether he cast suggestions into their minds or whether he came to them in human shape and spoke to them face to face. A full explanation is available in Volume [ 4] of Ma’ ariful Qur’ an, pages 242-247.
If the verse refers to this incident, in which the Shaitan provokes man to disbelieve and when he does that, he washes his hands of them, it does not seem that the Shaitan asked them to commit kufr, because they were already kafirs. He asked them to be firm in opposing the Messenger ﷺ . The answer is all too obvious, in that it is all the same whether he asked them to commit kufr, or bids them to remain firm in their kufr or fight the Messenger of Allah ﷺ ، because it is also tantamount to kufr.
Tafsir Mazhari, Qurtubi, Ibn Kathir and others have cited several incidents where monks and devotees were deceived into kufr. For example, one of the Israeli monks devoted himself to Allah in his synagogue, and fasted consecutively and broke his fast only once in ten days. In this way, he spent seventy years of his life. The accursed Shaitan pursued him. He sent after him the most cunning devil in the shape of a monk, a devotee of God. He went up to him and exerted himself in the worship of God and thus built up confidence in the genuine monk. Eventually, the impostor succeeded in teaching the monk a few of the prayers that are efficacious in curing the sickly people. Then the former exerted his influence on many people to fall sick, and gave them the monk’s address. When the latter recited the prayers, the devil would remove his influence and thus they would feel cured. He kept up this process for a long period of time, until one day he performed his exertion on the beautiful daughter of an Israeli leader. He sent her also to the monk. He succeeded in getting her into his synagogue and gradually he succeeded in getting him to commit fornication with the girl who, as a result, fell pregnant. He suggested that the girl be killed to save face. After the killing, the devil himself went around telling the story of the killing and put up the people against the monk. They, in their fury, demolished the synagogue and decided to kill him and crucify him. Then the Shaitan went back to the monk and said to him that there is no way out to save his life. ‘Of course’, he said to him, ‘there is one way of saving your life, in that you prostrate to me and I will save your life.’ The monk had already committed all the sins. The way to commit kufr was paved. So, he prostrated. At that juncture, the Shaitan said to him plainly, ‘You were not falling into my trap. I adopted all these guiles for you to commit kufr. I cannot assist you in any way.’ This story is recounted fully in Tafsir Mazhari and Qurtubi. Allah, the Pure and Exalted, knows best!
[59:17] So the end of both of them is that they will be in the Fire, living there forever. And that is the punishment of the wrongdoers.
[59:18] O those who believe, fear Allah, and everybody must consider what he (or she) has sent ahead for tomorrow. And fear Allah. Surely Allah is fully aware of what you do.
The Command to Taqwa and to prepare for the Day of Resurrection
The earlier parts of Surah Al-Hashr has described different events relating to the Jews, the pagans and the hypocrites and their punishments in this world and in the next. Now the concluding part of the Surah makes the believers conscious of their duty towards Allah and advises them to perform the righteous deeds regularly.
The first verse in this set reads يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ those who believe, fear Allah, and everybody must consider what he [ or she ] has sent ahead for tomorrow 59:18) In an eloquent style, the verse enjoins upon the believers to take care of the Hereafter and commands them to prepare for it. Here a few points need to be considered:
First: In this verse, the Hereafter is described as ghad [ tomorrow ], which means the ‘day after today’. This points to two things. First of all, it means that the entire period of this world, compared to the Hereafter, is very short. That is, this entire world, in relation to the Hereafter, is like one day. In fact, in terms of pure calculation, this comparison too is difficult to imagine, because the Hereafter is eternal which will exist without an end. The age of human world is said to be a few thousand years old. If this is calculated with the creation of the heaven and the earth, it will extend to a few million years, which in any case will be a limited period. This is no comparison to an unlimited or infinite period of time. Some Traditions state’ اَلدُّنیَا یَومُ وَ لَنَا فِیہِ صَومُ (The entire world is a day and on that day we fast.) Whether we calculate from human creation or from the creation of the heaven and the earth, it does not matter, because neither of these factors is important for a human individual. In fact, every individual’s world is made up of the days and years of his age. Every person should be able to realize how short a period that is in relation to the eternity of the Hereafter.
Second of all, this verse shows that the Day of Resurrection is as certain as the arrival of tomorrow after today which is a stark reality, and no one doubts it. Likewise the Hereafter is beyond any reasonable doubt.
Thirdly, the Day of Resurrection will happen very shortly. Just as tomorrow is not very far away from today, it is thought to be very near, likewise, the Day of Resurrection will happen very soon after this world. The first phase of the Hour is when an individual dies, his Hour is already established as stated in a Tradition: مَن مَّاتَ فَقَد قَامَت قِیَامَتُہ “He who dies, his Day of Judgment has been established” because the signs of the next world start from the grave and examples of reward and punishment come forward. The world of grave or the world of barzakh is like a waiting room in this world which accommodates all types of people, ranging from the first class to the third class. The waiting room of the criminals is the prison house. A person should be able to determine his position and status in the waiting room. Therefore, every person’s Judgment Day starts with his death. Man’s death has been made such a puzzling phenomenon that not even the greatest philosopher or scientist can with any degree of certainty determine the exact time of its occurrence. In fact, every coming moment is fraught with the danger that one may not live to see it, especially in this time and age when it is moving at the pace of lightning and heart-failure is the order of the day. The second phase of the Hour is when the entire world, the heaven and earth and everything else, will perish, though this might take place after hundreds of thousands of years, it is very close in relation to the eternity of the Hereafter.
In short, this verse by describing qiyamah [ Doomsday ] as ghad [ tomorrow ] made man conscious of the fact that the Doomsday is not very far off; it is very close like tomorrow. It is also possible that it might come even before tomorrow.
The second point put by this verse for consideration is that the arrival of Doomsday being certain and also near, everyone is invited to think what he has prepared for the Day of Resurrection. This shows that his original abode is the Hereafter. His residence in this world is like a wayfarer. It is necessary to send something from here for the eternal abode. The main purpose of man’s residence is to live here, acquire and accumulate things and send them forward to the eternal abode of the Hereafter. It is quite obvious that no material wealth or property can be taken with from this world. There is only one way of transferring wealth [ gold, silver, money and so on ] from one country to another, that is to deposit it into the bank from where the currency of another country is obtained. In exactly the same manner, wealth is spent in the way of Allah and the sacred laws of Allah are implemented and deposited in the Divinely celestial bank, where the currency of reward is recorded in the celestial Account-Book. When a believer reaches the eternal abode, it is handed over to him without claim or demand.
The phrase مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ ‘what he (or she) has sent ahead’ carries the general sense of the good, as well as, the bad deeds. He who sends forth good deeds will obtain the currency of reward in the Hereafter; and he who sends forth evil deeds will be indicted in the Hereafter. The command of “…fear Allah…[ 18] ” has been repeated. It could be for emphasis, or the first of such command is for man to fulfill the obligatory and imperative duties, and the repetition of the command is to abstain from sins. The second explanation is given by Maulana Ashraf Thanawi (رح) .
Also, it is possible that the first command to fear Allah is to send forth good deeds for the Hereafter by acting upon imperatives set by Allah, and the second command to fear is to ensure that what is being sent is not fake or counterfeit. Fake or counterfeit deeds, in relation to the Hereafter, would imply the deeds done seem to be genuinely righteous deeds, but they lack sincerity of purpose and the good pleasure of Allah. What was done ostentatiously or for ulterior motive or an ostensible action that seems like an act of worship, but having no base in religion, it is tantamount to innovation (Bid’ah). Thus the second command to fear Allah implies that for the Hereafter it is not sufficient to merely accumulate ostensible actions, but to send forth genuine deeds performed with sincerity according to the rules set in religion. Spurious actions will not be acceptable there.
[59:19] And do not be like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget their own selves. Those are the sinners.
فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ He made them forget their own selves….59:19) It means they did not forget Allah but themselves, because they are unaware of their own loss and gain.
[59:20] The people of the Fire and the people of the Paradise are not equal. The people of the Paradise are the successful.
[59:21] Had We sent down this Qur’an to a mountain, you would have seen it humbled, burst apart out of awe for Allah. And such examples are cited by Us for the people, so that they may ponder.
لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَىٰ جَبَلٍ (Had We sent down this Qur’an to a mountain, ….59:21) This is a parable that Allah is using to illustrate the fact that if the Holy Qur’an were to be revealed on such strong, firm and unmovable mountain and endowed with intelligence like man, it would have submitted to the greatness of the Qur’an, nay, it would have crushed to pieces. But man is too selfish and proud. As a result, he has lost his natural intelligence and remains unaffected by the powerful message of the Qur’an. This, it would appear, is a hypothetical example, that is ‘if mountains had sense or intelligence. Some scholars have stated that reason and revelation both bear testimony to the fact that everything in nature has sense, perception and intelligence, be it a mountain or a tree. Therefore, this is not a hypothetical example. It is a stark reality. [ Mazhari ]. And Allah knows best!
[59:22] He is Allah, besides whom there is no god, the Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the All-Merciful, the Very-Merciful.
A Few of Allah’s Attributes of Perfection
Having urged the people to be concerned about the Hereafter and having asserted the greatness of the Qur’an, this Surah is concluded with a few of Allah’s attributes of perfection, as follows:
الِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ (…the Knower of the unseen and the seen – 22). The attribute ‘the Knower of the Unseen and the seen’ means that Allah knows all things, visible or invisible.
[59:23] He is Allah, besides whom there is no god, the Sovereign, the Most Pure [ from all defects ], the Most Safe [ from all defects ], the Peace-Giver, the Guardian, the All-Mighty, the Restorer [ of the losses ], the Lord of Greatness. Pure is Allah from what they associate with Him.
الْقُدُّوسُ The attribute Al-Quddus means ‘the Most Pure from all defects’, that is, Allah is the Being Who is free from all kinds of defect, deficiency and imperfection which are not in conformity to His Supreme status.
الْمُؤْمِنُ The word mu’min, when applied to a human being, means a believer, but when this attribute is applied to Allah, it means the one who provides peace and safety, as explained by Ibn ` Abbas ؓ . It means that He provides safety and perfect peace to those who believe in Allah and His Messengers.
الْمُهَيْمِنُ The attribute Al-Muhaimin, according to Ibn ` Abbas ؓ ، Mujhid and Qatadah means ‘Guardian’. The Arabic lexicon Al-Qamus has explained that its route is ‘hamn’ which means to look after or take care of or watch over’. [ Mazhari ].
الْعَزِيزُ The attribute Al-` Aziz means ‘the Almighty’.
الْجَبَّارُ The attribute Al-Jabbar means the One who is dominant. It could also be derived from the word jabr, meaning to ‘join broken bones’ and thus we have the word jabirah, which refers to the bandage or plaster that is used in binding the broken bones. From this point of view, the attribute would mean that Allah is the Being Who sets aright every broken and useless things, matters or restores all losses and rectifies situations or mends every breakage.
الْمُتَكَبِّرُ The attribute Al-Mutakabbir [ the Lord of Greatness ] is derived from takabbur and that from kibriya’ meaning ‘greatness’ which is one of the peculiar characteristics of Allah. It implies that every greatness is attributable only to Allah who is not in need of anyone. Whoever is in need cannot be great. Therefore, if this word is used for a person other than Allah, it is a defect and sin, because the claim of greatness by a person who is not actually great is false and tantamount to a claim of being a partner of Allah, the Besought of all, in one of His exclusive attributes. That is why the word Al-Mutakabbir, when attributed to Allah is an attribute of perfection, but in respect of others it is no more than a false claim.
[59:24] He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor, the Originator-Of-Shapes. His are the Most Beautiful Names. His purity is proclaimed by all that is in the heavens and the earth, and He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
الْمُصَوِّرُ (…the Originator of all Shapes….59:24) In other words, He gives shape to everything He creates. He has given particular shapes to all creatures whereby they are distinguished from one another. Every species has a shape distinguishable from all other species. Within one species too, there are differences in shape between males and females. Then there are uncountable differences between the shapes of the individuals of even one sex. The excellence of shaping or fashioning is of such high degree that the shapes of zillions of men and women are different from one another in a way that no face is an absolute copy of some other face. Had it not been so, no one could be distinguished from the other. This excellence and perfection of creative power belongs to none but Allah. Just as takabbur (show of greatness) is not permissible for anyone other than Allah [ as kibriya’ is His exclusive attribute’], likewise no one, besides Allah, is permitted to do picture-making, because that too is the exclusive characteristic of Allah, and picture-making is an implied claim of being associate with Allah in this attribute.
لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ (… His are the Most Beautiful Names ….59:24). The Holy Qur’an has not given the exact number of these Most Beautiful Names of Allah. Authentic Prophetic ahadith have counted them ninety-nine. Tirmidhi has collected all the ninety-nine names in one Tradition. Many scholars have written full books on the subject of Asma ul-Husna or ‘Most Beautiful Names of Allah’. The present writer has also compiled a concise monograph on the subject of ‘Most Beautiful Names of Allah’ published as an annexure to Munajat-i-Maqbul (by Maulana Ashraf Thanawi (رح)).
يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ (…His purity is proclaimed by all that is in the heavens and the earth ….59:24). That all creatures in the heavens and the earth declare the purity of Allah in unuttered language is self-evident: The wonderful, marvelous and amazing things created by Allah, and the awe-inspiring and staggering shapes fashioned by Him proclaim the praises of their Creator in unuttered language. However, it is possible too that the word ‘tasbih’ is used here in its real and literal sense, because according to the authentic view everything in this universe has some kind of sense that accords to its ability. Now, the foremost and primary requirement of this sense is to recognize one’s Creator and paying gratitude to Him. Based on this premise, it is not far-fetched to conceive that everything in nature really declares the purity of Allah in articulate language, though human ears might not be able to hear it. Thus the Qur’an on one occasion says وَلَـٰكِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ (…but you do not understand their extolling.) (17:44)
Benefits and Blessings of the Concluding Verses of Surah Al-Hashr
It is recorded in Tirmidhi on the authority of Sayyidna Ma’qil Ibn Yasar ؓ that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ has stated that Allah appoints 70, 000 angels who pray for Divine mercy for anyone who recites the following three times: اَعُوذُ بِاللہِ اَلسَّمِیعِ اَلعَلِیمِ مِنَ اَلشَّیطَانِ الرَّجِیمِ and the last three verses of Surah Al-Hashr هُوَ اللَّـهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ. If he dies the same day, he will attain the status of a martyr. If a person recites the same solemn words in the evening, he will attain the same status. [ Mazhari ].
The Commentary on
Tafseer by Abul A’la Maududi
59. Surah Al Hashr (The Banishment)
The Surah derives its name from the mention of the word al-hashr in verse thereby implying that it is the Surah in which the word al-hashr has occurred.
Period of Revelation
Bukhari and Muslim contain a tradition from Hadrat Sa’id bin Jubair to the effect “When I asked Hadrat Abdullah bin Abbas about Surah Al-Hashr, he replied that it was sent down concerning the battle against the Bani an-Nadir just as Surah Al-Anfal was sent down concerning the Battle of Badr. In another tradition from Hadrat Sa’id bin Jubair, the words cited from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) are: Qul: Surah an-Nadir: Say, it is Surah an-Nadir.” The same thing has been related also from Mujahid, Qatadah, Zuhri, Ibn Zaid, Yazid bin Ruman, Muhammad bin Ishaq and others. They are unanimous that the followers of the Book whose banishment has been mentioned in it, imply the Bani an-Nadir. Yazid bin Ruman, Mujahid and Muhammad bin Ishaq have stated that this whole Surah, from beginning to end, came down concerning this very battle.
As for the question as to when this battle took place, Imam Zuhri has stated on the authority of Urwah bin Zubair that it took place six months after the Battle of Badr. However, Ibn Sa’d, Ibn Hisham and Baladhuri regard it as an event of Rabi’ al-Awwal, A. H. 4, and the same is correct. For all traditions agree that this battle took place after the incident of Bi’r Ma’unah, and historically also it is well known that the incident of Bir Ma’unah occurred after the Battle of Uhud and not before it.
In order to understand the subject matter of this Surah well, it is necessary to have a look at the history of the Madinah and Hejaz Jews, for without it one cannot know precisely the real causes of the Holy Prophet’s dealing with their different tribes the way he did.
No authentic history of the Arabian Jews exists in the world. They have not left any writing of their own in the form of a book or a tablet which might throw light on their past, nor have the Jewish historians and writers of the non-Arab world made any mention of them, the reason being that after their settlement in the Arabian peninsula they had detached themselves from the main body of the nation, and the Jews of the world did not count them as among themselves. For they had given up Hebrew culture and language, even the names, and adopted Arabism instead. In the tablets that have been unearthed in the archaeological research in the Hejaz no trace of the Jews is found before the first century of the Christian era, except for a few Jewish names. Therefore, the history of the Arabian Jews is based mostly on the verbal traditions prevalent among the Arabs most of which bad been spread by the Jews themselves.
The Jews of the Hejaz claimed that they had come to settle in Arabia during the last stage of the life of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him). They said that the Prophet Moses had dispatched an army to expel the Amalekites from the land of Yathrib and had commanded it not to spare even a single soul of that tribe. The Israelite army carried out the Prophet’s command, but spared the life of a handsome prince of the Amalekite king and returned with him to Palestine. By that time the Prophet Moses had passed sway. His successors took great exception to what the army had done, for by sparing the life of an Amalekite it had clearly disobeyed the Prophet and violated the Mosaic law. Consequently, they excluded the army from their community, and it had to return to Yathrib and settle there for ever.(Kitab al-Aghani, vol. xix, p. 94). Thus the Jews claimed that they had been living in Yathrib since about 1200 B.C. But, this had in fact no historical basis and probably the Jews had invented this story in order to overawe the Arabs into believing that they were of noble lineage and the original inhabitants of the land.
The second Jewish immigration, according to the Jews, took, place in 587 BC. when Nebuchadnezzer, the king of Babylon, destroyed Jerusalem and dispersed the Jews throughout the world. The Arab Jews said that several of their tribes at that time had come to settle in Wadi al-Qura, Taima, and Yathrib.(Al-Baladhuri, Futuh al-Buldan). But this too has no historical basis. By this also they might have wanted to prove that they were the original settlers of the area.
As a matter of fact, what is established is that when in A. D. 70 the Romans massacred the Jews in Palestine, and then in A. D. 132 expelled them from that land, many of the Jewish tribes fled to find an asylum in the Hejaz, a territory that was contiguous to Palestine in the south. There, they settled wherever they found water springs and greenery, and then by intrigue and through money lending business gradually occupied the fertile lands. Ailah, Maqna, Tabuk, Taima, Wadi al Qura, Fadak and Khaiber came under their control in that very period, and Bani Quraizah, Bani al-Nadir, Bani Bahdal, and Bani Qainuqa also came in the same period and occupied Yathrib.
Among the tribes that settled in Yathrib the Bani al Nadir and the Bani Quraizah were more prominent for they belonged to the Cohen or priest class. They were looked upon as of noble descent and enjoyed religious leadership among their co- religionists. When they came to settle in Madinah there were some other tribes living there before, whom they subdued and became practically the owners of this green and fertile land. About three centuries later, in A. D. 450 or 451, the great flood of Yemen occurred which has been mentioned in vv. 16-17 of Surah Saba above. As a result of this different tribes of the people of Saba were compelled to leave Yemen and disperse in different parts of Arabia. Thus, the Bani Ghassan went to settle in Syria, Bani Lakhm in Hirah (Iraq), Bani Khuzaah between Jeddah and Makkah and the Aus and the Khazraj went to settle in Yathrib. As Yathrib was under Jewish domination, they at first did not allow the Aus and the Khazraj to gain a footing and the two Arab tribes had to settle on lands that had not yet been brought under cultivation, where they could hardly produce just enough to enable them to survive. At last, one of their chiefs went to Syria to ask for the assistance of their Ghassanide brothers; he brought an army from there and broke the power of the Jews. Thus, the Aus and the Khazraj were able to gain complete dominance over Yathrib, with the result that two of the major Jewish tribes, Bani an-Nadir and Bani Quraizaha were forced to take quarters outside the city. Since the third tribe, Bani Qainuqa, was not on friendly terms with the other two tribes, it stayed inside the city as usual, but had to seek protection of the Khazraj tribe. As a counter measure to this Bani an Nadir and Bani Quraizah took protection of the Aus tribe so that they could live in peace in the suburbs of Yathrib.
Before the Holy Prophet’s arrival at Madinah until his emigration the following were the main features of the Jews position in Hejaz in general and in Yathrib in particular:
In the matter of language, dress, civilization and way of life they had completely adopted Arabism, even their names had become Arabian. Of the 12 Jewish tribes that had settled in Hejaz, none except the Bani Zaura retained its Hebrew name. Except for a few scattered scholars none knew Hebrew. In fact, there is nothing in the poetry of the Jewish poets of the pre-Islamic days to distinguish it from the poetry of the Arab poets in language, ideas and themes. They even inter-married with the Arabs. In fact, nothing distinguished them from the common Arabs except religion. Notwithstanding this, they had not lost their identity among the Arabs and had kept their Jewish prejudice alive most ardently and jealously. They had adopted superficial Arabism because they could not survive in Arabia without it.
Because of this Arabism the western orientalists have been misled into thinking that perhaps they were not really Israelites but Arabs who had embraced Judaism, or that at least majority of them consisted of the Arab Jews. But there is no historical proof to show that the Jews ever engaged in any proselytizing activities in Hejaz, or their rabbis invited the Arabs to embrace Judaism like the Christian priests and missionaries. On the contrary, we see that they prided themselves upon their Israelite descent and racial prejudices. They called the Arabs the Gentiles, which did not mean illiterate or uneducated but savage and uncivilized people. They believed that the Gentiles did not possess any human rights; these were only reserved for the Israelites, and therefore, it was lawful and right for the Israelites to defraud them of their properties by every fair and foul means. Apart from the Arab chiefs, they did not consider the common Arabs fit enough to have equal status with them even if they entered Judaism. No historical proof is available, nor is there any evidence in the Arabian traditions, that some Arab tribe or prominent clan might have accepted Judaism. However, mention has been made of some individuals, who had become Jews. The Jews, however, were more interested in their trade and business than in the preaching of their religion. That is why Judaism did not spread as a religion and creed in Hejaz but remained only as a mark of pride and distinction of a few Israelite tribes. The Jewish rabbis, however, had a flourishing business in granting amulets and charms, fortune telling and sorcery, because of which they were held in great awe by the Arabs for their “knowledge” and practical wisdom.
Economically they were much stronger than the Arabs. Since they bad emigrated from more civilized and culturally advanced countries of Palestine and Syria, they knew many such arts as were unknown to the Arabs; they also enjoyed trade relations with the outside world. Hence, they had captured the business of importing grain in Yathrib and the upper Hejaz and exporting dried dates to other countries. Poultry farming and fishing also were mostly under their controls They were good at cloth weaving too. They had also set up wine shops here and there, where they sold wine which they imported from Syria. The Bani Qainuqa generally practiced crafts such as that of the goldsmith, blacksmith and vessel maker. In all these occupations, trade and business these Jews earned exorbitant profits, but their chief occupation was trading in money lending in which they had ensnared the Arabs of the surrounding areas. More particularly the chiefs and elders of the Arab tribes who were given to a life of pomp, bragging and boasting on the strength of borrowed money were deeply indebted to them. They lent money on high rates of interest and then would charge compound interest, which one could hardly clear off once one was involved in it. Thus, they had rendered the Arabs economically hollow, but it had naturally induced a deep rooted hatred among the common Arabs against the Jews.
The demand of their trade and economic interests was that they should neither estrange one Arab tribe by befriending another, nor take part in their mutual wars. But, on the other hand, it was also in their interests, that they should not allow the Arabs to be united and should keep them fighting and entrenched against each other, for they knew that whenever the Arab tribes united, they would not allow them to remain in possession of their 1large properties, gardens and fertile lands, which they had come to own through their profiteering and money lending business. Furthermore, each of their tribes also had to enter into alliance with one or another powerful Arab tribe for the sake of its own protection so that no other powerful tribe should overawe it by its might. Because of this they had not only to take part in the mutual wars of the Arabs but they often had to go to war in support of the Arab tribe to which their tribe was tied in alliance against another Jewish tribe which was allied to the enemy tribe. In Yathrib the Bani Quraizah and the Bani an-Nadir were the allies of the Aus while the Bani Qainuqa of the Khazraj. A little before the Holy Prophet’s emigration, these Jewish tribes had confronted each other in support of their respective allies in the bloody war that took place between the Aus and the Khazraj at Buath.
Such were the conditions when Islam came to Madinah, and ultimately an Islamic State came into existence after the Holy Prophet’s (upon whom be Allah’s peace) arrival there. One of the first things that he accomplished soon after establishing this state was unification of the Aus and the Khazraj and the Emigrants into a brotherhood, and the second was that he concluded a treaty between the Muslims and the Jews on definite conditions, in which it was pledged that neither party would encroach on the rights of the other, and both would unite in a joint defense against the external enemies. Some important clauses of this treaty are as follows, which clearly show what the Jews and the Muslims had pledged to adhere to in their mutual relationship:
“The Jews must bear their expenses and the Muslims their expenses. Each must help the other against anyone who attacks the people of this document. They must seek mutual advice and consultation, and loyalty is a protection against treachery. They shall sincerely wish one another well. Their relations will be governed by piety and recognition of the rights of others, and not by sin and wrongdoing. The wronged must be helped. The Jews must pay with the believers so long as the war lasts. Yathrib shall be a sanctuary for the people of this document. If any dispute or controversy likely to cause trouble should arise, it must be referred to God and to Muhammad the Apostle of God; Quraish and their helpers shall not be given protection. The contracting parties are bound to help one another against any attack on Yathrib; Every one shall be responsible for the defense of the portion to which he belongs” (lbn Hisham, vol. ii, pp. 147 to 150).
This was on absolute and definitive covenant to the conditions of which the Jews themselves had agreed. But not very long after this they began to show hostility towards the Holy Prophet of Allah (upon whom be Allah’s peace) and Islam and the Muslims, and their hostility and perverseness went on increasing day by day. Its main causes were three:
First, they envisaged the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) merely as a chief of his people, who should be content to have concluded a political agreement with them and should only concern himself with the worldly interests of his group. But they found that he was extending an invitation to belief in Allah and the Prophethood and the Book (which also included belief in their own Prophets and scriptures), and was urging the people to give up disobedience of Allah and adopt obedience to the Divine Commands and abide by the moral laws of their own prophets. This they could not put up with. They feared that if this universal ideological movement gained momentum it would destroy their rigid religiosity and wipe out their racial nationhood.
Second, when they saw that the Aus and the Khazraj and the Emigrants were uniting into a brotherhood and the people from the Arab tribes of the surrounding areas, who entered Islam, were also joining this Islamic Brotherhood of Madinah and forming a religious community, they feared that the selfish policy that they had been following of sowing discord between the Arab tribes for the promotion of their own well being and interests for centuries, would not work in the new system, but they would face a united front of the Arabs against which their intrigues and machinations would not succeed.
Third, the work that the Holy Messenger of Allah (upon whom be Allah’s ‘peace) was carrying out of reforming the society and civilization included putting an end to all unlawful methods” in business and mutual dealings. More than that; he had declared taking and giving of interest also as impure and unlawful earning. This caused them the fear that if his rule became established in Arabia, he would declare interest legally forbidden, and in this they saw their own economic disaster and death.
For these reasons they made resistance and opposition to the Holy Prophet their national ideal. They would never hesitate to employ any trick and machination, any device and cunning, to harm him. They spread every kind of falsehood so as to cause distrust against him in the people’s minds. They created every kind of doubt, suspicion and misgiving in the hearts of the new converts so as to turn them back from Islam. They would make false profession of Islam and then would turn apostate so that it may engender more and more misunderstandings among the people against Islam and the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace). They would conspire with the hypocrites to create mischief and would cooperate with every group and tribe hostile to Islam. They would create rifts between the Muslims and would do whatever they could to stir them up to mutual feuds and fighting. The people of the Aus and the Khazraj tribes were their special target, with whom they had been allied for centuries. Making mention of the war of Buath before them they would remind them of their previous enmities so that they might again resort to the sword against each other and shatter their bond of fraternity into which Islam had bound them. They would resort to every kind of deceit and fraud in order to harm the Muslims economically. Whenever one of those with whom that had business dealings, would accept Islam, they would do whatever they could to cause him financial loss. If he owed them something they would worry and harass him by making repeated demands, and if they owed him something, they would withhold the payment and would publicly say that at the time the bargain was made he professed a different religion, and since he had changed his religion, they were no longer under any obligation towards him. Several instances of this nature have been cited in the explanation of verse 75 of Surah Al Imran given in the commentaries by Tabari, Nisaburi, Tabrisi and in Ruh al Ma’ani.
They had adopted this hostile attitude against the covenant even before the Battle of Badr. But when the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) and the Muslims won a decisive victory over the Quraish at Badr, they were filled with grief and anguish, malice and anger. They were in fact anticipating that in that war the powerful Quraish would deal a death blow to the Muslims. That is why even before the news of the Islamic victory reached Madinah they had begun to spread the rumor that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) had fallen a martyr and the Muslims had been routed, and the Quraish army under Abu Jahl was advancing on Madinah. But when the battle was decided against their hopes and wishes, they burst with anger and grief. Ka’b bin Ashraf, the chief of the Bani an-Nadir, cried out:”By God, if Muhammad has actually killed these nobles of Arabia, the earth’s belly would be better for us than its back.” Then he went to Makkah and incited the people to vengeance by writing and reciting provocative elegies for the Quraish chiefs killed at Badr. Then he returned to Madinah and composed lyrical verses of an insulting nature about the Muslim women. At last, enraged with his mischief, the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) sent Muhammad bin Maslamah Ansari in Rabi al-Awwal, A. H. 3, and had him slain. (Ibn Sad, Ibn Hisham, Tabari).
The first Jewish tribe which, after the Battle of Badr, openly and collectively broke their covenant were the Bani Qainuqa. They lived in a locality inside the city of Madinah. As they practiced the crafts of the goldsmith, blacksmith and vessel maker, the people of Madinah had to visit their shops fairly frequently. They were proud of their bravery and valor. Being blacksmiths by profession even their children were well armed, and they could instantly muster 700 fighting men from among themselves. They were also arrogantly aware that they enjoyed relations of confederacy with the Khazraj and Abdullah bin Ubbay, the chief of the, Khazraj, was their chief supporter. At the victory of Badr, they became so provoked that they began to trouble and harass the Muslims and their women in particular, who visited their shops. By and by things came to such a pass that one day a Muslim woman was stripped naked publicly in their bazaar. This led to a brawl in which a Muslim and a Jew were killed. Thereupon the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) himself visited their locality, got them together and counseled them on decent conduct. But the reply that they gave was; “O Muhammad, you perhaps think we are like the Quraish. They did not know fighting; therefore, you overpowered them. But when you come in contact with us, you will see how men fight.” This was in clear words a declaration of war. Consequently, the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) laid siege to their quarters towards the end of Shawwal (and according to some others, of Dhi Qa’dah) A. H. 2. The siege had hardly lasted for a fortnight when they surrendered and all their fighting men were tied and taken prisoners. Now Abdullah bin Ubayy came up in support of them and insisted that they should be pardoned. The Holy Prophet conceded his request and decided that the Bani Qainuqa would be exiled from Madinah leaving their properties, armor and tools of trade behind. (Ibn Sa’d, Ibn Hisham, Tarikh Tabari).
For some time after these punitive measures (i. e. the banishment of the Qainuqa and killing of Ka’b bin Ashraf the Jews remained so terror stricken that they did not dare commit any further mischief. But later when in Shawwal, A. H. 3, the Quraish in order to avenge themselves for the defeat at Badr, marched against Madinah with great preparations, and the Jews saw that only a thousand men had marched out with the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) as against three thousand men of the Quraish, and even they were deserted by 300 hypocrites who returned to Madinah, they committed the first and open breach of the treaty by refusing to join the Holy Prophet in the defense of the city although they were bound to it. Then, when in the Battle of Uhud the Muslims suffered reverses, they were further emboldened. So much so that the Bani an-Nadir made a secret plan to kill the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) though the plan failed before it could be executed. According to the details, after the incident of Bi’r Maunah (Safar, A. H. 4) Amr bin Umayyah Damri slew by mistake two men of the Bani Amir in retaliation, who actually belonged to a tribe which was allied to the Muslims, but Amr had mistaken them for the men of the enemy. Because of this mistake their blood money became obligatory on the Muslims. Since the Bani an-Nadir were also a party in the alliance with the Bani Amir, the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) went to their clan along with some of his Companions to ask for their help in paying the blood money. Outwardly they agreed to contribute, as he wished, but secretly they plotted that a person should go up to the top of the house by whose wall the Holy Prophet was sitting and drop a rock on him to kill him. But before they could execute their plan, he was informed in time and be immediately got up and returned to Madinah.
Now there was no question of showing them any further concession. The Holy Prophet at once sent to them the ultimatum that the treachery they had meditated against him had come to his knowledge; therefore, they were to leave Madinah within ten days; if anyone of them was found staying behind in their quarters, he would be put to the sword. Meanwhile Abdullah bin Ubayy sent them the message that he would help them with two thousand men and that the Bani Quraizah and Bani Ghatafan also would come to their aid; therefore, they should stand firm and should not go. On this false assurance they responded to the Holy Prophet’s ultimatum saying that they would not leave Madinah and he could do whatever was in his power. Consequently, in Rabi’ al-Awwal, A. H. 4, the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) laid siege to them, and after a few days of the siege (which according to some traditions were 6 and according to others 15 days) they agreed to leave Madinah on the condition that they could retain all their property which they could carry on thee camels, except the armor. Thus, Madinah was rid of this second mischievous tribe of Jews. Only two of the Bani an-Nadir became Muslims and stayed behind. Others went to Syria and Khaiber.
This is the event that has been discussed in this Surah.
Theme and Subject Matter
The theme of the Surah as stated above, is an appraisal of the battle against the Bani an Nadir. In this, on the whole, four things have been discussed.
In the first four verses the world has been, admonished to take heed of the fate that had just befallen the Bani an-Nadir. A major tribe which was as strong in numbers as the Muslims, whose people boasted of far more wealth and possession who were by no means ill equipped militarily and whose forts were well fortified could not stand siege even for a few Days, and expressed their readiness to accept banishment from their centuries old, well established settlement even though not a single man from among them was slain. Allah says that this happened not because of any power possessed by the Muslims but because the Jews had tried to resist and fight Allah and His Messenger, and those who dare to resist the power of Allah, always meet with the same fate.
In verse 5, the rule of the law of war that has been enunciated is: the destruction caused in the enemy territory for military purposes does not come under “spreading mischief in the earth.”
In vv 6-10 it has been stated how the lands and properties which come under the control of the Islamic State as a result of war or peace terms, are to be managed. As it was the first ever occasion that the Muslims took control of a conquered territory, the law concerning it was laid down for their guidance.
In vv. 11-17 the attitude that the hypocrites had adopted on the occasion of the battle against the Bani an-Nadir has been reviewed and the causes underlying it have been pointed out.
The whole of the last section (vv. 18-24) is an admonition for all those people who had professed to have affirmed the faith and joined the Muslim community, but were devoid of the true spirit of the faith. In it they have been told what is the real demand of the Faith, what is the real difference between piety and wickedness, what is the place and importance of the Quran which they professed to believe in, and what are the attributes of God in Whom they claimed to have believed.
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
1-5 Jewish tribe of Banu Al-Nadir are given the order of exile for their mutiny against the Islamic State
(59:1) All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth extols Allah’s Glory: He is the Most Mighty, the Most Wise.1 (59:2) He it is Who in the first assault drove forth the People of the Book that disbelieved from their homes2 at the first gathering of forces.3 You did not believe that they would leave; while they too thought that their fortresses would defend them against Allah.4 Then Allah came upon them from whence they did not even imagine,5 casting such terror into their hearts that they destroyed their homes by their own hands and their destruction was also caused by the hands of the believers.6 So learn a lesson from this, O you who have perceptive eyes!7 (59:3) If Allah had not decreed banishment for them, He would certainly have chastised them in this world.8 As for the Hereafter, the chastisement of the Fire awaits them. (59:4) That is because they set themselves against Allah and His Messenger; and whoever sets himself against Allah should know that Allah is surely Most Stern in retribution. (59:5) The palm-trees that you cut down or those that you left standing on their roots, it was by Allah’s leave that you did so.9 (Allah granted you this leave) in order that He might humiliate the evil-doers.10
1. For explanation, see( E.Ns 1, 2 of Surah Al-Hadid). The object of this introductory sentence before making an appraisal of the banishment of the Bani an-Nadir is to prepare the mind to understand the truth that the fate this powerful tribe met was not the result of the power of the Muslims but a manifestation of the power of Allah.
2. Here, the reader should understand one thing at the outset so as to avoid any confusion about the banishment of the Bani an-Nadir. The Prophet (peace be upon him) had concluded a formal written treaty with the Bani an-Nadir. They had not broken this agreement as such that it should have become void. But the reason why they were attacked was that after making different kinds of minor violations of it, they at last committed such an offense which amounted to the breach of trust. That is, they plotted to kill the leader of the other party to the treaty, i.e. the Islamic State of Al- Madinah. The plot became exposed, and when they were accused of breaking the agreement they could not deny it. Thereupon, the Prophet (peace be upon him) told them either to leave Al-Madinah or to be ready for a war. This notice was in accordance with this injunction of the Quran: If you ever fear treachery from any people, throw their treaty openly before them. (Surah Al-Anfal, Ayat 58). That is why Allah is describing their exile as His own action, for it was precisely in accordance with divine law. In other words, they were not expelled by the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Muslims but by Allah Himself. The other reason why Allah has described their exile as His own action has been stated in the following verses.
3. The word hashr in the text means to gather the scattered individuals togather or to take out scattered individuals after mustering them together. Thus, the words li-awwal-ilhashr mean: with the first hashr or on the occasion of the first hashr. As for the question, what is implied by the first hashr here, the commentators have disagreed on it. According to one group it implies the banishment of the Bani an-Nadir from Al-Madinah, and this has been described as their first hashr in the sense that their second hashr took place in the time of Umar, when the Jews and the Christians were expelled from the Arabian peninsula, and the final hashr will take place on the Day of Resurrection. According to the second group it implies the gathering of the Muslim army together to fight the Bani an- Nadir; and li-awwal-il-hashr means that as soon as the Muslims had gathered together to fight them, and no blood yet had been shed, they, by the manifestation of Allah’s power, offered to be banished from Al-Madinah of their own accord. In other words, these words have been used here in the meaning of at the very first assault. Shah Waliullah has translated it at the first gathering of the army. Shah Abdul Qadir has translated it at the first mustering. In our opinion this translation very nearly gives the meaning of these words.
4. To understand this one should keep in mind the fact that the Bani an-Nadir had been well established here for centuries. They lived in compact populations outside Al- Madinah without any lien element. Their settlement was well fortified, which had fortified houses as are generally built in feud-ridden tribal areas. Then their numerical strength also equaled that of the Muslims, and inside Al- Madinah itself many of the hypocrites were their supporters. Therefore, the Muslims could never expect that they would, even without fighting, be so unnerved by the siege as to leave their homes willingly. Likewise, the Bani an-Nadir also could not have imagined that some power would compel them to leave their homes within six days. Although the Bani Qainuqa had been expelled before them, and their false pride of valor had proved to be of no avail, they lived in a locality inside Al-Madinah and did not have any separate fortified settlement; therefore, the Bani an- Nadir thought that their inability to withstand the Muslims was not exceptionable, Contrary to this, in view of their own fortified settlement and strongholds, they could not imagine that some power could turn them out so easily. That is why when the Prophet (peace be upon him) served a notice on them to leave Al-Madinah within ten days, they boldly retorted, saying: We are not going to quit, you may do whatever you please.
Here, the question arises, on what basis has Allah said: They were thinking that their fortresses would save them from Allah. Did the Bani an-Nadir really know that they were not facing Muhammad bin Abdullah (peace be upon him) but Allah? And did they, in spite of knowing this, think that their fortresses would save them from Allah? This is a question which would confound every such person who does not know the psychology of the Jewish people and their centuries-old traditions. As regards the common men, no one can imagine that despite their knowing consciously that they were facing Allah, they would entertain the false hope that their forts and weapons would save them from Allah. Therefore, an ignorant person would interpret the divine word, saying that the Bani an-Nadir in view of the strength of their forts were apparently involved in the misunderstanding that they would remain safe from the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) attack, but in reality they were fighting Allah and from Him their forts could not save them. But the fact is that the Jews in this world are a strange people, who have been knowingly fighting Allah: they killed the Prophets of Allah knowing them to be His Prophets, and they declared boastfully and arrogantly that they had killed the Prophets of Allah. Their traditions say that their great Patriarch, the prophet Jacob (peace be upon him), wrestled with Allah throughout the night and Allah could not throw him even till daybreak. Then, when at daybreak Allah asked Jacob to let Him go, Jacob replied that he would not let Him go until He blessed him. Allah asked him his name, and he answer Jacob. Allah said that his name would no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you strove with God and with men, and prevailed. (See Gen. 32: 25-29 in the latest Jewish translation; The Scriptures, published by the Jewish Publication Society of America 1954). In the Christian translation of the Bible too this subject has been rendered likewise. In the footnote of the Jewish translation, Israel has been explained as: He who striveth with God. In the Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature the meaning given of Israel by the Christian scholars is: Wrestler with God. Then in Hosea (O.T.) the Prophet Jacob (peace be upon him) has been praised thus: By his strength he had power with God: yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed. (Ch. 12: 3-4). Now, obviously, the people of Israel are the children of the same Prophet Israel who, according to their faith, had striven with God and wrestled with Him. For them it is not at all difficult that they should stand firm and fight even God. On this very basis, they, even according to their own profession, killed the Prophets of God, and under the same false pride they put the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) on the cross and bragged: We have killed Jesus Christ, son of Mary, Messenger of Allah. Therefore, it was not against their traditions that they fought Muhammad (peace be upon him) despite their knowledge that he was Allah’s Messenger. If not their common people, their rabbis and learned men knew well that he was the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah. The Quran itself contains several evidences to this effect. (For instance, see (E.Ns 79, 95 of Surah Al-Baqarah); (E.Ns 190, 191 of Surah An-Nisa); (E.Ns 70, 73 of Surah As-Saaffat).
5. Allah’s coming down upon them does not mean that Allah was staying in another place whence He attacked them. But this is a metaphoric expression. The object is to give the idea that while facing Allah they were thinking that Allah could chastise them only by bringing an army against them from the front and they were confident that they would resist that force by their fortifications. But Allah attacked them from whence they had not thought it possible; and this was that He made than weak and broke their power of resistance from within after which neither their weapons nor their strongholds could help them.
6. That is, the destruction occurred in two ways: from outside the Muslims besieged them and started demolishing their fortifications, and from within, first they raised obstacles of stone and wood to stop the Muslims from advancing, and for this purpose broke their own houses for the material; then, when they became certain that they would have to vacate the place, they started pulling down their houses, which they had so fondly built and decorated, with their own hands, so as to render them useless for the Muslims later. When they settled peace with the Prophet (peace be upon him) on the condition that they would be spared their lives but would have the permission to carry away whatever they could, except the weapons and armor, they started removing the frames of the doors and windows, even pegs, so much so that some people removed the beams and wooden ceilings, which they put upon the back of their camels and left.
7. There are many lessons which one can learn from this event, which have been alluded to in this brief but eloquent sentence. These Jews were none other but the followers of the former Prophets: they believed in God, in the Book, in the former Prophets and the Hereafter. Accordingly, they were the former Muslims. But when they turned their back on religion and morality and adopted open hostility to the truth only for the sake of their selfish desires and worldly motives and interests, and showed scant regard for their treaties and agreements, Allah’s grace was turned away from them, otherwise Allah had no personal enmity with than. Therefore, first of all, the Muslims themselves have been admonished to heed their fate and learn a lesson from it, lest they too should start behaving as if they were the beloved children of God, as the Jews did, and should be involved in the misunderstanding that their being included among the followers of the last Prophet of God would by itself guarantee for them Allah’s bounty and His support, apart from which they were not bound to adhere to any demand of religion and morality. Besides, those people of the world also have been asked to learn a lesson from this event, those who oppose the truth consciously, and then place reliance upon their wealth and power, their means and resources, thinking that these would save them from the divine punishment. The Jews of Al-Madinah were not unaware that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had not risen for the supremacy of a people or tribe, but he was presenting an ideological invitation the addressees of which were all men, and every man, no matter what race or country he belonged to, could join his ummah by accepting the invitation, without discrimination or distinction. They were themselves witnessing that Bilal of Habash, Suhaib of Rome, and Salman of Persia enjoyed the same position and status in the Muslim community as was enjoyed by the people of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) own house. Therefore, they were not feeling any danger that the Quraish and the Aus and the Khazrij would gain an upper hand over them. Nor were they unaware that the ideological invitation that he was presenting was precisely the same as their own Prophets had been presenting. The Prophet (peace be upon him) never put forward any claim that he had come with a new religion, unknown to the people, and that the people should give up their former religion and accept his religion instead. But what he claimed was that the religion being presented by him was the same that the Prophets of God had been preaching and presenting since the beginning of creation. And from their Torah they could themselves confirm that it was actually the same religion, the principles of which were not any different from the principles of the religion of the Prophets. On the same basis they were told in the Quran: Affirm faith in the teaching sent down by Me, which confirms the teaching that you already possess, and you should not be its first deniers. They were also witnessing what character and morals the Prophet (peace be upon him) possessed, and what revolution had taken place in the lives of those who had accepted his message. For a long time the Ansar of Al- Madinah had been their closest neighbors. They knew what kind of people they had been before embracing Islam and what they became after their conversion to Islam. Thus, they were well aware of the invitation of the inviter and of the results of accepting the invitation. But in spite of witnessing and knowing all this, only on account of their racial prejudice and worldly interests, they spent all their energy against the message of truth about which there was no room for doubt at least in their minds. After such an obvious and open hostility to the truth they expected that their strongholds would save them from Allah, whereas the whole human history bears evidence that the one who is resisted by the power of God, cannot save and protect himself by any weapon, means or device.
8. Would have punished them in this world: world have caused them to be annihilated. That is, had they fought instead of surrendering to save their lives, they would have been completely wiped out. Their men would have perished in the war and their womenfolk and children would have been taken prisoners and there would be no one to have them ransomed.
9. The reference is to the fact that the Muslims cut down or burnt many of the palm-trees that stood in the oases around the settlement of the Bani an-Nadir in order to facilitate the siege, However, they left those trees standing which did not obstruct the military operations. At this the hypocrites of Al-Madinah and the Bani Quraizah, and the Bani an-Nadir themselves raised a clamor, saying that, on the one hand, Muhammad (peace be upon him) prohibited spreading disorder in the world, but, on the other hand, fruit trees were being cut down by his command, which amounted to spreading disorder in the world. At this Allah sent down the command: Whatever trees you cut down, or whatever you left standing, your neither act was unlawful, but it had Allah’s permission. The legal injunction that is derived from this verse is that the destruction caused for the sake of military operations does not come under spreading disorder in the world. But spreading disorder in the world is that an army under the fit of war hysteria should intrude into the enemy territory and start destroying the crops, cattle, gardens, houses and everything in its way without any reason. In this matter, the general instruction is the same which Abu Bakr Siddiq gave while dispatching the Muslim army to Syria: Do not cut down fruit trees, do not destroy crops, do not ravage the settlements. This was precisely in accordance with the Quranic teaching, which condemns those who spread chaos: When they get power they direct all their efforts towards spreading corruption in the land, destroying harvests and killing people. (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 205). But the specific command in respect of the war exigencies is that if destruction is necessary for military operations against the enemy, it is lawful. Thus, Abdullah bin Masud has given this explanation in the commentary of this verse: The Muslims had cut down only those trees of the Bani an- Nadir that stood on the battlefield. (Tafsir Nisaburi). Some of the Muslim jurists have overlooked this aspect of the matter and expressed the opinion that the permissibility of cutting the trees of the Bani an-Nadir was confined only to that particular event. It does not make it generally permissible that whenever war necessitates, trees of the enemy be cut down and burnt. Imam Auzai, Laith and Abu Thaur hold this same opinion. But the majority of the jurists hold the view that for the sake of important military operations it is permissible. However, this is not permissible for the purpose of mere destruction and pillage.
One may ask: This verse of the Quran could satisfy the Muslims, but how could those who did not accept the Quran as divine word be satisfied at this reply to their objection that both acts were permissible as they had Allah’s permission for it? The answer is: This verse of the Quran was sent down to satisfy only the Muslims; it was not sent down to satisfy the disbelievers. Since due to the objection of the Jews and the hypocrites, or due to their own thinking, they had been involved in the misgiving whether they were guilty of spreading disorder in the earth. Allah gave them the satisfaction that both the acts, cutting down some trees to facilitate the siege and leaving some other trees standing which did not obstruct the siege, were in accordance with divine law.
The traditionists in their traditions have disagreed the point whether the order to cut and burn the trees had been given by the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself, or whether the Muslims had done it of their own accord, and then later asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about its legal aspect. Abdullah bin Umar has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself had ordered it. (Bukhari, Muslim, Musnad Ahmad, Ibn Jarir). The same also has been reported by Yazid bin Ruman (Ibn Jarir). On the contrary, Mujahid and Qatadah say that the Muslims had on their own cut down the trees, then a dispute arose among them whether what they had done was permissible or not. Some said it was permissible and some said it was not. At last Allah sent down this verse and approved the act of both. (Ibn Jarir). The same thing is supported by a tradition of Abdullah bin Abbas: The Muslims were confused because some of them had cut the trees and others had not; therefore, they wanted to ask the Prophet (peace be upon him) as to who would be rewarded for the act and who would be punished (Nasai). Those of the jurists who have preferred the first tradition give the argument that this was the Prophet’s personal judgment, which was later ratified by revelation from Allah, and this is a proof of the fact that in matters where no divine command existed, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to follow his personal judgment. On the other hand, those jurists who have preferred the second tradition argue that the two groups of the Muslims had adopted two different views on the basis of their own personal judgments and Allah ratified both. Therefore, if the learned men arrive at different conclusions by judicious exercise of their personal judgment, then although their opinions might differ, they would all be correct in the divine Shariah.
10. That is, Allah willed that they should be disgraced if you cut down the trees and also if you left them standing. In the first case, they were disgraced when they saw that the trees of the gardens which they had planted with their own hands and which they had owned since ages, were being cut down before their very eyes and they were watching it helplessly. Even an ordinary peasant and gardener cannot tolerate another’s misappropriation or intrusion into his field or garden. He would protect his field or garden at the risk of his life if somebody tried to destroy it in his presence. For, if he cannot prevent destruction of his property, it would be a sign of his extreme humiliation and weakness. But here a whole tribe, which had been living at this place fearlessly and boldly for centuries, was watching helplessly that its neighbors had invaded its gardens and were destroying the trees while it could do nothing. After this even if they stayed on in Al-Madinah, they would have lived in disgrace and humility. In the second case, they were disgraced when on leaving Al-Madinah they saw that the lush green gardens which had been in their possession till the previous day were now passing into the possession of the Muslims. If they had the power they would have laid waste the entire gardens by their own hands so that not a single whole tree passed into the hands of the Muslims. But in their helplessness they left the city, despaired and griefstricken, leaving everything intact behind.
6-10 Distribution of the belongings of Banu Al-Nadir and Good qualities of true immigrants and good qualities of true Ansar (the residents of Madinah)
(59:6) Whatever Allah has taken away from them and bestowed (as spoils) on His Messenger11 for which you spurred neither horses nor camels; but Allah grants authority to His Messengers over whomsoever He pleases. Allah has power over everything.12 (59:7) Whatever (from the possessions of the towns people) Allah has bestowed on His Messenger belongs to Allah, and to the Messenger, and to his kinsfolk, and to the orphans, and to the needy, and to the wayfarer13 so that it may not merely circulate between the rich among you.14 So accept whatever the Messenger gives you, and refrain from whatever he forbids you. And fear Allah: verily Allah is Most Stern in retribution.15 (59:8) It also belongs to the poor Emigrants who have been driven out of their homes and their possessions,16 those who seek Allah’s favour and good pleasure and help Allah and His Messenger. Such are the truthful ones. (59:9) It also belongs to those who were already settled in this abode (of Hijrah) 17 having come to faith before the (arrival of the) Muhajirun (Emigrants).They love those who have migrated to them and do not covet what has been given them; they even prefer them above themselves though poverty be their own lot.18 And whosoever are preserved from their own greed, such are the ones that will prosper.19 (59:10) (And it also belongs to) those who came after them,20 and who pray: “Lord, forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in faith, and do not put in our hearts any rancour towards those who believe. Lord, You are the Most Tender, the Most Compassionate.”21
11. From here to the end of verse 10, Allah explains how the lands and properties that were restored to the Islamic State after the exile of the Bani an-Nadir, are to be managed and administered. As it was the first occasion that a land was conquered and included in the Islamic territory, and many more lands were destined to be conquered in the future, the law governing the conquered lands was enunciated at the outset. Here, a note-worthy point is that Allah at this place has used the words: Ma-afa-Allahu ala Rasuli-hi-min-hum: Whatever Allah restored to His Messenger from them. These words clearly imply that the rebels of Allah Almighty are not entitled to own the earth and things existing on it. If they have become their owners and are appropriating them, their ownership and appropriation of these things is, in fact, in the nature of usurpation of a master’s property by a dishonest servant. The real right of these properties is that these should be spent and used in the service and obedience of their real Master, Allah, Lord of the worlds, according to His will, and their this use is possible only through the agency of the righteous believers. Therefore, the true position of the properties which pass from the ownership of the disbelievers into the hands of the Muslims as the result of a lawful war, is that their real Owner has withdrawn them from His disobedient and disloyal servants, and restored them to His obedient and loyal servants. That is why, in the terminology of the Islamic Law such properties have been described as Fai (restored properties).
12. That is, the restoration of these properties to the Muslims is not the result of the effort of the actual fighting army so that the army on that basis may have the right that the properties may be distributed among the soldiers, but its real nature is that Allah by His bounty has given dominance to His Messengers and the system that they represent over them. In other words, the passing of these properties into the Muslims’ hands is not the direct result of the effort and struggle of the fighting army, but the result of the total strength that Allah has bestowed on His Messenger and his community and the system established by him. Therefore, these properties are quite different in nature from the spoils of war and so cannot be distributed among the soldiers as such.
Thus, the Shariah has made a distinction between ghanimah (spoils of war) and fai (restored properties). The injunction in respect of the ghanimah has been given in Surah Al-Anfal, Ayat 41, and it is this: It should be divided in five parts, four parts of which be distributed among the fighting army and the fifth deposited in the Public Treasury (Bait al-Mal), and expended on the items mentioned in the verse. As for the fai, the injunction is that it should not be distributed among the army, but it should be reserved for the items of expenditure being stated in the following verse. The distinction between the two has been made plain by the words: You have not rushed your horses and camels on them, which imply the military operations. Thus, the properties which are taken as a direct result of such operations are the ghanimah and those which are not the result of these operations are the fai. The distinction between ghanimah and fai that has been mentioned in this verse, has been explained in greater detail by the jurists of Islam. Ghanimah are only those transferable properties which are taken from the enemy during military action; other than these things, e.g. lands, houses and other transferable and nontransferable properties of the enemy, are excluded from the definition of ghanimah and are fai. The source of this explanation is the letter that Umar had written to Saad bin Abi Waqqas after the conquest of Iraq. In that letter he wrote: Distribute the properties and goods which the soldiers of the army collected and brought to your camp among the Muslims who participated in the war, and leave the lands and the canals with those who work on them so that the proceeds thereof are used for the salaries of the Muslims. (Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-Kharaj, p. 24; Abu Ubaid, Kitab al-Amwal, p. 59; Yahya bin Adam, Kitab al-Kharaj, pp. 27-28, 48). On this very basis, Hasan Basri says: Whatever is taken from the enemy camp is the right of those who won victory over it, and the lands are for the Muslims. (Yahya bin Adam, p. 27). And Imam Abu Yusuf says: Whatever the Muslims take from the enemy troops, and whatever goods and arms and cattle they collect and bring to their camp is ghanimah; from this one-fifth will be deducted and the rest distributed among the soldiers. (Kitab al-Kharaj, p. 18). The same is the opinion of Yahya bin Adam, which he has expressed in his Kitab al- Kharaj (p. 27). Even more than this, what makes the distinction between ghanimah and fai is that after the Battle of Nahawand when the ghanimah had been distributed and the conquered lands had been included in the Islamic State, a man named Saib bin Aqra found two bags of jewels outside the fort. He was confused whether it was the ghanimah which should be distributed in the army, or the fai which should be deposited in the Bait al-Mal. Consequently, he came to Al-Madinah and put the matter before Umar, who decided that it should be sold and the price should be deposited in the Bait al-Mal. From this it becomes clear that ghanimah are only those transferable properties which are taken by the soldiers during the war. After the war is over, the transferable properties also, like the nontransferable properties, become fai. Imam Abu Ubaid relates this event and says: The properties that are seized from the enemy by the use of force, when the war is still in progress, are ghanimah and what is taken after the war is over, when the territory has become dar al-Islam (abode of Islam), is fai, which should be reserved for the common people of the dar al-Islam; the law of the one-fifth (khums) will not be applicable to it. (Kitab al-Amwal p. 254).
After defining ghanimah thus, the rest of the properties, wealth and lands, which pass from the disbelievers ownership to the Muslims may be divided into two main kinds, first those which are taken as a result of actual fighting (fanwatan in Fiqh terminology); second, those which are taken by the Muslims as a result of the peace terms whether peace is concluded because of the pressure of the military power of the Muslims, or their dread and awe, and in this are also included all those properties which pass into the Muslims ownership in every other way than as a result of actual fighting. The differences that have arisen among the jurists of Islam have been only concerning the first kind of the properties in order to determine their correct legal position, for they do not come under those upon which you have not rushed your horses and camels. As regards to the second kind of the properties, all agree that they are fai, for the Quran has explicitly laid down the injunction about them. Below we shall discuss in detail the legal position of the first kind of the properties.
13. In the preceding verse what was pointed out was why these properties should not be distributed among the fighting army like the spoils, and why the legal injunction concerning them is different from that concerning the spoils. Now in this verse it is being stated as to who are entitled to have a share in these properties.
The first share in these is of Allah and His Messenger. The detail of how the Prophet (peace be upon him) acted on this injunction has been related by Malik bin Aus bin al- Hadathan on the authority of Umar, thus: The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to take from it necessary expenses for himself and his family and the rest he used to spend on arranging arms and conveyances for Jihad. (Bukhari, Muslim, Musnad Ahmad, Daud, Tirmadhi, Nasai and others). After the passing away of the Prophet (peace be upon him) this share was transferred to the Public Treasury of the Muslims so that it is spent in the service of the mission which Allah had entrusted to His Messenger (peace be upon him). Imam Shafai is reported to have expressed the opinion that the share which was specifically meant for the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) person, is for his caliph after him, for the Prophet (peace be upon him) was entitled to it on the basis of his office of leadership and not on the basis of the office of Apostleship. But the view of the majority of the Shafei jurists in this matter is the same as of the other jurists, viz. that this share now is reserved for the religious and collective welfare of the Muslims, and not for any particular person.
The second share is of the kinsfolk, and this implies the kinsfolk of the Prophet (peace be upon him), i.e. the Bani Hashim and the Bani al-Muttalib. This share was set aside so that, besides meeting his own and his family’s requirements, the Prophet (peace be upon him) could also fulfill his obligations towards those of his relatives who stood in need of his help, or whom he felt like helping. After the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him), this ceased to be a separate and independent source, because like the right of the orphans and the wayfarers and the indigent among the Muslims, looking after the rights of the needy among the Bani Hashim and the Bani al-Muttalib also became the responsibility of the Public Treasury. However, they were treated as superior to others in so far as they had no share in the zakat. Abdullah bin Abbas has related that in the time of Abu Bakr and Umar and Uthman, the first two shares were dropped and only the remaining three shares (i.e. those for the orphans and the indigent and the wayfarers) were kept as of those entitled to fai. Then Ali also acted on the same in his time, Muhammad bin Ishaq has related on the authority of Imam Muhammad Baqir that although Ali’s personal opinion was the same as of the people of his house (that this share should be given to the relatives of the Prophet, peace be upon him), he did not think that he should act against the practice of Abu Bakr and Umar. Hasan bin Muhammad bin Hanafiyah says that after the Prophet (peace be upon him), a difference of opinion arose about these two shares (i.e. the share of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and the share of his relatives). Some people said that the first share should go to the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) caliph, some said that the second share should go to the relatives of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and still others said that the second share should be given to the relatives of the caliph. At last, a consensus was reached that both the shares be spent on the requirements of Jihad. Ata bin Saib says that Umar bin Abdul Aziz in his time had started sending the share of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the share of the relatives to the Bani Hashim. The opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah and of most of the Hanafi jurists is that in this matter the same practice is correct as was being followed in the time of the righteous Caliphs. (Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-Kharaj pp. 19-21). Imam Sharei’s opinion is that both the rich and the needy from among the people whose being descended from the Bani Hashim and the Bani al-Muttalib is confirmed, or is well known, can be given shares from fai. (Mughni alMuhtaj). The Hanafis say that only their needy people can be helped from this; however, their right to this is greater than that of others. (Ruh al-Maani). According to Imam Malik, there is no restriction on the government in this matter. It can spend on any head that it deems fit and proper, but the better course is that it should give preference to the people of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) house. (Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi ala-sh-Sharh-al-Kabir).
About the remaining three shares there is no dispute among the jurists. However, the difference between Imam Shafei and the other Imams is that according to Imam Shafei the total properties of fai are to be divided into five equal parts one part of which is to be spent on the abovementioned heads in such a way that one-fifth of it is spent on the common benefits of the Muslims, one-fifth on the Bani Hashim and the Bani al-Muttalib, one-fifth on the orphans, one-fifth on the indigent and one-fifth on the wayfarers. However, Imam Malik, Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Ahmad do not concur with this division. Their opinion is that the whole of fai is for the welfare and common benefit of the Muslims. (Mughni al-Muhtaj).
14. This is one of the most important verses of the Quran, which lays down the basic principle of the economic policy of the Islamic community and government. Wealth should circulate among the whole community and not only among the rich lest the rich should go on becoming richer day by day and the poor becoming poorer. This policy has not merely been enunciated in the Quran, but for the same objective the Quran has forbidden interest, made the zakat obligatory, enjoined that khums (one-fifth) be deducted from the booty, exhorted the Muslims to practice voluntary charity, has proposed such forms of different kinds of atonements that the flow of wealth is turned towards the poor classes of society, and has made such a law of inheritance that the wealth left by every deceased person spreads among the largest circle of the people. Apart from this, stinginess has been condemned and generosity commended as a noble moral quality, the well-to-do people have been told that in their wealth there is a definite share of the beggar and the indigent, which they must discharge not as charity but as the right of the concerned people, and the law enjoined in respect of a major source of revenue of the Islamic government (i.e. fai) is that its one portion must necessarily be spent on supporting the poor class of society. In this connection, it should also be borne in mind that there are two main sources of the revenue of the Islamic government: zakat and fai. The zakat is charged from the Muslims on their total extra capital, cattle, wealth, trade goods and agricultural produce, which is over and above the minimum exemption limit (nisab), and most of it is reserved for the poor. And fai comprises all the revenues including jizyah and taxes which are received from the non- Muslims; a major part of this is also set aside for the poor. This gives a clear hint to the effect that an Islamic government should manage its revenues and expenditure and the financial and economic affairs of the country on the whole in such a manner that the wealthy and influential people are not allowed to have their monopoly over the means and resources of wealth, and the flow of wealth is neither turned from the poor to the rich nor it should remain circulating only among the rich.
15. In view of the context the verse means: Accept without question whatever decision the Prophet (peace be upon him) gives about the management of the properties of the Bani an-Nadir, and likewise about the distribution of fai properties and goods afterwards. One should take whatever the Prophet (peace be upon him) gives him, and the one whom he does not give anything, should neither protest nor demand it. But since the words of the command are general, its application is not restricted to the distribution of the fai properties and goods only, but its intention is that in all matters the Muslims should obey the Prophet (peace be upon him). This intention of the command becomes all the more clear when we consider that as against “whatever the Messenger gives you” the words used are “whatever he forbids you” and not “whatever he does not give you.” If the object of the command were restricted to call obedience to the distribution of all properties and goods only, then as against “whatever he gives you” the words should have been “whatever he does not give you.” The use of the forbidding or restraining words in this context by itself shows that the object of the command is to enjoin obedience to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in whatever he commands and forbids. The same thing has been stated by the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself. According to Abu Hurairah he said: When I command you to do a thing, do it as far as you can; and when I forbid you to do a thing, restrain from it. (Bukhari, Muslim). About Abdullah bin Masud it has been related that once during a speech he said: Allah has cursed the woman who practices such and such a fashion. Thereupon a woman approached him and asked: Wherefrom have you derived this thing? For I have not seen such a thing anywhere in the Book of Allah. Abdullah replied: Had you studied the Book of Allah, you would certainly have found it therein. Have you not read the verse: Ma ata-kum ar-rasulu fa-khudu hu wa ma nahakum anhu fantahu: Take whatever the Messenger gives you, and refrain from whatever he forbids you. When she said that she had read this verse, Abdullah said: So the Prophet (peace be upon him) has forbidden this act, and has given the news that Allah has cursed the women who practice it. The woman agreed that she had understood the command. (Bukhari, Muslim, Musnad Ahmad, Musnad Ibn abi Hatim).
16. This implies those people who at that time had been expelled from Makkah and other parts of Arabia only because they had embraced Islam. Before the conquest of the territory of the Bani an-Nadir these emigrants had no permanent means of sustenance. Therefore, it was commanded that in the properties which were then taken, and in the fai properties which are taken in future there is also a share of these people along with the common poor people and the orphans and the wayfarers. With these properties all such people should be helped, who are forced to emigrate for the cause of Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) to the abode of Islam. Accordingly, the Prophet (peace be upon him) distributed a part of the properties taken from the Bani an-Nadir among the emigrants and the oases which the Ansar had set aside for the support and maintenance of their emigrant brothers were returned to them. But it is not correct to think that the emigrants had this share in the fai only at that time. In fact, the intention of the verse is to point out that till Resurrection it is the duty of the Islamic government of the country to settle the people who are exiled and compelled to take refuge in it because of being Muslims and to enable them to stand on their feet economically; and it should also spend on this head from the fai properties besides the zakat funds.
17. This implies the Ansar. In other words, not only are the emigrants entitled to fai but those Muslims also are entitled to receive their share from it who were already living in the abode of Islam (Al-Madinah).
18. This is in praise of the Ansar, the Muslims of Al- Madinah. When the emigrants came from Makkah and other places to their city, they offered their gardens and oases to the Prophet (peace be upon him) with the request that he distribute them among their emigrant brethren-infaith. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: These people do not know gardening: they have come from a region where there are no gardens. Could it not be that you (the Ansar) continue to work in the gardens and oases and make the emigrants partners in the produce? The Ansar submitted: We have heard and obeyed. (Bukhari, Ibn Jarir). Thereupon the emigrants said: We have never seen any people so self-sacrificing as the Ansar, for they would work and labor and make us partners in the produce. We think they would thus be entitled to all spiritual rewards. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Nay, as long as you would praise them and pray for their well-being, you also would get your rewards. (Musnad Ahmad). Then, when the territory of the Bani an-Nadir was taken, the Prophet (peace be upon him) made this proposal to the Ansar: Now one way of managing it is that your properties and the gardens and the oases left by the Jews be combined together and then the whole distributed among you and the emigrants. The second way is that you take back your properties, and the lands vacated by the Jews be distributed among the emigrants. The Ansar said: You may please distribute these evacuee properties among the emigrants and may give them of our properties also as you please. At this Abu Bakr cried out: May Allah reward you, O assembly of the Ansar, with the best of everything. (Yahya bin Adam, Baladhuri). Thus, with the willing consent of the Ansar the properties left by the Jews were distributed only among the emigrants, and from among the Ansar only Abu Dujanah, Sahl bin Hunaif and (according to some) Harith bin as-Simmah were given shares, for they were poor people. (Baladhuri, Ibn Hisham Ruh al-Maani). The same self-sacrificing spirit was shown by the Ansar when the territory of Bahrain was annexed to the Islamic State. The Prophet (peace be upon him) wished that the conquered lands of that territory be given to the Ansar, but they submitted: We would not take any share from it unless a similar share was given to our emigrant brothers. (Yahya bin Adam). Allah has praised the Ansar for this very spirit of self-sacrifice.
19. The word used here means “is saved” and not “was safe”, for without Allah’s help and succor no one can attain to the wealth of the heart (liberal-mindedness) by his own power and effort. This is a blessing of God, which one can attain only by God’s bounty and grace. The word shuhha is used for stinginess and miserliness in Arabic. But when this word is attributed to the self of man, it becomes synonymous with narrow-mindedness, niggardliness, mean spiritedness and small-heartedness, and not mere stinginess: it is rather the root cause of stinginess itself. Because of this very quality man avoids acknowledging even the good qualities of another, not to speak of recognizing his rights and discharging them. He wants that he alone should gather up everything in the world, and no one else should have anything of it. He never feels content with his own right, but usurps the rights of others, or at least wants to have for himself all that is good in the world and should not leave anything for others. On this very basis one’s being saved from this evil has been described in the Quran as a guarantee for success. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has counted it among the most evil qualities of man which are the root cause of corruption and mischief. Jabir bin Abdullah has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Avoid shuhha for it was shuhha which ruined the people before you. It incited them to shed each other’s blood and make the sacred and forbidden things of others lawful for themselves. (Muslim, Musnad Ahmad, Baihaqi, Bukhari in Al-Adab). The tradition of Abdullah bin Umar contains the following words: It led them to commit wickedness and they committed it. It commanded them to commit sins and they committed sin. It urged them to break off all connections with the kindred and they broke off all connections with them. (Musnad Ahmad, Abu Daud, Nasai). Abu Hurairah has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Faith and shuhha of the self cannot combine in one and the same heart. (Ibn Abi Shaibah, Nasa Baihaqi in Shuab al-Iman, Hakim). Abu Said Khudri has stated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Two of the qualities are such that they cannot combine in a Muslim: stinginess and misbehavior. (Abu Daud, Tirmidhi, Bukhari in Al-Adab). It is as a result of this very teaching of Islam that, apart from individuals, the Muslims as a nation are still the most generous and liberal minded people in the world.
20. In the injunctions laid down up to here, it has been ruled that in the fai properties there are the rights of Allah and His Messenger and the Messenger’s relatives and the orphans and the indigent and the wayfarers and the emigrants and the Ansar and of the Muslim generations which will be born till the Day of Resurrection. It is this important legal ruling of the Quran in the light of which Umar introduced the new system in respect of the lands and properties of the conquered territories of Iraq, Syria and Egypt and of the possessions of the previous governments and rulers of those countries. When these countries were conquered; some of the distinguished companions among whom were included prominent men like Zubair, Bilal, Abdur Rahman bin Auf and Salman Farsi, insisted that these should be distributed among the armies who had fought and conquered them. They thought that those properties did not come under those upon which you have not rushed your horses and camels, but the Muslims had conquered them by rushing their horses and camels on them. Therefore, except for those cities and territories which surrendered without the war, all the rest of the conquered lands came under ghanimah for which the legal command is that one fifth of the lands and the people be given to the public treasury and the remaining four parts be distributed among the soldiers. But this opinion was not correct on the ground that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had not distributed the lands and the people of any territory conquered by fighting in his time after the deduction of one-fifth, like the booty. Two of the most conspicuous precedents of his time were the conquest of Makkah and the conquest of Khaiber. Of these he handed over Makkah intact to its inhabitants. As for Khaiber, according to Bushair bin Yasar, he divided it into 36 parts, of which he set aside 18 parts for collective benefits and requirements of the Muslims and distributed the remaining 18 among the army. (Abu Daud, Baihaqi, Abi Ubaid: Kitab al-Amwal; Yahya bin Adam: Kitab al-Kharj Baladhuri: Futuh al-Buldan; Ibn Human: Fath al-Qadir). This action of the Prophet (peace be upon him) made it clear that the command in respect of the conquered lands, even if they might have been taken by fighting, is not the same as of the ghanimah otherwise he would never have given the whole of Makkah intact to the people of Makkah, and would have set aside exactly one-half of the properties of Khaiber for the common benefits of the Muslims instead of deducting its one-fifth for the public treasury. Thus, what was established on the basis of the Sunnah was: In respect of the territories conquered by fighting, the ruler of the Muslims has the authority that he may take any decision that he deems fit keeping in view the conditions of the time. He can distribute them if he so likes but if a territory has an unusual nature and importance, as Makkah had, he can also treat its inhabitants with favor, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) treated the people of Makkah.
But as the conquests had not yet become common in the Prophet’s time and separate injunctions in respect of the different kinds of conquered territories had not yet become clearly known to the people, so when big countries were annexed to Islam in the time of Umar, the companions were faced with the problem whether the territories conquered by force were in the nature of ghanimah or fai. After the conquest of Egypt, Zubair demanded: Distribute this, whole land just as the Prophet (peace be upon him) had distributed Khaiber. (Abu Ubaid). About the conquered territories of Syria and Iraq, Bilal insisted: Distribute all the lands among the fighting forces just as the spoils are distributed. (Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-Kharaj). On the other hand, Ali gave this opinion: Leave these lands in possession of the peasants so that they continue to remain a source of income for the Muslims. (Abu Yusuf, Abu Ubaid,). Likewise, the opinion of Muadh bin Jabal was: If you distributed these lands, evil consequences would occur. Because of this distribution large properties will pass into the hands of those few people, who have conquered them. Then, when these people pass away and their properties pass on to their heirs and there is left only one woman or only one man from among them, nothing might remain for the future generations to meet their needs and even to meet the expenses of safeguarding the frontiers of the Islamic State. Therefore, you should so settle things that the interests of both the present and of the future generations are equally safeguarded. (Abu Ubaid, p. 59; Fath al-Bari, vol. vi, p. 138). Umar calculated and found that if the territories of Iraq were distributed, each individual would receive two or three peasants on the average as his share, (Abu Yusuf. Abu Ubaid). Thereupon he arrived at the judicious conclusion that those territories should not be distributed. Thus, the replies that he gave to those who demanded their distribution, were as follows:
Do you want that for the people who come afterwards there should not remain anything. (Abu Ubaid).
What will happen of the Muslims who came afterwards when they find that the land along with its peasants has been distributed and the people have inherited their forefathers? This is not at all just. (Abu Yusuf).
What will be left for the Muslims who came after you? I am afraid if I distribute it, you would fight among yourselves over water. (Abu Yusuf). Had I no thought for those who would come afterwards, I would distribute every territory that I conquered just as the Messenger of Allah had distributed Khaiber. (Bukhari, Muwatta, Abu Ubaid).
Nay: this is the real estate. I will withhold it so that the needs and requirements of the conquering forces and of the common Muslims continue to be met by it. (Abu Ubaid). But the people were not satisfied with these replies, and they started saying that he was being unjust. At last, Umar convened a meeting of the consultative body of the companions and put the matter before it. Here are some of the sentences of the speech that he made on this occasion: I have given you this trouble so that you may join me in shouldering the trust that has been put in me for governing your affairs. I am one of you, and you are the people who affirm the truth today. Every one of you has the option to agree to or differ from what I say. I do not wish that you should follow my desire. You have the Book of Allah, which states the whole truth. By God, if I have said something which I want to enforce, I have no object in view except the truth. You have heard those who think that I am being unjust to them and want to deprive them of their rights, whereas I seek Allah’s refuge that I should commit an injustice. It would be vicious on my part if I withheld from them something which actually belonged to them and gave it to another. But I can see that no other land after the land of the Khosroe is going to fall. Allah has given the properties of the Persians and their lands and their peasants in our possession. I have distributed the booty taken by our armies among them after the deduction of the khums (one fifth), and am thinking of distributing the rest which yet remains. But as for the lands my opinion is that I should not distribute them and their peasants, but should levy revenue on the lands and jizyah on the peasants, which they should always pay, and this should be the fai for the common Muslims and their children and the armies of today and for the generations yet to come. Don’t you see that we need the troops who should be appointed to protect these our frontiers? Don’t you see that in territories like Syria, AI-Jazirah, Kufah, Basra, Egypt we should station our troops, and they should be regularly for their services? So, if I distribute these lands along with their peasants, how shall we meet these expenses.
The debate went on for two or three days. Uthman, Ali, Talhah, Abdullah bin Umar and others concurred with Umar, but nothing could be decided. At last, Umar rose and said: I have found an argument in the Book of Allah, which is decisive in this matter. Then, he recited these very verses of Surah Al-Hashr from Ma afaa Allahu to Rabbana innaka Raufur-Rahim, and argued: The people of this day only are not entitled to receive a share in these properties bestowed by Allah, but Allah has also joined with them those people who will come after them. Then, how can it be that we should distribute the fai properties which are meant for all, only among the conquerors and leave nothing for the later generations? Moreover, Allah says: So that this wealth does not remain circulating among your rich people only. But if distribute it among the conquerors, it will remain circulating only among your rich and nothing would be left for others. This argument satisfied everybody and consensus was reached that all the conquered territories should be declared fai for the common benefits of the Muslims, which should be left with those who work on those lands and they should be put under revenue and jizyah. (Abu Yusuf Kitab al-Kharaj, pp. 23-27, 35; Al- Jassas, Ahkam al-Quran).
Accordingly, the real position of the conquered lands that came to be established was that the Muslims in their collective capacity are their owners; the people who were already working on them would be recognized as cultivators on behalf of the Muslims; they would continue to pay the prescribed revenue to the Islamic government on those lands, their rights as cultivators would pass from generation to generation as heritage, and they would even be allowed to sell those rights, but they will not be the real owners of the land, but its real owners will be the Muslim community. Imam Abu Ubaid in his Kitab al-Amwal has stated this legal position, thus:
Umar left the lands of the territory of Iraq in the hands of its people; he levied tax on their lands and jizyah per head on the people. (p. 57).
When the head of the Islamic government leaves the lands in the hands of the people of the conquered territories, they would be allowed to pass the lands on as heritage and would also be allowed to sell them. (p. 84).
In the time of Umar bin Abdul Aziz, Shabi was asked: Is there a treaty with the people of the territory of Iraq. He replied: There is no treaty, but when the revenue was accepted from them, it amounted to a treaty with them. (Abu Ubaid, p. 49; Abu Yusuf, p. 28).
In the time of Umar, Utbah bin Furqad purchased a piece of land by the Euphrates. Umar asked him from whom he had purchased the land. He replied that he had purchased it from its owners. Umar said: Its owners are these people, i.e. the emigrants and the Ansar. Thus, Umar held the opinion that the real owners of those lands were the Muslims. (Abu Ubaid, p. 74).
Accordingly, the properties of the conquered countries which were declared as the collective property of the Muslims were the following:
(1) Those lands and territories which come under the control of the Islamic government in consequence of a peace treaty.
(2) The ransom or revenue or jizyah which the people of a territory may have agreed to pay, without fighting, in order to seek refuge from the Muslims.
(3) Those lands and properties which the owners might have abandoned and fled.
(4) The properties the owners of which were slain and no survivor was left to own them.
(5) The lands which were not under any ownership previously.
(6) The lands which were already in the ownership of the people, but were left with their previous owners and they were put under jizyah and revenue.
(7) Estates of the previous ruling dynasties.
(8) Properties of the previous governments.
(For details, see Bada-i as-Sanai, vol. vii, pp. 116-118; Yahya bin Adam Kitab aI-Kharaj. pp. 22, 64; Mughni al- Muhtaj, vol. iii, p. 93; Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi ala-sh-Sharah al-Kabir, vol. ii, p. 190; Ghayat al-Muntaha, vol. i, pp. 467- 471).
Since these properties were declared as fai with the consensus of the companions, the jurists of Islam also have agreed in principle on their being regarded as fai. However, they have differed in certain matters, the details of which arc briefly as follows:
The Hanafis say that as regards to the lands of the conquered territories the Islamic government (Imam in juristic terminology has the option that it may distribute them among the forces of conquest after deduction of the khums (one fifth), or may leave them with the former owners and put the owners under jizyah and the lands under revenue. In this case the land will be regarded as a legacy for the Muslims. (Badai as-Sanai, Al-Jassas, Ahkam al-Quran; Sharah al-Anayah al al-Hedayah; Fath al- Qadir). The same view has Abdullah bin Mubarak cited for Imam Sufyan Thauri. (Yahya bin Adam; Abu Ubaid, Kitab al-Amwal).
The Malikis say that as soon as the lands have been conquered they automatically become a legacy for the Muslims. It does not need the Imam’s ruling or the willingness of the Muslim soldiers to declare them a legacy. Besides, the well known view among the Malikis is that not only the lands but the houses and buildings of the conquered territories are also, as a matter of fact, a legacy for the Muslims. However, the Islamic government will not charge the rent for them. (Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi).
The Hanbalis agree with the Hanafis that the Imam has the option to distribute the lands among the soldiers or to declare them as a legacy for the Muslims, and with the Malikis that although the houses of the conquered territories are included in the legacy, no rent will be levied on them. (Ghayatal Muntaha which is a collection of the legal rulings of the Hanbali School of juristic thought and a source book for legal rulings since the 10th century).
The Shafei’s viewpoint is that all the transferable properties of the conquered territory are ghanimah, and all the non-transferable properties (lands, houses, etc.) are fai. (Mughni al-Muhtaj).
Some jurists have expressed the opinion that if the Imam wants to declare the lands of the territory taken by fighting as a legacy for the Muslims, he must first obtain the willingness of the conquering forces. For this they cite this argument: Umar, before the conquest of Iraq, had promised Jarir bin Abdullah al-Banali, the people of whose tribe constituted one-fourth of the army, which fought the Battle of Qadisiyah, that they would be given one-fourth of the conquered territory. Thus, they retained this territory for two or three years. Then Umar said to them: Had I not been responsible and answerable in the matter of division, I would have left with you whatever has been given to you. But now I see that the people have grown in numbers; therefore, my opinion is that you return it to the common people. Jarir acceded to this, and Umar gave him 50 dinars as a prize. (Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-Kharaj; Abu Ubaid, Kitab al-Amwal). From this they argue that Umar had decided to declare the conquered territories as a legacy for the Muslims only after obtaining the willingness of the conquerors. But the majority of the jurists do not admit this argument. For in respect of all the conquered territories no such willingness of the conquerors ever was taken. Only in the case of Jarir bin Abdullah this was done because Umar had made a promise with him prior to any collective decision about the conquered lands. Therefore, he had to obtain his willingness only in order to be free from the obligation of the promise. This cannot be cited as a general law.
Another section of the jurists says that even after declaring the lands as a legacy, the government retains the option that it may redistribute the lands among the conquerors. For this they argue from this tradition: Once Ali said to the people in an address: Had not there been the apprehension that you would fight among yourselves, I would have distributed the suburban lands among you. (Abu Yusuf, Kitab al-Kharaj; Abu Ubaid, Kitab al-Amwal). But the majority of jurists do not admit this argument either. They are unanimous that when the people of the conquered territory have once been allowed to retain their lands and put under jizyah and revenue, the decision can never be changed later. As for the tradition attributed to Ali, Abu Bakr al-Jassas has discussed it at length in his Ahkam al- Quran and proved it to be not authentic.
21. In this verse although the real object is only to point out that in fai not only the people of the present generation but the Muslims of the later periods and their future generations also have a share, yet, besides, the Muslims have also been taught an important moral lesson that they should never have any malice against other Muslims in their hearts, and they should continue to pray for the forgiveness of the Muslims who have gone before them instead of cursing and abusing them. The bond that binds the Muslims together is that of a common faith. If a person values his faith as the most important thing in his heart, inevitably he would be a well-wisher of all those people who are his brethren-in faith. He can have ill-will and malice and hatred towards them in his heart only when the value of the faith decreases in his sight and he starts valuing other things more. Therefore, it is the requirement of faith that a believer’s heart should be free from every trace of malice and hatred against the other believers. In this matter the best lesson is given by a Hadith which Nasai has related from Anas. According to him, once it so happened that for three days continuously the Prophet (peace be upon him) declared in his assembly that a person was going to appear before them who belonged to the dwellers of Paradise, and every time it would be a certain person from among the Ansar. At this Abdullah bin Amr bin Aas became curious as to what deeds the person concerned performed on the basis of which the Prophet (peace be upon him) had repeatedly given the good news of his admission to Paradise. Thus, he made an excuse and spent three consecutive nights in his house to see how he performed his worship, but during the night he did not see anything unusual. At last, he asked him directly as to what special acts and devotions he performed on the basis of which the Prophet (peace be upon him) had given the great good news about him. He replied: You have seen how I perform my worship, but there is one thing which might have carved me this reward: I do not harbor any malice or evil design against any Muslim, nor feel jealous of him on account of any good that Allah might have bestowed on him.
This does not mean that if a Muslim finds an error in another Muslim’s word or deed, he should avoid calling it an error. Faith does not demand this. But to describe an error as a mistake on the basis of an argument and to state it to be so in a polite and decent manner is one thing and harbor malice and hatred and resort to invective and abuse is quite another thing. It is wrong if one resorts to this in respect of his contemporaries, but worse if one resorted to this in respect of the dead people of the past. For the person indulging in such a thing would be a most filthy person for he is not even inclined to forgive the dead. And the worst would be that a person should resort to invective and abuse in respect of those illustrious people who had done full justice to the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) companionship in a period full of extreme tribulations and hardships and had struggled with their lives to spread the light of Islam in the world and enabled us today to be blessed with the faith. One can hold any opinion if he thinks that such and such party of them was in the right and such and such in the wrong in its viewpoint in the differences that arose between them, and can even express his opinion in a reasonable and decent way, but to resort to exaggeration in support of one party so that the heart is filled with spite and hatred against the other is an evil which no God-fearing person would commit. Those who indulge in such a thing against the clear teaching of the Quran, generally present the excuse that the Quran forbids to bear malice towards the believers and the ones towards whom they bear the malice were not believers but hypocrites. But this allegation is even worse than the sin in defense of which the excuse is presented. For these very verses of the Quran in the context of which Allah has taught the Muslims of the later generations not to bear malice towards the Muslims who have gone before them and to pray for their forgiveness, are sufficient to refute this allegation. In these verses three groups have been mentioned, one after the other, who are entitled to receive a share in fai. the Emigrants, the Ansar and the Muslims coming after them; and the Muslims of the later periods have been enjoined that they should pray for the forgiveness of the Muslims who had embraced the faith before them. Obviously, in this context those who had embraced the faith before them could not be any other than the Emigrants and the Ansar. Then Allah in (verses 11-17 of this Surah Al-Hashr) itself has told us who were the hypocrites. This makes it absolutely clear that the hypocrites were the people who had encouraged the Jews on the occasion of the battle of the Bani an-Nadir; as against them, the believers were those who were on the side of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this battle. After this, can a Muslim who has any fear of God in his heart, have the boldness to deny the faith of the people to whose faith Allah Himself has borne the testimony.
Imam Malik and Imam Ahmed arguing from this verse, have expressed the opinion that there is no share in fai for the people who malign the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). (Ibn al-Arabi, Ahkam al-Quran; Ghayat al-Muntaha). But the Hanafis and the Shafeis have not concurred with this, the reason being that Allah while declaring the three groups to be entitled to fai, has praised a conspicuous quality of each group but none of these qualities is a condition which may determine whether a group should or should not be given a share in fai. About the Emigrants it has been said: They seek Allah’s bounty and His goodwill, and are ever ready to succor Allah and His Messenger. This does not mean that an Emigrant who lacks this quality, is not entitled to have a share in fai. About the Ansar, it has been said: They love those who have migrated to them and entertain no desire in their hearts for what is given to them and prefer others about themselves even though they be needy themselves. This also does not mean that a member of the Ansar who has no love for the Emigrants and who is desirous of getting for himself what is being given to them, has no share in fai. Therefore, the quality of the third group that they pray for the forgiveness of those who embraced the faith before them and they pray that they should not have any malice in their hearts towards any other believer is also no condition to make one entitled to fai, but this is in praise of a good quality and an instruction as to what should be the attitude of the believers towards the other believers and especially in respect of those believers who have gone before them.
11-17 Hypocrites conspiracy with the people of the Book and Parable of a Shaitan vs a disbeliever
(59:11) Did22 you not see the hypocrites say to their brethren, the unbelievers among the People of the Book: “If you are banished we too will go with you and will not listen to anyone concerning you; and if war is waged against you, we will come to your aid.” But Allah bears witness that they are liars. (59:12) To be sure, if they are banished, they will not go with them and if war is waged against them, they will not aid them; and even if they provide any aid to them, they will still turn their backs, and thereafter no aid will be forthcoming to them. (59:13) Surely they have greater dread for you in their hearts than for Allah.23 That is because they are a people who are devoid of understanding.24 (59:14) They will never fight against you as a body (in an open battlefield); and if they fight against you they will fight only in fortified townships or from behind walls. Intense is their hostility to one another. You reckon them united while their hearts are divided.25 That is because they are a people devoid of reason. (59:15) They are like those who tasted the evil consequences of their deeds26 a short while before. A grievous chastisement awaits them. (59:16) Their parable is that of Satan when he says to man: “Disbelieve,” but when he disbelieves, he says: “I am quit of you. Verily I fear Allah, the Lord of the Universe.”27 (59:17) In the end both will be in the Fire, and will abide in it. That is the recompense of the wrong-doers.
22. From the style of this whole section (verses 11-17), it appears that it was revealed at the time when the Prophet (peace be upon him) had served a notice on the Bani anNadir to leave Al-Madinah within ten days, but had not yet laid siege to their quarters. As has been mentioned about, when the Prophet (peace be upon him) served the notice to the Bani an-Nadir, Abdullah bin Ubayy and other leaders of the hypocrites of Al-Madinah sent them a message to the effect that they would come to their aid with two thousand men, and that the Bani Quraizah and the Bani Ghatafan would also rise in their support; therefore, they should stand firm and should never surrender to the Muslims. For if the Muslims waged a war against hem, they would fight them from their side; and if they expelled hem, they also would go out with them. Thereupon Allah sent down these verses. Thus, chronologically this section is an earlier revelation and the first section a later revelation, when the Bani an-Nadir had actually been driven out of Al-Madinah. But in the Quran the order of the two passages has been reversed for the reason that the subject matter of the first section is of greater importance
23. That is, the reason why they dare not face you openly in the field is not that they are Muslim: and have fear of God in their hearts and are afraid that despite their claim to the faith when they come out to help the disbelievers as against the believers, they will be held accountable before God. But what actually restrains them from facing you is that when they see your profound love and spirit of selfsacrifice and devotion for Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the great unity and concord in your ranks, they become dispirited. They know well that although you are few in number, the spirit of martyrdom which has turned each single individual among you into a gallant warrior and the organization which has molded you into a solid body, will also crush them along with the Jews when they clash with you in the battlefield. Here one should bear in mind the fact that if a person harbors the fear of another than God in his heart, it is in fact a negation of the fear of God. Obviously, the person who considers one of the dangers as lesser and the other greater, pays no heed to the first but does whatever he can to safeguard himself against the greater danger.
24. A great truth has been expressed in this brief sentence. A person who has sense knows that the real power to be feared is the power of Allah and not the power of men. Therefore, he will avoid every such thing as may call for the punishment of Allah, whether there is any human power to call him to account for it or not, and he will come out to accomplish any duty which Allah has enjoined on him, whether he is opposed and hindered by all the powers of the world. But a man, who has no sense, determines his attitude and conduct in view of the human powers, instead of Allah’s power, in all matters of lift, because Allah’s power for him is imperceptible and human powers are perceptible. If he avoids something, he will avoid it, not because of the fear of Allah’s punishment for it, but because of a human power, which may be there to take him to task. And if he does something he will do is not because Allah has enjoined it, but because some human power has ordered or approved of it, and will reward him for it. This very distinction between intelligence and folly, in fact, distinguishes the character and conduct of a believer from that of an unbeliever.
25. This refers to the second weakness of the hypocrites. The first weakness was that they were cowardly. They feared the men instead of fearing God and had no higher aim of life before them like the believers, which might impel them to fight for it even at the cost of life. And their second weakness was that they had no common tie between them except hypocrisy, which might unite them together into a strong band. The only thing that had brought them together was that they were all feeling highly upset at the flourishing leadership and rule of Muhammad (peace be upon him), who was an outsider in their city, and at the warm reception and help which their own compatriots, the Ansar, were giving to the Emigrants. Because of this jealousy they wanted them to join hands together and in conspiracy with the enemies of Islam of the surrounding areas should somehow put an end to this alien power and authority. But apart from this negative objective there was no positive common aim to unify them. Each of their chiefs had his own separate band, each craved for his own leadership. No one was sincere to the other, but each bore such jealousy and malice for the other that they could neither forget their mutual enmities nor desist from harming the other fatally even while facing those whom they regarded as their common enemy.
Thus, at the outset, even before the battle against the Bani an-Nadir took place, Allah analyzed the internal state of the hypocrites and informed the Muslims that there was no real danger from their side; therefore, they should not feel alarmed at the rumors that when they lay siege to the Bani an-Nadir, the leaders of the hypocrites would attack them from the rear with two thousand men, and also bring the Bani Quraizah and the Bani Ghatafan along against them. All this was empty boasting which would be exposed at the very beginning of the trial.
26. The allusion is to the disbelievers of the Quraish and the Jewish clan of the Bani Qrainuqa who had been defeated by a handful of ill-equipped Muslims in spite of their larger numbers and superior equipment, due mainly to these weaknesses.
27. That is, these hypocrites are treating the Bani an-Nadir in much the same way as Satan treats men. Today they are urging them to stand firm and go forth and clash with the Muslims making them believe that they would come to their aid, but when they actually clash with the Muslims, they would renounce their pledges and promises and would never even look back to see their fate. The same way does Satan treat every disbeliever, and a similar treatment had he given to the disbelieving Quraish at Badr, as has been mentioned in (Surah al-Anfal, Ayat 48). First, he incited them with false hopes and brought them out to confront the Muslims, saying: Today no one can overcome you, for I am with you. But when the two forces met in battle, he took to his heels, saying: I have nothing to do with you. I see that which you cannot see. Indeed, I fear Allah.
18-20 Let each soul see what it is sending for the hereafter
(59:18) Believers,28 fear Allah and let every person look to what he sends forward for the morrow.29 Fear Allah; Allah is well aware of all that you do. (59:19) And be not like those who forgot Allah and so He made them oblivious of themselves.30 They are the wicked ones. (59:20) Those destined for the Fire and those destined for Paradise cannot be alike. Verily it is those destined for Paradise who shall triumph.
28. It is a rule of the Quran that whenever the hypocritical Muslims are taken to task for their hypocrisy, they are given admonition also so that whoever of them has some life left in his conscience, may feel remorse for his conduct and attitude and may make an effort, out of the fear of Allah, to come out of the pit into which his worship of the self has thrown him. This whole section (verses 18-24) consists of such admonition.
29. For tomorrow: for the Hereafter. That is, this whole worldly life is “today”, whose “tomorrow” is the Day of Resurrection, which is going to follow it. Adopting this style Allah has, in a wise manner, made man understand the truth that just as that person is highly foolish, who gambles away his all for the enjoyment of today and does not realize whether tomorrow he would be left with anything to eat and a place of shelter or not, so is also that person only working for his own doom, who is too absorbed in making his world to pay heed to the Hereafter, whereas the Hereafter is to follow this world just as today is to be followed by tomorrow, and there he would find nothing if he has sent nothing ahead for the morrow. Besides, the other wise point here is that every person has been appointed his own censor. Unless a person develops in himself the sense of what is good for him and what is evil, he cannot appreciate whether what he is doing will make his future in the Hereafter or mar it. And when this sense becomes active in himself, he will have to calculate and see for himself whether the way in which he is spending his time, his wealth, his energies and capabilities leads to Heaven or Hell. To do so is in his own interest; for if he does not do so he will ruin his own future itself.
30. That is, forgetfulness of God inevitably leads to forgetfulness of one’s own self. When man forgets that he is slave to the Almighty, he will inevitably form a wrong view of his position in the world, and his whole life will go wrong because of this basic error. Likewise, when he forgets that he is slave to nobody except Allah, he does not serve the one whose slave actually he is not. This also is a grave and allpervading misunderstanding, which corrupts his whole life. Man’s real position in the world is that of a slave; he is not free and self-sufficient; and he is slave of only One God, and is no one else’s slave beside Him. The person who does not know this truth, does not in fact know himself. And the person who in spite of knowing this, forgets it at any moment, may commit an act at that very moment, which a disbeliever, or a polytheist or a man forgetful of God only would commit. Man’s remaining firm and steadfast on the right path entirely depends on his remembering God at all times. For as soon as he, becomes heedless of Him, he becomes heedless of himself and this very heedlessness turns him into sinfulness.
21-21 Al-Quran could even affect a mountain
(59:21) Had We sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain you would indeed have seen it humbling itself and breaking asunder out of fear of Allah.31 We propound such parables to people that they may reflect.
31. The parable means that if a huge creation like a mountain had the sense and knowledge that it had been made responsible and accountable, like man, before Allah Almighty, for its deeds, it would have trembled from the fear of it. But how heedless, senseless and thoughtless is the man, who understands the Quran, and has known the whole truth through it, yet he is neither seized by any fear nor feels worried as to what answer he would make to his God about the responsibilities that have been placed on him. On the contrary, when he reads the Quran, or hears it being read, he remains un-moved as if he were a lifeless and senseless stone, which is not supposed to hear and see and understand anything. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 120 of Surah Al-Ahzab).
22-24 Fifteen exclusive attributes of Allah
(59:22) He32 is Allah: there is no god but He;33 the Knower of the unseen and the manifest,34 He is the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate.35 (59:23) He is Allah: there is no god but He: the King,36 the Holy,37 the All-Peace,39 the Giver of security,38 the Overseer,40 the Most Mighty,41 the Overpowering,42 the All-Great.43 Exalted be He from whatever they associate with Him. (59:24) He is Allah, the Planner,44 Executer and Fashioner of creation.45 His are the names most beautiful.46 Whatever is in the heavens and the earth extols His Glory.47 He is the Most Mighty, the Most Wise.48
32. These verses explain what kind of God He is, and what are His attributes, Who has sent this Quran to you, Who has placed these responsibilities on you, and before Whom you have to render an account of your deeds in the end. This mention of the divine attributes immediately after the above theme automatically gives man the feeling that he has not to deal with an ordinary being but with Almighty Allah Who has such and such attributes. Here, one should also understand that although in the Quran, the attributes of Allah Almighty have been stated in a unique way, which gives a clear concept of the divine Being, there are two places where the attributes of Allah have been mentioned in a most comprehensive way, in the verse of the Alkursi (Al- Baqarah, Ayat 255) and in these verses of Surah Al-Hashr.
33. That is, He is the One besides Whom none else has the rank, position, attributes and powers of Godhead so that he may be worshiped and served as god.
34. That is, He knows whatever is hidden from the creatures as well as whatever is known and visible to them. Nothing of this universe is unknown to Him. He directly knows whatever has happened in the past, whatever exists at present and whatever will happen in the future. He does not stand in need of any means or medium of knowledge.
35. That is, He alone is the Being Whose mercy is limitless, which covers the whole universe and blesses and benefits everything in it. None else in the world is the bearer of such all-pervading, infinite mercy. The mercy of every other being, characterized by the ability of mercy, is partial and limited, and that quality too is not essentially its own, but bestowed by the Creator for a specific need and purpose. He has created the quality of mercy for some other creature. He has created it in order to make one creature a means for the development and well-being of the other creature. This by itself is a proof that Allah’s Mercy is infinite.
36. The word used in the original is al-Malik, which means that He alone is the real Sovereign. Moreover, the word al- Malik in its general sense also gives the meaning that He is King of the entire universe and not of a particular region or of a specific country. His Sovereignty and rule comprehends the entire universe.
He is Master of everything. Everything submits itself to His command and power and authority, and there is nothing to delimit His Sovereignty. At different places in the Quran all aspects of Allah’s Sovereignty have been presented and explained fully.
And whoever exists in the heavens and the earth, belongs to Him. All are obedient to Him. (Surah Ar-Room, Ayat 26).
He administers the affairs of the world from the heavens to the earth. (Surah As-Sajdah, Ayat 5).
To Him belongs the dominion of the earth and the heavens, and all matters are referred to Him for decision.( Surah Al- Hadid, Ayat 5).
He has no partner in His sovereignty. (Surah Al-Furqan, Ayat 2).
In His hand is the absolute control of everything. (Surah Ya Seen, Ayat 83).
Doer of whatever He wills. (Surah Al-Burooj, Ayat 16).
He is accountable to none for what He does, but all others are accountable (to Him). (Surah Al-Anbiyia, Ayat 23).
Allah rules and there is none to reverse His decrees. (Surah Ar-Raad, Ayat 41).
The Being Who gives protection while none can give protection against Him. (Surah Al-Momin, Ayat 88).
Say: O Allah, Sovereign of the Kingdom, You bestow kingdom on whomever You will, and You take it away from whomever You will. You exalt whomever You will and You abase whomever You will. All that is good is in Your power; indeed You have full power over all things. (Surah Aal-i-Imran, Ayat 26).
These explanations make it abundantly clear that Allah is not King in some limited or metaphoric sense but He is real King in the most perfect and complete sense of sovereignty. As a matter of fact, if sovereignty in its true sense is at all found somewhere, it is found only in Allah’s Kingship. Apart from this, wherever it is claimed to be, whether in the person of a king or dictator, or in a class or group or family, or in some nation, he or it possesses no sovereignty at all, for sovereignty is not a gift, which may at one time be granted and at another time withdrawn, which may be in danger of being usurped, the establishment and existence of which may be temporary and temporal, and the sphere of power and authority of which may be circumscribed and restricted by many other conflicting powers.
37. Al-Quddus is a superlative. It means that Allah is far exalted that He should have a fault or defect or demerit. He is the purest Being. No evil can be imagined about Him. Here, one should clearly understand that the attribute of holiness is a foremost accompaniment of sovereignty. Man’s intellect and nature refuse to believe that a being who is the bearer of sovereignty may be mischievous, ill behaved, ill-natured, who may be characterized with these base qualities from whose power and authority his subjects might be in danger of suffering evil instead of being blessed with good. That is why wherever man thinks sovereignty is centered, he assumes holiness also to be there, even if it is not there, for absolute sovereignty is inconceivable without holiness. But, obviously, there is no real Sovereign, nor can there be, except Allah, Who is the Holy. Whether it is monarchy, or sovereignty of the people, or dictatorship of the socialist system, or some other form of human rule, in any case holiness for it is inconceivable.
38. The word As-Salam as used in the original means peace and Secure, Allah’s being called As-Salam means that He is peace and safety personified. He is far exalted that some calamity or weakness or defect should befall Him, or His Perfection should suffer a decline or blemish.
39. The word Al-Mumin is derived from amun, which means to secure from fear, and Mumin is one who provides security to others. Allah has been called Al-Mumin in the sense that He provides security to His creatures. His creatures are secure from the fear that He would ever wrong them, or deprive them of their rights, or allow their rewards to go to waste, or would violate the promises He has made with them. Then, since no object has been mentioned with this subject, but the epithet of Al-Mumin has been used absolutely, it automatically gives the meaning that His security comprehends the entire universe and all that it contains.
40. The word Al-Muhaimin has three meanings:
(1) The Guardian and Protector.
(2) The Observer who sees what everyone does.
(3) The Being Who has taken up the responsibility to fulfill the needs and requirements of the people.
Here also, since the word Al-Muhaimin has been used absolutely, and no object has been mentioned of this subject, therefore, it by itself gives the implied meaning that He is guarding and protecting all creatures, is watching the acts and deeds of everyone, and has taken up the responsibility of sustaining and providing for every creature in the universe with its needs and requirements.
41. Al-Aziz: such an Almighty Being against Whom no one may dare raise his head, no one may have the power to resist His decrees, before Whom everyone may be helpless and powerless.
42. The word al-Jabbar as used in the original is derived from jabr which means setting something right by use of power, reforming something by force. Allah has been called Al-Jabbar in the sense that He sets the system of His universe right by the use of power and enforces His will, which is entirely based on wisdom. Moreover, the word Jabber also contains the meaning of greatness and glory. Thus, a palm-tree which is too tall for the people to pluck its fruit is called jabber in Arabic. Likewise, an act which is grand and glorious is called amal jabbar.
43. The word Al-Mutakabbir has two meanings.
(1) The one who is not actually great but poses as great.
(2) The one who is actually great and sets himself up as such.
Whether it is man or Satan, or some other creature, since greatness does not, in fact, belong to it, its posing itself as great and claiming superiority over others is, a false claim and a vice. Contrary to this, Allah Almighty is truly Great and greatness actually belongs to Him, and everything in the universe is low and insignificant as against Him. Therefore, His being Great and setting Himself up as Great is no false claim but reality; it is not an evil quality but a virtue and excellence, which no one else has but Allah.
44. That is, those who regard a creature as an associate in His powers, authority, attributes, or in His Being, in fact, utter a grave falsehood, for Allah is far exalted that anybody or anything should be an associate with Him in any sense.
45. That is, the entire world and everything in it, from the initial plan of its creation till its coming into existence in its final, finished form, is entirely Allah’s work of creation. Nothing has come into existence by itself nor come about accidentally, nor has anyone else the least share in its creation and development. Here, Allah’s act of creation has been described in three separate stages, which take place one after the other. First is the stage of khalq, which means to ordain, or to plan. It is like an engineer’s conceiving the design of a building, which he intends to build for a specific purpose and draws out its detailed diagram and model. The second stage is barr, which actually means to separate, to cut, to split asunder. The Creator has been called Al-barii in the sense that He enforces the plan He has conceived and brings out the thing from non-existence into existence. It is Analogous to the engineer’s putting marks on the ground of the full measurements of the building according to the plan, digging the foundations, raising the walls and completing all the practical preliminaries of the construction work. The third stage is taswir, which means to give shape; here it implies giving something its final complete shape. In all these three stages there is no resemblance whatever between Allah’s work and human works. None of human plans is such as may not have been derived from previous models and plans. But each of Allah’s plans is, unique and His own original creation. Whatever man makes, he makes it by combining the substances created by Allah. He does not bring anything from nonexistence into existence, but composes and constructs by different methods whatever is present and available. Contrary to this, Allah has brought everything from non-existence into creation, and the substance itself of which He has made the universe is created by Him. Likewise, in the matter of giving shape also man is not the inventor but an imitator, and only a poor imitator. The real Maker of forms and shapes is Allah, Who has given a unique and matchless shape to every species and individual and has never repeated exactly the same shape or from.
46. Names imply the adjectives, and “His are the excellent names” means that those adjectives which indicate or express some kind of defect are not appropriate for Him. He should be remembered by those names which express His attributes of Perfection. In the Quran these beautiful names of Allah have been mentioned here and there, and in the Hadith 99 names of that Exalted and Pure Being have been enumerated which Timidhi and Ibn Majah have related on the authority of Abu Hurairah. If one studies these names as mentioned in the Quran and the Hadith carefully, he can easily understand what words would be appropriate and suitable if one has to remember Allah in another language.
47. That is, everything proclaims with the tongue, or otherwise, that its Creator is free from every fault and defect, weakness and error.
48. For explanation, see E.N. 2 of Surah Hadid.