Surah Muhammad (in Arabic: مُـحَـمَّـد) is the 47th chapter of the Qur’an with 38 ayat (verses). It is classified as a Medinan Surah and in English titled “Chapter of Muhammad”.
The Surah talks about the struggle that takes place between truth and falsehood. The separation will take place between these two groups and one will be rewarded and the other, those who deny, will be punished. In this Surah it also mentions the Battle of Badr which took place in Ramadan.
Below you can read Surah Muhammad in it’s entirety. We’ve added Sahih international English translation to help with understand and transliteration to help pronunciation of Arabic text. At the end of the Surah you can find tafsir on the Surah including Ibn Kathir.
“[This] worldly life is only amusement and diversion. And if you believe and fear Allah, He will give you your rewards and not ask you for your properties.”
Surah Muhammad Ayat 36
Read Surah Muhammad with English Translation and Transliteration
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful
ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ وَصَدُّوا۟ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ أَضَلَّ أَعْمَـٰلَهُمْ
Allazeena kafaroo wa saddoo’an sabeelil laahi adalla a’maalahum
1. Those who disbelieve and avert [people] from the way of Allah – He will waste their deeds.
وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ وَءَامَنُوا۟ بِمَا نُزِّلَ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍۢ وَهُوَ ٱلْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ ۙ كَفَّرَ عَنْهُمْ سَيِّـَٔاتِهِمْ وَأَصْلَحَ بَالَهُمْ
Wallazeena aamanoo wa ‘amilus saalihaati wa aamanoo bimaa nuzzila ‘alaa Muhammadinw-wa huwal haqqu mir Rabbihim kaffara ‘anhum saiyiaatihim wa aslaha baalahum
2. And those who believe and do righteous deeds and believe in what has been sent down upon Muhammad – and it is the truth from their Lord – He will remove from them their misdeeds and amend their condition.
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ ٱتَّبَعُوا۟ ٱلْبَـٰطِلَ وَأَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱتَّبَعُوا۟ ٱلْحَقَّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يَضْرِبُ ٱللَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ أَمْثَـٰلَهُمْ
Zaalika bi annal lazeena kafarut taba’ul baatila wa annal lazeena aamanut taba’ul haqqa mir Rabbihim; kazaalika yadribul laahu linnaasi amsaalahum
3. That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood, and those who believe follow the truth from their Lord. Thus does Allah present to the people their comparisons.
فَإِذَا لَقِيتُمُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ فَضَرْبَ ٱلرِّقَابِ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَثْخَنتُمُوهُمْ فَشُدُّوا۟ ٱلْوَثَاقَ فَإِمَّا مَنًّۢا بَعْدُ وَإِمَّا فِدَآءً حَتَّىٰ تَضَعَ ٱلْحَرْبُ أَوْزَارَهَا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ وَلَوْ يَشَآءُ ٱللَّهُ لَٱنتَصَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَـٰكِن لِّيَبْلُوَا۟ بَعْضَكُم بِبَعْضٍۢ ۗ وَٱلَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا۟ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ فَلَن يُضِلَّ أَعْمَـٰلَهُمْ
Fa-izaa laqeetumul lazeena kafaroo fadarbar riqaab, hattaaa izaa askhan tumoohum fashuddul wasaaq, fa immaa mannnam ba’du wa immaa fidaaa’an hattaa tada’al harbu awzaarahaa; zaalika wa law yashaaa’ul laahu lantasara minhum wa laakil laiyabluwa ba’dakum biba’d; wallazeena qutiloo fee sabeelil laahi falany yudilla a’maalahum
4. So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens. That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah – never will He waste their deeds.
سَيَهْدِيهِمْ وَيُصْلِحُ بَالَهُمْ
Sa-yahdeehim wa yusihu baalahum
5. He will guide them and amend their condition
وَيُدْخِلُهُمُ ٱلْجَنَّةَ عَرَّفَهَا لَهُمْ
Wa yudkhiluhumul jannata ‘arrafahaa lahum
6. And admit them to Paradise, which He has made known to them.
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِن تَنصُرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ
Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanooo in tansurul laaha yansurkum wa yusabbit aqdaamakum
7. O you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you and plant firmly your feet.
وَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ فَتَعْسًۭا لَّهُمْ وَأَضَلَّ أَعْمَـٰلَهُمْ
Wallazeena kafaroo fata’ sal lahum wa adalla a’maalahum
8. But those who disbelieve – for them is misery, and He will waste their deeds.
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَرِهُوا۟ مَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ فَأَحْبَطَ أَعْمَـٰلَهُمْ
Zaalika bi annahum karihoo maaa anzalal laahu faahbata a’maalahum
9. That is because they disliked what Allah revealed, so He rendered worthless their deeds.
۞ أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ فَيَنظُرُوا۟ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـٰقِبَةُ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۚ دَمَّرَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ وَلِلْكَـٰفِرِينَ أَمْثَـٰلُهَا
Afalam yaseeroo fil ardi fayanzuroo kaifa kaana ‘aaqibatul lazeena min qablihim; dammaral laahu ‘alaihim wa lilkaafireena amsaaluhaa
10. Have they not traveled through the land and seen how was the end of those before them? Allah destroyed [everything] over them, and for the disbelievers is something comparable.
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَوْلَى ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَأَنَّ ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ لَا مَوْلَىٰ لَهُمْ
Zaalika bi annal laaha mawlal lazeena aamanoo wa annal kaafireena laa mawlaa lahum (section 1)
11. That is because Allah is the protector of those who have believed and because the disbelievers have no protector.
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُدْخِلُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ جَنَّـٰتٍۢ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا ٱلْأَنْهَـٰرُ ۖ وَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ يَتَمَتَّعُونَ وَيَأْكُلُونَ كَمَا تَأْكُلُ ٱلْأَنْعَـٰمُ وَٱلنَّارُ مَثْوًۭى لَّهُمْ
Innal-laaha yudkhilul lazeena aamanoo wa ‘amilus saalihaati Jannaatin tajree min tahtihal anhaaru wallazeena kafaroo yatamatta’oona wa yaakuloona kamaa taakuluian’aamu wan Naaru maswallahum
12. Indeed, Allah will admit those who have believed and done righteous deeds to gardens beneath which rivers flow, but those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as grazing livestock eat, and the Fire will be a residence for them.
وَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ هِىَ أَشَدُّ قُوَّةًۭ مِّن قَرْيَتِكَ ٱلَّتِىٓ أَخْرَجَتْكَ أَهْلَكْنَـٰهُمْ فَلَا نَاصِرَ لَهُمْ
Wa ka ayyim min qaryatin hiya ashaddu quwwatam min qaryatikal lateee akhrajatka ahlaknaahum falaa naasira lahum
13. And how many a city was stronger than your city [Makkah] which drove you out? We destroyed them; and there was no helper for them.
أَفَمَن كَانَ عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٍۢ مِّن رَّبِّهِۦ كَمَن زُيِّنَ لَهُۥ سُوٓءُ عَمَلِهِۦ وَٱتَّبَعُوٓا۟ أَهْوَآءَهُم
Afaman kaana ‘alaa baiyinatim mir Rabbihee kaman zuyyina lahoo sooo’u ‘amalihee wattaba’ooo ahwaaa’ahum
14. So is he who is on clear evidence from his Lord like him to whom the evil of his work has been made attractive and they follow their [own] desires?
مَّثَلُ ٱلْجَنَّةِ ٱلَّتِى وُعِدَ ٱلْمُتَّقُونَ ۖ فِيهَآ أَنْهَـٰرٌۭ مِّن مَّآءٍ غَيْرِ ءَاسِنٍۢ وَأَنْهَـٰرٌۭ مِّن لَّبَنٍۢ لَّمْ يَتَغَيَّرْ طَعْمُهُۥ وَأَنْهَـٰرٌۭ مِّنْ خَمْرٍۢ لَّذَّةٍۢ لِّلشَّـٰرِبِينَ وَأَنْهَـٰرٌۭ مِّنْ عَسَلٍۢ مُّصَفًّۭى ۖ وَلَهُمْ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ ٱلثَّمَرَٰتِ وَمَغْفِرَةٌۭ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ ۖ كَمَنْ هُوَ خَـٰلِدٌۭ فِى ٱلنَّارِ وَسُقُوا۟ مَآءً حَمِيمًۭا فَقَطَّعَ أَمْعَآءَهُمْ
Masalul jannatil latee wu’idal muttaqoona feehaaa anhaarum mim maaa’in ghayri aasininw wa anhaarum mil labanil lam yataghaiyar ta’muhoo wa anhaarum min khamril lazzatil lishshaaribeena wa anhaarum min ‘asalim musaffanw wa lahum feeha min kullis samaraati wa maghfiratum mir Rabbihim kaman huwa khaalidun fin naari wa suqoo maaa’an hameeman faqatta’a am’aaa’ahum
15. Is the description of Paradise, which the righteous are promised, wherein are rivers of water unaltered, rivers of milk the taste of which never changes, rivers of wine delicious to those who drink, and rivers of purified honey, in which they will have from all [kinds of] fruits and forgiveness from their Lord, like [that of] those who abide eternally in the Fire and are given to drink scalding water that will sever their intestines?
وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَسْتَمِعُ إِلَيْكَ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا خَرَجُوا۟ مِنْ عِندِكَ قَالُوا۟ لِلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا۟ ٱلْعِلْمَ مَاذَا قَالَ ءَانِفًا ۚ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ طَبَعَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَٱتَّبَعُوٓا۟ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ
Wa minhum mai yastami’ ilaika hattaaa izaa kharajoo min ‘indika qaaloo lillazeena ootul ‘ilma maazaa qaala aanifaa; ulaaa’ikal lazeena taba’al laahu ‘alaa quloobihim wattaba’ooo ahwaaa’ahum
16. And among them, [O Muhammad], are those who listen to you, until when they depart from you, they say to those who were given knowledge, “What has he said just now?” Those are the ones of whom Allah has sealed over their hearts and who have followed their [own] desires.
وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱهْتَدَوْا۟ زَادَهُمْ هُدًۭى وَءَاتَىٰهُمْ تَقْوَىٰهُمْ
Wallazeenah tadaw zaadahum hudanw wa aataahum taqwaahum
17. And those who are guided – He increases them in guidance and gives them their righteousness.
فَهَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَّا ٱلسَّاعَةَ أَن تَأْتِيَهُم بَغْتَةًۭ ۖ فَقَدْ جَآءَ أَشْرَاطُهَا ۚ فَأَنَّىٰ لَهُمْ إِذَا جَآءَتْهُمْ ذِكْرَىٰهُمْ
Fahal yanzuroona illas Saa’ata an taatiyahum baghtatan faqad jaaa’a ashraatuhaa; fa-annnaa lahum izaa jaaa’at hum zikraahum
18. Then do they await except that the Hour should come upon them unexpectedly? But already there have come [some of] its indications. Then what good to them, when it has come, will be their remembrance?
فَٱعْلَمْ أَنَّهُۥ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ وَٱسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنۢبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنَـٰتِ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مُتَقَلَّبَكُمْ وَمَثْوَىٰكُمْ
Fa’lam annahoo laaa ilaaha illal laahu wastaghfir lizambika wa lilmu’mineena walmu’minaat; wallaahu ya’lamu mutaqallabakum wa maswaakum (section 2)
19. So know, [O Muhammad], that there is no deity except Allah and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and believing women. And Allah knows of your movement and your resting place.
وَيَقُولُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَوْلَا نُزِّلَتْ سُورَةٌۭ ۖ فَإِذَآ أُنزِلَتْ سُورَةٌۭ مُّحْكَمَةٌۭ وَذُكِرَ فِيهَا ٱلْقِتَالُ ۙ رَأَيْتَ ٱلَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌۭ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَيْكَ نَظَرَ ٱلْمَغْشِىِّ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ ٱلْمَوْتِ ۖ فَأَوْلَىٰ لَهُمْ
Wa yaqoolul lazeena aamanoo law laa nuzzilat Sooratun fa izaaa unzilat Sooratum Muhkamatunw wa zukira feehal qitaalu ra aytal lazeena fee quloobihim maraduny yanzuroona ilaika nazaral maghshiyyi ‘alaihi minal mawti fa’awlaa lahum
20. Those who believe say, “Why has a surah not been sent down? But when a precise surah is revealed and fighting is mentioned therein, you see those in whose hearts is hypocrisy looking at you with a look of one overcome by death. And more appropriate for them [would have been]
طَاعَةٌۭ وَقَوْلٌۭ مَّعْرُوفٌۭ ۚ فَإِذَا عَزَمَ ٱلْأَمْرُ فَلَوْ صَدَقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ لَكَانَ خَيْرًۭا لَّهُمْ
Taa’atunw wa qawlum ma’roof; fa izaa ‘azamal amru falaw sadaqul laaha lakaana khairal lahum
21. Obedience and good words. And when the matter [of fighting] was determined, if they had been true to Allah, it would have been better for them.
فَهَلْ عَسَيْتُمْ إِن تَوَلَّيْتُمْ أَن تُفْسِدُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَتُقَطِّعُوٓا۟ أَرْحَامَكُمْ
Fahal ‘asaitum in tawallaitum an tufsidoo fil ardi wa tuqatti’ooo arhaamakum
22. So would you perhaps, if you turned away, cause corruption on earth and sever your [ties of] relationship?
أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ لَعَنَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ فَأَصَمَّهُمْ وَأَعْمَىٰٓ أَبْصَـٰرَهُمْ
Ulaaa’ikal lazeena la’anahumul laahu fa asammahum wa a’maaa absaarahum
23. Those [who do so] are the ones that Allah has cursed, so He deafened them and blinded their vision.
أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ ٱلْقُرْءَانَ أَمْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَآ
Afalaa yatadabbaroonal Qur-aana am ‘alaa quloobin aqfaaluhaa
24. Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon [their] hearts?
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱرْتَدُّوا۟ عَلَىٰٓ أَدْبَـٰرِهِم مِّنۢ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ ٱلْهُدَى ۙ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنُ سَوَّلَ لَهُمْ وَأَمْلَىٰ لَهُمْ
Innal lazeenar taddoo ‘alaaa adbaarihim mim ba’di maa tabaiyana lahumul hudash Shaitaanu sawwala lahum wa amlaa lahum
25. Indeed, those who reverted back [to disbelief] after guidance had become clear to them – Satan enticed them and prolonged hope for them.
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا۟ لِلَّذِينَ كَرِهُوا۟ مَا نَزَّلَ ٱللَّهُ سَنُطِيعُكُمْ فِى بَعْضِ ٱلْأَمْرِ ۖ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ إِسْرَارَهُمْ
Zaalika bi annahum qaaloo lillazeena karihoo maa nazzalal laahu sanutee’ukum fee ba’dil amri wallaahu ya’lamu israarahum
26. That is because they said to those who disliked what Allah sent down, “We will obey you in part of the matter.” And Allah knows what they conceal.
فَكَيْفَ إِذَا تَوَفَّتْهُمُ ٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةُ يَضْرِبُونَ وُجُوهَهُمْ وَأَدْبَـٰرَهُمْ
Fakaifa izaa tawaffat humul malaaa’ikatu yadriboona wujoohahum wa adbaa rahum
27. Then how [will it be] when the angels take them in death, striking their faces and their backs?
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمُ ٱتَّبَعُوا۟ مَآ أَسْخَطَ ٱللَّهَ وَكَرِهُوا۟ رِضْوَٰنَهُۥ فَأَحْبَطَ أَعْمَـٰلَهُمْ
Zaalika bi annahumut taba’oo maaa askhatal laaha wa karihoo ridwaanahoo fa ahbata a’maalahum (section 3)
28. That is because they followed what angered Allah and disliked [what earns] His pleasure, so He rendered worthless their deeds.
أَمْ حَسِبَ ٱلَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ أَن لَّن يُخْرِجَ ٱللَّهُ أَضْغَـٰنَهُمْ
Am hasibal lazeena fee quloobihim maradun al lan yukhrijal laahu adghaanahum
29. Or do those in whose hearts is disease think that Allah would never expose their [feelings of] hatred?
وَلَوْ نَشَآءُ لَأَرَيْنَـٰكَهُمْ فَلَعَرَفْتَهُم بِسِيمَـٰهُمْ ۚ وَلَتَعْرِفَنَّهُمْ فِى لَحْنِ ٱلْقَوْلِ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ أَعْمَـٰلَكُمْ
Wa law nashaaa’u la-arainaakahum fala ‘araftahum bi seemaahum; wa lata’rifan nahum fee lahnil qawl; wallaahu ya’lamu a’maalakum
30. And if We willed, We could show them to you, and you would know them by their mark; but you will surely know them by the tone of [their] speech. And Allah knows your deeds.
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ حَتَّىٰ نَعْلَمَ ٱلْمُجَـٰهِدِينَ مِنكُمْ وَٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ وَنَبْلُوَا۟ أَخْبَارَكُمْ
Wa lanabluwannakum hattaa na’lamal mujaahideena minkum wassaabireena wa nabluwa akhbaarakum
31. And We will surely test you until We make evident those who strive among you [for the cause of Allah ] and the patient, and We will test your affairs.
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ وَصَدُّوا۟ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَشَآقُّوا۟ ٱلرَّسُولَ مِنۢ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ ٱلْهُدَىٰ لَن يَضُرُّوا۟ ٱللَّهَ شَيْـًۭٔا وَسَيُحْبِطُ أَعْمَـٰلَهُمْ
Innnal lazeena kafaroo wa saddoo ‘an sabeelil laahi wa shaaaqqur Rasoola mim ba’di maa tabaiyana lahumul hudaa lany yadurrul laaha shai’anw wa sa yuhbitu a’maalahum
32. Indeed, those who disbelieved and averted [people] from the path of Allah and opposed the Messenger after guidance had become clear to them – never will they harm Allah at all, and He will render worthless their deeds.
۞ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ أَطِيعُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا۟ ٱلرَّسُولَ وَلَا تُبْطِلُوٓا۟ أَعْمَـٰلَكُمْ
Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanoo atee’ul laaha wa atee’ur Rasoola wa laa tubtilooo a’maalakum
33. O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds.
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ وَصَدُّوا۟ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ ثُمَّ مَاتُوا۟ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌۭ فَلَن يَغْفِرَ ٱللَّهُ لَهُمْ
Innal lazeena kafaroo wa saddoo ‘an sabeelil laahi summa maatoo wa hum kuffaarun falany yaghfirallaahu lahum
34. Indeed, those who disbelieved and averted [people] from the path of Allah and then died while they were disbelievers – never will Allah forgive them.
فَلَا تَهِنُوا۟ وَتَدْعُوٓا۟ إِلَى ٱلسَّلْمِ وَأَنتُمُ ٱلْأَعْلَوْنَ وَٱللَّهُ مَعَكُمْ وَلَن يَتِرَكُمْ أَعْمَـٰلَكُمْ
Falaa tahinoo wa tad’ooo ilas salmi wa antumul a’lawna wallaahu ma’akum wa lany yatirakum a’maalakum
35. So do not weaken and call for peace while you are superior; and Allah is with you and will never deprive you of [the reward of] your deeds.
إِنَّمَا ٱلْحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌۭ وَلَهْوٌۭ ۚ وَإِن تُؤْمِنُوا۟ وَتَتَّقُوا۟ يُؤْتِكُمْ أُجُورَكُمْ وَلَا يَسْـَٔلْكُمْ أَمْوَٰلَكُمْ
Innamal hayaatud dunyaa la’ibunw wa lahw; wa in tu’minoo wa tattaqoo yu’tikum ujoorakum wa laa yas’alkum amwaalakum
36. [This] worldly life is only amusement and diversion. And if you believe and fear Allah, He will give you your rewards and not ask you for your properties.
إِن يَسْـَٔلْكُمُوهَا فَيُحْفِكُمْ تَبْخَلُوا۟ وَيُخْرِجْ أَضْغَـٰنَكُمْ
Iny yas’alkumoohaa fa yuhfikum tabkhaloo wa yukhrij adghaanakum
37. If He should ask you for them and press you, you would withhold, and He would expose your unwillingness.
هَـٰٓأَنتُمْ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ تُدْعَوْنَ لِتُنفِقُوا۟ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ فَمِنكُم مَّن يَبْخَلُ ۖ وَمَن يَبْخَلْ فَإِنَّمَا يَبْخَلُ عَن نَّفْسِهِۦ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ ٱلْغَنِىُّ وَأَنتُمُ ٱلْفُقَرَآءُ ۚ وَإِن تَتَوَلَّوْا۟ يَسْتَبْدِلْ قَوْمًا غَيْرَكُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَكُونُوٓا۟ أَمْثَـٰلَكُم
Haaa antum haaa’ulaaa’i tud’awna litunfiqoo fee sabeelillaahi faminkum many yabkhalu wa many yabkhal fa innamaa yabkhalu ‘an nafsih; wallaahu Ghaniyyu wa antumul fuqaraaa’; wa in tatwal law yastabdil qawman ghairakum summa laa yakoonooo amsaalakum (section 4)
38. Here you are – those invited to spend in the cause of Allah – but among you are those who withhold [out of greed]. And whoever withholds only withholds [benefit] from himself; and Allah is the Free of need, while you are the needy. And if you turn away, He will replace you with another people; then they will not be the likes of you.
Tafsir of Surah Muhammad
The purpose of the revelation of the Quran was to call people to Islam, the one true religion. It’s message was the guide and show people the truth. This is why it’s important we continue to read the Quran regularly but let’s not forget to make it a study and understand it’s teaching. Below you benefit from reading the commentary of Surah Muhammad by Ibn Kathir and from Tafheem ul Quran by Abul A’a Maududi.
Surah Muhammad Tafsir by Ibn Kathir
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
(Those who disbelieve) meaning, in the Ayat of Allah.
(and hinder (men)) Others.
(from the path of Allah, He will render their deeds vain.) meaning, He renders their deeds vain and futile, and He denies them any rewards or blessings for them. This is similar to His saying,
(And We will approach what they have done of deeds and make them as dispersed dust.) (25:23) Allah then says,
(And those who believe and do righteous good deeds,) Which means that their hearts and souls have believed, and their limbs and their hidden and apparent acts have complied with Allah’s Law.
(And believe in that which has been sent down to Muhammad) Adding this statement to the previous one is a method of adding a specific meaning to a general one. This provides proof that after Muhammad’s advent, believing in him is a required condition for the true faith. Allah then says,
(For it is the truth from their Lord.) which is a beautifully placed parenthetical clause. Thus, Allah says,
(He expiates from them their sins and amends their Bal.) Ibn `Abbas, said, “This means their matter.” Mujahid said, “This means their affair.” Qatadah and Ibn Zayd both said, “Their condition.” And all of these are similar in meaning. It has been mentioned (from the Prophet ) in the Hadith of the responding to one who sneezes,
(May Allah guide you and rectify your (Bal) affairs.) Then Allah says,
(That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood,) meaning, `We only invalidate the deeds of the disbelievers and overlook the sins of the righteous, and amend their affairs, because those who disbelieve follow false- hood.’ Meaning, they choose falsehood over the truth.
(while those who believe follow the truth from their Lord. Thus does Allah set forth for the people their parables.) Thus He makes the consequence of their actions clear to them, and He shows them where they will end in their next life — and Allah knows best.
Guiding the believers to what they should employ in their fights against the idolators, Allah says,
(So, when you meet those who disbelieve (in battle), smite their necks) which means, `when you fight against them, cut them down totally with your swords.’
(until you have fully defeated them,) meaning, `you have killed and utterly destroyed them.’
(tighten their bonds.) `This is referring to the prisoners of war whom you have captured. Later on, after the war ends and the conflict has ceased, you have a choice in regard to the captives: You may either act graciously toward them by setting them free without charge, or free them for a ransom that you require from them.’ It appears that this Ayah was revealed after the battle of Badr. At that time, Allah reproached the believers for sparing many of the enemy’s soldiers, and holding too many captives in order to take ransom from them. So He said then:
(It is not for a Prophet to have captives of war until he had made a great slaughter (among the enemies) in the land. You desire the commodities of this world, but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. Allah is Mighty and Wise. Were it not for a prior decree from Allah, a severe torment would have touched you for what you took.) (8:67-68) Allah’s saying,
(…until the war lays down its burden.) Mujahid said: “Until `Isa bin Maryam (peace be upon him) descends.” It seems as if he derived this opinion from the Prophet’s saying,
(There will always be a group of my Ummah victorious upon the truth, until the last of them fight against Ad-Dajjal.) Imam Ahmad recorded from Jubayr bin Nufayr who reported from Salamah bin Nufayl that he went to the Messenger of Allah and said, “I have let my horse go, and thrown down my weapon, for the war has ended. There is no more fighting.” Then the Prophet said to him,
(Now the time of fighting has come. There will always be a group of my Ummah dominant over others. Allah will turn the hearts of some people away (from the truth), so they (that group) will fight against them, and Allah will bestow on them (war spoils) from them (the enemies) — until Allah’s command comes to pass while they are in that state. Verily, the center of the believers’ abode is Ash-Sham. And goodness is tied around the horses’ foreheads till the Day of Resurrection.) An-Nasa’i also recorded this narration. Allah then says,
(Thus, and had Allah so willed, He could have taken vengeance against them;) which means that had He so willed, He could have taken immediate vengeance against the disbelievers with a chastisement or exemplary punishment directly from Him.
(but (He lets you struggle) so as to test with one another.) meaning, He has ordered Jihad and fighting against the enemies in order to try you and test your affairs. Allah also expresses His wisdom by the legislation of Jihad in the following two Surahs, Al `Iman and At-Tawbah, in which He says,
(Or did you think that you would enter the Paradise before Allah had made evident those of you who fight in His cause and made evident those who are steadfast) (3:142)
(Fight them; Allah will then punish them by your hands, disgrace them, grant you victory over them, satisfy the breasts of a believing people, and remove the fury of their (the believers’) hearts. Allah turns in forgiveness to whom He wills; Allah is Knowing and Wise.) ( 9:14-15)
Since it is customary during wars that many of the believers die, Allah says:
(But those who are killed in the way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost.) which means that He would not let their good deeds go to waste, but would rather multiply and increase them. Some of them will continue being rewarded for their good deeds for the entire length of their stay in Al-Barzakh. This has been mentioned in a Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad on the authority of Kathir bin Murrah, who reported from Qays Al-Judhami, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger said,
(As the first drop of his blood gushes forth, a martyr is granted six merits: all of his sins are forgiven, he is shown his place in Paradise, he is married to wide-eyed Huris, he is secured from the great fear (on Judgement Day) and the torment of the grave, and he is adorned with the adornments of Iman.) Ahmad was alone in recording this Hadith. Abu Ad-Darda’, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that Allah’s Messenger said,
(A martyr is allowed to intercede for seventy members of his household. ) This was recorded by Abu Dawud, and there are numerous other Hadiths mentioning the merits of the martyrs. As for Allah’s saying,
(He will guide them) meaning, He will guide them to Jannah. This is similar to Allah’s saying,
(Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous good deeds, their Lord will guide them because of their Faith: beneath them rivers will flow in the Gardens of Pleasure.) (10:9) Allah says,
(and amend their condition.) meaning, their situation and affairs.
(And (He will) admit them to Paradise, which He has made known to them.) It means that He has acquainted them with Paradise and guided them to it. Mujahid said: “The people of Paradise will be guided to their houses and dwellings and whatever sections Allah has ordained for them in it. They will not make mistakes in this, nor will they ask anyone for directions to their dwellings — as if they had dwelt in it from the time they were first created.” Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger said,
(After the believers securely pass the Fire (on the Day of Judgement), they will be held back upon a bridge between Paradise and the Fire. There, they will have any acts of injustice that they committed against one another in the life of this world rectified. After they are completely purified and cleansed (from injustice), they will be admitted into Paradise. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, each one of them will find his way to his dwelling in Paradise better than he found his way to his dwelling in the worldly life.)
Allah then says:
(O you who believe! If you support (the cause of) Allah, He will support you and make your foothold firm.) This is similar to His saying,
(Indeed, Allah will surely support those who support Him (His cause).) (22:40) That is because the reward is comparable to the type of deed that is performed. Thus, Allah says here,
(and make your foothold firm.) Allah then says,
(But as for those who disbelieve — misery awaits them) This misery is the opposite of making firm the footholds of the believers who support the cause of Allah and His Messenger . It has been confirmed in a Hadith that Allah’s Messenger said,
(Misery awaits the servant of the Dinar; misery awaits the servant of the Dirham; misery awaits the servant of velvet. Misery awaits him, and degeneracy; and if he is pricked by a thorn, may he not find anyone to pull it for him.) This means may Allah not cure him. Then Allah says,
(and (Allah) will make their deeds vain.) meaning, He will nullify them and make them fruitless. Thus, Allah says,
(That is because they hate that which Allah has sent down;) which means that they did not want or like what Allah revealed.
(so He made their deeds fruitless.)
(Have they not traveled) meaning, those who associate partners with Allah and deny His Messenger .
(through the land and seen what happened in the end to those before them Allah destroyed them completely,) which means that Allah punished them because of their denial and disbelief, and saved the believers from among them. That is why He says,
(and a similar (end awaits) the disbelievers.) Then Allah says,
(That is because Allah is the Protector of all those who believe, whereas the disbelievers have no protector.) After the battle of Uhud, Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb, the commander of the idolators at that time, inquired about the Prophet , Abu Bakr, and `Umar, may Allah be pleased with them. When he heard no response, he announced: “Verily, those three have died!” `Umar then responded to him: “You lie, O enemy of Allah! Allah has indeed saved those who will displease you. Indeed, those whom you mentioned are all alive!” Abu Sufyan then said: “Well, today makes up for (the defeat on) the day of Badr, and the war has its ups and downs. And indeed, you are going to find mutilation (in the bodies of your dead) that I did not command, nor did I prohibit.” Then he turned around chanting: “Glory to Hubal (their greatest idol), Glory to Hubal.” Allah’s Messenger said:
(Aren’t you going to respond to him) The Companions said: “What should we say, O Messenger of Allah” He said:
(Say: “Allah is Most High and Most Glorious.”) Then Abu Sufyan said: “We have Al-`Uzza (their second idol), and you have no `Uzza. (honor).” Allah’s Messenger said:
(Aren’t you all going to respond to him) They said: “What should we say, O Messenger of Allah” He said:
(Say: “Allah is our Protector, and you have no protector.”) Allah then says,
(Verily, Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous good deeds into Gardens through which rivers flow.) meaning, on the Day of Resurrection.
(Whereas those who disbelieve enjoy their life and eat as cattle eat. ) Which means that the disbelievers enjoy their worldly life and eat in it like animals, munching and gnawing (with greed). They have no concern other than that. Thus, it has been confirmed in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,
(A believer eats with one intestine, and a disbeliever eats with seven intestines.) Then Allah says,
(but the Fire will be their abode.) meaning, on the Day of their Reckoning. Allah then says,
(And how many a town mightier than your town that has driven you out) meaning, Makkah.
(We have destroyed, with none to help them!) gThis is a great threat and severe warning to the people of Makkah because they rejected Allah’s Messenger , who was the chief of the Messengers and the last of the Prophets. If Allah had destroyed the previous nations because of their denial of their Messengers, what then would those (people of Makkah) expect that Allah would do to them in the worldly life and the Hereafter And if the torment were to be lifted off some of them in this life by the blessing of the presence of the Messenger, the Prophet of Mercy, the torment will be stored for them in their next life, as Allah says,
(Their torment will be doubled! They could not bear to hear (the preaching), and they used not to see (the truth).) (11:20) Concerning Allah’s saying,
(than Your town that has driven you out) This means, `its people who have driven you (Muhammad ) out from amongst them (the people of Makkah).’ Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, that when Allah’s Messenger left Makkah (at the time of Hijrah — migration), and he reached the cave and hid inside it, he looked back toward Makkah and said,
(You are the most beloved to Allah among Allah’s lands, and you are also the most beloved to me among Allah’s lands. Were it not that the idolators have driven me out from you, I would never have left you.) Ibn `Abbas then said, “The worst of enemies is he who transgresses against Allah in His own sacred place, who kills a person who is not trying to kill him, or who kills because of Jahiliyyah vengeance. Allah then revealed to His Prophet ,
(And how many a town mightier than your town that has driven you out have We destroyed, with none to help them!)”
(Can then he, who stands on clear evidence from his Lord…) This means a person who is upon clear vision and certainty concerning Allah’s commands and His religion, because of the guidance and knowledge that Allah has revealed in His Book, and because of the pure nature upon which Allah has created him.
((Can he) be likened to those for whom their evil deeds are beautified for them, while they follow their own lusts) which means that they cannot be equal. This is similar to Allah’s saying,
(Can he who knows that what has been revealed unto you from your Lord is the truth be like him who is blind) (13:19) And,
(Not equal are the people of the Fire and the people of Paradise. The People of Paradise will be the successful ones.) (59:20)
Allah then says:
(The description of Paradise which is promised for those who have Taqwa…) `Ikrimah said,
(The description of Paradise) “This means its description.”
(In it are rivers of water that are not Asin,) Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Al-Hasan, and Qatadah all said, “It does not change.” Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, and `Ata’ Al-Khurasani all said, “It is not foul-smelling.” The Arabs say Asin if its (water) scent changes.
(rivers of milk, the taste of which never changes,) which means that the milk is of utmost whiteness, sweetness, and richness. It has been mentioned in a Hadith attributed to the Prophet “Their milk did not come out of the udders of cattle.”
(rivers of wine delightful to those who drink it, ) hich means that the wine does not have a bad taste or foul smell like that of the worldly life. Rather, it is good in its appearance, taste, smell, and effect, as Allah says,
(it (the wine) has no bad effects, nor does it cause intoxication.) (37:47) and,
(From which (the wine) they will have no headache, nor will they be intoxicated.) (56:19)
(white, delicious to the drinkers.)(37:46) It has been mentioned in a Hadith attributed to the Prophet , “Their wine was not pressed under men’s feet.”
(and rivers of refined honey;) which means that the honey is of utmost purity and pleasant color, taste, and smell. It has been mentioned in a Hadith attributed to the Prophet , “Their honey did not come out of the bellies of bees.” Imam Ahmad recorded from Hakim bin Mu`awiyah who narrated from his father that Allah’s Messenger said,
(Verily, there is in Paradise a lake of milk, a lake of water, a lake of honey, and a lake of wine. The rivers then gush out of them. At-Tirmidhi reported this narration in his section of the Description of Paradise, and he said, “Hasan Sahih. In the Sahih, it is recorded that Allah’s Messenger said,
(When you ask Allah, ask Him for Al-Firdaws, because it is the central and highest part of the Paradise, and from it gush the rivers of the Paradise and above it is the Throne of the Most Merciful.)Allah says,
(…and therein for them are all kinds of fruits, …) This similar to His saying,
(They will call in it for every kind of fruit in peace and security.) (44:55) And His saying,
(In them will be every kind of fruits in pairs.) (55:52) Allah says
(. ..and forgiveness from their Lord.) meaning, in addition to all of the above. Allah says,
(Can this be likened to those who abide eternally in the Fire) meaning, `can those that We have described their position in the Paradise be like those who will abide eternally in the Fire’ They are not equal, and nor are those who will be in the high ranks (in the Paradise) and those who will be in the lowest depths (Hell).
(and are given to drink boiling water) meaning, extremely hot; so hot that it is unbearable.
(that severs their intestines) meaning, that will cut their insides — both bowels and intestines. We seek refuge in Allah from that.
Allah describes the hypocrites’ stupidity and limited understanding. They used to sit before Allah’s Messenger and listen to his words without understanding anything. Then when they left from his presence,
(they say to those who have received knowledge) from the Companions
(“What is it that he has said just now”) meaning, at this moment. They did not understand what he said, nor did they care about it. Allah says,
(Such are the men whose hearts Allah has sealed because they followed their lusts.) which means that they had neither sound understanding nor correct intentions. Allah then says,
(And as for those who accept guidance, He increases them in guidance) which means that those who seek guidance, Allah facilitates it for them; He guides them to it, makes them firm on it, and gives them more of it.
(and bestows on them their Taqwa. ) meaning, He inspires them to their righteous guidance. Allah then says,
(Do they then await except that the Hour should come upon them suddenly) meaning, while they are unaware of it.
(But already there have come (some of) its portents;) meaning, the signs of its approach. This is similar to Allah’s saying,
(This is a warner of the warners of old. The approaching Day has drawn near.) (53:56-57) And His saying,
(The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has split.) (54:1) And His saying,
(The command of Allah is coming, so do not be impatient for it.) (16:1) And His saying,
(The people’s Day of Reckoning has approached while they turn away in heedlessness.) (21:1) Thus, the Messenger’s advent is one of the signs of the Hour, because he is the Finality of the Messengers. With him, Allah has completed the religion and established the evidence against all people in a way that was never done by a previous Prophet. Allah’s Messenger has most clearly informed about the signs and indications of the Hour, as we have discussed elsewhere. Al-Bukhari recorded from Sahl bin Sa`d, may Allah be pleased with him, that he saw Allah’s Messenger bring his index and middle fingers together while he said,
(I have been sent before the Hour as these two (fingers).) Allah continues,
(and when it (actually) is on them, how can they benefit then by their reminder) meaning, how would remembering benefit the disbelievers when the Hour comes upon them This is similar to Allah’s saying,
(On that Day will the human being remember, but what would that remembrance avail him then) (89:23) And His saying,
(They will say (in the Hereafter): “Now we believe in it!” But how could they claim belief from such a far place) (34:52) Allah then says,
(So know that La ilaha illallah) This is a declaration that there is no true God except Allah. It is not something that is easy for him to command the people to have knowledge of. That is why Allah connected it with,
(and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and women.) In the Sahih, it is recorded that Allah’s Messenger used to say,
(O Allah, forgive my sin, my ignorance, my immoderation in my affairs, and all that You know better about my (faults) than myself. O Allah, forgive for me my joking, my seriousness, my unintended error, and my deliberate (mistakes) — and I have done of all that.) It is also reported in the Sahih that he used to say at the end of the prayer,
(O Allah, forgive for me what I have previously done, what I may commit in future, what I have committed secretly, what I have committed openly, what I have done excessively, and all sins that You know better than me. You are my God. There is no (true) God except You.) It is also recorded in the Sahih that he used to say,
(O people! Repent to your Lord! Verily, I ask Allah for forgiveness and repent to Him more than seventy times every day.) Allah then says,
(And Allah knows well your moving about, and your place of rest.) means, He knows how you behave during the day, and where you settle at night. This is similar to His saying,
(It is He Who takes your souls by night and knows all that you do by day.)(6:60) And He says,
(And there is no moving creature on earth but its provision is up to Allah, and He knows its dwelling place and its deposit (before birth and after death) — all is in a clear register.) (11:6)
Allah mentions that the believers were hoping that Jihad would be legislated. But when Allah ordained it, many of the people turned back, as Allah says,
(Have you not seen those who were told: “Restrain your hands (from fighting), establish the Salah, and give Zakah.” But then when fighting was ordained for them, you find a party of them fearing the people as they fear Allah or more. They said: “Our Lord! Why have You decreed fighting upon us If only You have postponed us for a short period.” Say: “The enjoyment of this world is little. The Hereafter is far better for him who had Taqwa of (Allah), and you will not be dealt with unjustly, even as much as a thin thread (inside a date’s pit).”)(4:77) Similarly, Allah says here,
(Those who believe say: “Why is not a Surah sent down (for us)”) means, a Surah containing an order to fight. Then He says,
(But now that a decisive Surah is sent down mentioning fighting, you can see those in whose hearts is disease looking at you with the look of one who is about to faint for fear of death.) meaning, due to their fear, terror, and cowardice concerning meeting the enemies. Allah then encourages them by saying,
(But it was better for them, obedience and good words.) which means that it would have been better for them to listen and obey in that present situation.
(When the matter (of fighting) is resolved.) which means when the situation becomes serious and the time of fighting truly arrives.
(if they had been true to Allah,) meaning, by making their intentions sincerely for Him.
(it would have been better for them) Allah then says,
(So would you perhaps, if you turned away) meaning, from Jihad and you withdrew from it.
(spread corruption on earth, and sever your ties of kinship) which means, would you then go back to your old practices of the time of ignorance: shedding blood and severing kinship ties Allah then says,
(Such are the ones whom Allah has cursed, so He has made them deaf and blinded their vision.) This involves a general prohibition of spreading corruption on earth, and a specific prohibition of severing the ties of kinship. In fact, Allah has commanded the people to establish righteousness on earth, as well as to join the ties of kinship by treating the relatives well in speech, actions, and spending wealth in charity. Many authentic and sound Hadiths have been reported through numerous routes of transmission from Allah’s Messenger in this regard. Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger said,
(After Allah completed creating the creation, the womb stood up and pulled at the lower garment of the Most Merciful. He said, ‘Stop that!’ It replied, ‘My stand here is the stand of one seeking refuge in you from severance of ties.’ Allah said, ‘Would it not please you that I join whoever joins you and sever whoever severs you’ It replied, ‘Yes indeed!’ He said, ‘You are granted that!’) Abu Hurayrah then added, “Read if you wish:
(So would you perhaps, if you turned away, spread corruption on earth, and sever your ties of kinship)” Then Al-Bukhari recorded it with another wording which states that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Read if you wish: (So would you perhaps, if you turned away, spread corruption on earth, and sever your ties of kinship)) Muslim also recorded it. Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Bakrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger said:
(No sin deserves that Allah hasten its punishment in the worldly life, in addition to what He reserves in the Hereafter for those who commit it, more than injustice and severance of the ties of kinship.) This was also recorded by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah. At-Tirmidhi said, “This Hadith is Sahih.” Imam Ahmad recorded from Thawban, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger said,
(Whoever likes for his life to be extended, and his provision increased, let him connect his ties of kinship.) Ahmad was alone in recording this narration, but it has a supporting narration in the Sahih. Imam Ahmad recorded from `Abdullah bin `Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger said,
(Verily, the womb is attached to the Throne. And connecting its ties does not mean dealing evenly (with the kinsfolk), but it rather means that if one’s kinsfolk sever the ties, he connects them.) This Hadith was also recorded by Al-Bukhari. Ahmad also recorded from `Abdullah bin `Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger said,
(The womb will be placed on the Day of Resurrection, curved like a spinning wheel, speaking with an eloquent fluent tongue, calling to severing whoever had severed it, and joining whoever had joined it.) Imam Ahmad recorded from `Abdullah bin `Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger said,
(The merciful ones will be granted mercy from the Most Merciful. Have mercy on those on earth — the One above the heavens will then have mercy on you. And Ar-Rahim (the womb) is from Ar-Rahman, so whoever joins it, it joins him; and whoever severs it, it severs him.) Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi both recorded this Hadith and it has been reported with continuous chains of transmission. At-Trimidhi said, “Hasan Sahih.” There are numerous other Hadiths in this regard.
Commanding the people to reflect and ponder upon the Qur’an, and prohibiting them from turning away from it, Allah says,
(Will they not then reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon their hearts) means, there indeed are locks upon some hearts, firmly closing them so that none of its meanings can reach them. Ibn Jarir recorded from Hisham bin `Urwah, from his father, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger once recited this Ayah,
(Will they not then reflect upon the Qur’an, or are there locks upon their hearts) and a young man from Yemen said, “Indeed, there are locks upon them — until Allah opens them totally or slightly.” After that `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, always liked that young man, and kept that to himself until he became in charge, upon which he utilized him (as a consultant).
Allah then says,
(Verily, those who have turned back) meaning, they departed from the faith and returned to disbelief.
(… after guidance had become clear to them — Shaytan has enticed them) meaning he adorned and beautified that (apostasy) for them.
(and filled them with false hopes.) meaning, he tempted them, and deceived them.
(That is because they said to those who hate what Allah sent down: “We will obey your in part of the matter.”) means, they plotted secretly with them and gave them evil advice — as is the common practice of the hypocrites who declare the opposite of what they conceal. Because of this, Allah says,
(And Allah knows their secrets. ) whatever they hide and conceal, Allah is well-acquainted with it and He knows it. This is similar to His saying,
(…And Allah records all that they plot by night.) (4:81) Allah then says,
(How (will it be) when the angels will take their souls at death, striking their faces and their backs) That is, how their situation will be when the angels come to take their lives, and their souls cling to their bodies, causing the angels to extract them by force, harshness, and beating. This is similar to Allah’s saying,
(If you could but see when the angels take away the lives of the disbelievers, striking their faces and their backs.) (8:50) And His saying,
(If you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the agonies of death, while the angels extend their hands) (6:93). meaning, to beat them.
((saying): “Deliver your souls! This day you will be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth, and because you used to arrogantly reject His signs.”) (6:93) Because of the above, Allah says,
(That is because they pursued what angered Allah and disliked what earns His pleasure, so He rendered their deeds worthless.)
(Or do those in whose hearts is disease think that Allah would never expose their ill–wills) meaning, do the hypocrites think that Allah will not expose their affair to His believing servant Yes indeed, He will expose their affair and manifest it so that those with insight will be able to understand it. In that regard, Allah revealed Surah Bara’ah (or At-Tawbah), in which He clarified the hypocrites’ scandals, and pinpointed their practices that are indicative of their hypocrisy. Because of that, this Surah (Surah Bara’ah) is also called “The Exposer”. Adghan is the plural of Dighn, which means what the souls harbor of envy and hatred toward Islam and its people who support it. Allah then says,
(Had We so willed, We could have shown them clearly to you, so that you would know them by their marks.) Allah is telling His Messenger , “Had We willed, O Muhammad, We would have shown you the specific individuals who are hypocrites, so that you would plainly know them.” However, Allah did not do that in regard to all of the hypocrites. He conceals His creation, lets their affairs run according to apparent purity, and leaves the inner secrets to the One Who is well aware of them. Allah then adds,
(But you will know them by the tone of their speech!) which means, `you will know them by their speech that reveals their intentions.’ A person declares his association through the context and meaning of his words — as the Commander of the faithful `Uthman bin `Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Never would one conceal a secret but Allah will expose it by the look on his face and the uncontrolled words of his tongue.” Allah then says,
(And We will surely try you) meaning, `We will surely test you with commands and prohibitions.’
(until We know those who strive among you and the patient, and We will put to a test all your affairs.) There is absolutely no doubt that Allah’s knowledge precedes the occurrence of all events. In this Ayah, “until We know” means `until We know of its occurrence.’ This is why Ibn `Abbas said in regard to this and similar texts, “Except so that We may know, means, so that We may see.”
Allah then informs about those who disbelieve, obstruct others from the path of Allah, oppose the Messenger and contend with him, and revert from the faith after guidance has become clear to them. He indicates that those people can never harm Allah in the least, and rather they only harm themselves and become losers on the Day of Resurrection. He will nullify their deeds. Allah will not reward them even the weight of a mosquito (i.e., the smallest thing) for any good that they did before their apostasy, but would instead totally invalidate and destroy it. Their apostasy wipes away their good deeds entirely, just as the good deeds would normally wipe away the evil deeds. Imam Ahmad Ibn Nasr Al-Marwazi reported in Kitab As-Salah (the Book of Prayer) that Abu Al-`Aliyah said, “The Prophet’s Companions used to think that no sin would harm a person who says `La ilaha illallah,’ just as no good deed would benefit a person who joins partners with Allah. So Allah revealed,
(Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds.) This made them fear that some sins could nullify their deeds.” It has also been reported from Ibn `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, “We, the Companions of Allah’s Messenger , used to think that good deeds would all be accepted, until Allah revealed,
(Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds. ) So we asked each other: `What is it that can nullify our deeds’ So we said, `The major sins, great offenses that require admission into the Fire and immoral sins.’ But then Allah revealed,
(Verily, Allah does not forgive joining partners with Him in worship, but He forgives except that to whom He wills.) (4:48) After this was revealed, we ceased saying that. We thereafter continued to fear for those who committed great sins and immoral sins and to have hope for those who did not.” Then, Allah commands His believing servants to obey Him and His Messenger , which would result in their happiness in this worldly life and the Hereafter. He also prohibits them from apostasy, because that would result in the nullification of their deeds. Thus He says,
(and do not invalidate your deeds.) meaning, by apostasy. Thus, Allah says after this,
(Verily, those who disbelieved and obstructed others from the path of Allah and then died as disbelievers — never will Allah forgive them.) This is similar to His saying,
(Verily, Allah does not forgive joining partners with Him in worship, but He forgives except that to whom He wills.) (4:48) Allah then addresses His believing servants by saying,
(So do not lose heart) meaning, do not be weak concerning the enemies.
(and beg for peace) meaning, compromise, peace, and ending the fighting between you and the disbelievers while you are in a position of power, both in great numbers and preparations. Thus, Allah says,
(So do not lose heart and beg for peace while you are superior.) meaning, in the condition of your superiority over your enemy. If, on the other hand, the disbelievers are considered more powerful and numerous than the Muslims, then the Imam (general commander) may decide to hold a treaty if he judges that it entails a benefit for the Muslims. This is like what Allah’s Messenger did when the disbelievers obstructed him from entering Makkah and offered him treaty in which all fighting would stop between them for ten years. Consequently, he agreed to that. Allah then says:
(And Allah is with you) This contains the good news of victory and triumph over the enemies.
(and He will never deprive you of (the reward of) your deeds.) meaning, Allah will never invalidate your deeds, nullify them, or deprive you of them, but rather He will give you your rewards complete, without any reduction.” And Allah knows best.
Expressing the insignificance and worthlessness of the worldly life, Allah says,
(This worldly life is only amusement and diversion.) which means that such is its outcome, except for that which is done for the sake of Allah. Because of this, Allah says,
(And if you believe and have Taqwa of Allah, He will grant you your rewards, and will not ask from you (to sacrifice all of) your possessions.) meaning, He is in no need of you, and asks you for nothing. He only ordained giving charity from your wealth so that you would help your needy brothers. The benefit of that would then come back to you, as well as the rewards. Allah then says,
(If He would demand of you all of it and urge you, you would withhold.) meaning, if He pressures you much, you would become stingy.
(And He will expose your (secret) ill–wills.) Qatadah said, “Allah knows that extracting wealth (i.e., money from people) brings about ill-wills. ” Indeed, Qatadah has said the truth, because money is dear to the people, and they do not spend it except in things that are dearer to them than it. Allah then says,
(Here you are now invited to spend in Allah’s cause; but among you are those who withhold (stingily).) meaning, they refuse to spend. Allah continues,
(And whoever acts stingily is but stingy toward himself.) meaning, he only reduces his own rewards, and the bad outcome of that will come back to him.
(For Allah is indeed Al-Ghani) Allah is in need of nothing else, whereas everything is ever in need of Him. Thus, Allah says,
(while you are the needy.) meaning, specifically of Him. The description of Allah as Al-Ghani (in no need) is a necessary description of Allah; on the other hand, the description of the creation as Faqr (needy) is a necessary description for them that they cannot avoid. Allah then says,
(And if you turn away, ) which means, if you turn away from obeying Him and adhering to His Laws.
(He will replace you with other people; then they will not be like you.) meaning, rather, they will be people who will listen to Him and obey His commands.
This concludes the Tafsir of Surat Al-Qital. And Allah is worthy of all praise and gratitude.
Tafseer by Abul A’la Maududi
47. Surah Muhammad (The Praised One)
The Surah derives its name from the sentence wa amanu bi-ma nuzzila ala Muhammad-in of verse 2, thereby implying that it is the Surah in which the holy name of Muhammad (upon wham be Allah’s peace and blessings) has occurred. Besides, it has another well known name “al-Qital” also, which is derived from the sentence wa dhukira fi-hal-qital of verse 20.
Period of Revelation
The contents of this Surah testify that it was sent down after the hijrah at Madinah at the time when the fighting had been enjoined, though active fighting had not yet been undertaken. Detailed arguments in support of this view have been given in E. N. 8 below.
The conditions at the time when this Surah was sent down were such that the Muslims were being made the target of persecution and tyranny in Makkah in particular and in Arabia in general, and life had become miserable for them. Although the Muslims had emigrated to the haven of Madinah from every side, the disbelieving Quraish were not prepared to leave them alone and let them live in peace even there. Thus, the small settlement of Madinah was hemmed in by the enemy, who was bent upon exterminating it completely. The only alternative left with the Muslims were that either they should surrender to the forces of ignorance, giving up their mission of preaching the true Faith, or even following it in their private lives, or should rise to wage a war at the cost of their lives to settle finally and for ever whether Islam would stay in Arabia or the creed of ignorance. On this occasion Allah showed the Muslims the same way of resolution and will, which is the only way for the true believers. He first permitted them to fight in Surah Al Hajj 39 and then enjoined fighting in Al Baqarah 190. But at that time everyone knew fully well what it meant to wage a war in those conditions. There were only a handful of Muslims in Madinah, who could not muster even a thousand soldiers; yet they were being urged to take up the sword and clash against the pagan forces of the whole of Arabia. Then the kind of the weapons needed to equip its soldiers for war could hardly be afforded by the town in which hundreds of emigrants were still homeless and unsettled even by resort to starving its members at a time when it had been boycotted economically by the Arabs on all sides.
Theme and Subject Matter
Such were the conditions when this Surah was revealed. Its theme is to prepare the believers for war and to give them preliminary instructions in this regard. That is why it has also been entitled al-Qital. It deals with the following topics:
At the outset it is said that of the two groups confronting each other at this time, one has refused to accept the Truth and has become an obstruction for others on the way of Allah, while the other group has accepted the Truth which had been sent down by Allah to His servant, Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace and blessings). Now, Allah’s final decision is that He has rendered fruitless and vain all the works of the former group and set right the condition and affairs of the latter group.
After this, the Muslims have been given the initial war instructions they have been reassured of Allah’s help and guidance: they have been given hope for the best rewards on offering sacrifices in the cause of Allah and they have been assured that their struggle in the cause of the Truth will not go to waste, but they will be abundantly rewarded both in this world and in the Hereafter.
Furthermore, about the disbelievers it has been said that they are deprived of Allah’s support and guidance: none of their designs will succeed in their conflict with the believers, and they will meet a most evil fate both in this world and in the Hereafter. They thought they had achieved a great success by driving the Prophet of Allah out of Makkah, but in fact by this they had hastened their own doom.
After this, the discourse turns to the hypocrites, who were posing to be sincere Muslims before the command to fight was sent down, but were confounded when this command actually came down, and began to conspire with the disbelievers in order to save themselves from the hazards of war. They have been plainly warned to the effect that no act and deed is acceptable to Allah of those who adopt hypocrisy with regard to Him and His Prophet. There, the basic issue against which all those who profess the Faith are being tried is whether one is on the side of the Truth or Falsehood, whether one’s sympathies are with Islam and the Muslims or with disbelief and the disbelievers, whether one keeps one’s own self and interests dearer or the Truth which one professes to believe in and follow. One who fails in this test is not at all a believer; his Prayer and his Fasting and his discharging of the zakat deserve no reward from Allah.
Then the Muslims have been exhorted not to lose heart for being small in numbers and ill equipped as against the great strength of the disbelievers: they should not show weakness by offering peace to them, which might still further embolden them against Islam and the Muslims, but they should come out with trust in Allah and clash with the mighty forces of disbelief. Allah is with the Muslims: they alone shall triumph; and the might of disbelief will be humbled and vanquished.
In conclusion, the Muslims have been invited to spend their wealth in the cause of Allah. Although at that time they were economically very weak, the problem that they confronted was the very survival of Islam and the Muslims. The importance and delicacy of the problem demanded that the Muslims should not only risk their lives for safeguarding themselves and their Faith from the dominance of disbelief and for exalting Allah’s Religion but should also expend their economic resources as far as possible in the preparations for war. Therefore, they were clearly warned to the effect. Anyone who adopted a niggardly attitude at the time, would not, in fact, harm Allah at all, but would result in his own destruction, for Allah does not stand in need of help from men. If one group of men shirked offering sacrifices in the cause of His Religion, Allah would remove it and bring another group in its place.
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
1-3 Allah void the deeds of the disbelievers
(47:1) Allah has caused the works of those who disbelieve1 and hinder people from the way of Allah2 to go to waste.3 (47:2) As for those who attained to faith and did righteous works and believed in what was revealed to Muhammad4 which indeed is the Truth from their Lord5 Allah has remitted their evil deeds and has set their condition right.6 (47:3) That is because those who disbelieved followed falsehood whereas those who believed followed the Truth that came to them from their Lord. Thus does Allah set forth to people parables showing their true state.7
1. Those who disbelieved: Those who refused to accept the teachings and guidance presented by Muhammad (peace be upon him).
2. The verb sadd (from which saddu of the original is derived) is used both as a transitive and as an intransitive verb in Arabic.
Therefore, the sentence would mean “they themselves refrained from adopting Allah’s Way” as well as “they prevented others from adopting this way.” There are several ways of preventing others from adopting Allah’s Way:
(1) That one should forcibly prevent another from believing.
(2) That one should so persecute the believers that it should become difficult for them to remain steadfast on the faith and for others to embrace the faith in view of the dreadful conditions.
(3) That one should mislead the people against the religion and its followers in different ways and create doubts in the hearts so that the people may become suspicious of the religion itself. Besides, every disbeliever prevents others from the way of Allah in the sense that he brings up his children on the way of disbelief, and then it becomes difficult for his future generation to give up the ancestral faith and accept Islam. Likewise, every unbelieving society is an obstruction to the Way of Allah, for it creates obstacles in the way of the progress of the faith by its system of education and training, its government and its customs and prejudices.
3. The words adalla aamala-hum (led their deeds astray, let them go to waste) are very comprehensive in meaning. Their one meaning is: Allah deprived them of the grace that their efforts and their labors should be spent in the right way. Now, whatever they do, they will do that for wrong aims and objects in wrong ways. All their endeavors will be directed to the way of error and deviation instead of guidance. Their second meaning is: The works that they have been performing as pious deeds, e.g. guardianship of the Kabah, entertaining the guests, treating the kindred well and such other works, which are counted among religious services and noble actions morally, were rendered fruitless by Allah. They will get no reward for them, for when they refuse to accept Tauhid and to adopt the way of Allah’s service and worship and also stop others from adopting Islam, none of their works can be acceptable to Allah. The third meaning is Allah rendered fruitless and vain the efforts they were making to obstruct the way of the truth and to keep their creed of disbelief alive in Arabia as against the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). All their designs and endeavors now are aimless, they will never attain their goals by these designs.
4. Although after saying alladhina amanu (those who believed) there was no need to say wa amanu bima nuzzila ala Muhammad-in (and accepted that which has been sent down to Muhammad), for belief by itself implies believing in the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and in the teachings sent down to him, yet making a separate mention of it is particularly meant to assert this. After the appointment of Muhammad (peace be upon him) to Prophethood, a person’s belief in Allah and the Hereafter and the former Messengers and the Books cannot be beneficial until he also believes in him and the teachings brought by him. This explanation was necessary because after the emigration, the Muslims had also to deal with those people, who recognized and accepted all the requirements of the faith but refused to acknowledge and accept the Prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
5. This has two meanings:
(1) That Allah wiped off from their record all those sins which they had happened to commit in the pre-Islamic days of ignorance. Now, they will not at all be held accountable for them.
(2) That Allah removed from them the evils of creed, thought, morals and action in which they were involved. Now their minds were changed, their creed and ideas were changed. Now there was faith in their hearts instead of ignorance, and righteous acts instead of the immoral evil.
6. This also has two meanings:
(1) That Allah changed their previous condition and put them on the right path and improved and bettered their lives for them.
(2) That Allah has taken them out of the condition of weakness and helplessness and oppression in which they were placed till then. Now He has created for them such conditions in which instead of being persecuted they will defend themselves against the oppressors. Instead of living as subjects, they will now live and order their lives as free people, and will have the upper hand instead of being subdued and suppressed.
7. That is, He makes both the parties aware of their positions. One party insists on following falsehood; therefore, Allah has brought all its endeavors to naught. And the other party has adopted obedience of the Truth; therefore, Allah has purified it of its evils and corrected its condition.
4-6 In case of war thoroughly subdue the unbelievers before taking prisoners of war
(47:4) When you meet the unbelievers (in battle), smite their necks until you have crushed them, then bind your captives firmly; thereafter (you are entitled to) set them free, either by an act of grace, or against ransom, until the war ends.8 That is for you to do. If Allah had so willed, He would have Himself exacted retribution from them. (But He did not do so) that He may test some of you by means of others.9 As for those who are slain in the way of Allah, He shall never let their works go to waste.10 (47:5) He will guide them and set their condition right (47:6) and will admit them to Paradise with which He has acquainted them.11
8. The words of this verse as well as the context in which it occurs clearly show that it was sent down after the revelation of the command for fighting and before the actual fighting began. The words, “So when you meet (in battle) those who disbelieve”, indicate that the fighting has not yet taken place and the Muslims are being instructed that when it does take place, what they should do.
The words of (verse 20 )below testify that this Surah was sent down at a time when the command for fighting had already been given in (Surah Al-Hajj, Ayat 39) and (Surah Al- Baqarah, Ayat 190), and the hypocrites of Madinah and the people of the weak faith had been so upset that it seemed as if they were actually facing death.
Besides,( verses 67-69 of the Surah Al-Anfal )also testify that this verse had been sent down before the Battle of Badr. There it has been said:
It does not behoove a Prophet to have captives until he has crushed down the enemies in the land. You desire the gains of this world, but Allah desires the Hereafter, and Allah is All-Powerful, All-Wise. Had not a decree already been issued by Allah, you would have incurred a severe chastisement in consequence of what you have done. So eat of what you have taken as spoils because it is lawful and pure.
A careful study of this passage shows that what had displeased Allah on this occasion was that before crushing down the enemy completely in the Battle of Badr, the Muslims had started taking the enemy soldiers as captives, whereas the instruction given to them in Surah Muhammad before the actual fighting was this: When you have crushed them completely, then bind the captives tight. However, as the Muslims had been permitted, among other things in Surah Muhammad, to accept ransom from the prisoners, Allah declared the money taken from the captives of Badr as lawful and did not punish them for that. The words: Had not the decree already been issued by Allah, are clearly pointing to the fact that the command for permission to accept ransom had already been given in the Quran before this event, and obviously, there is no other verse in the Quran beside this verse of Surah Muhammad, which contains this command. Therefore, it will have to be admitted that this verse had been sent down before the above cited verse of the Surah Al-Anfal (For explanation, see (E.N. 49 on Surah Al-Anfal).
This is the first verse of the Quran in which preliminary instructions have been given about the laws of war. Below is given a resume of the injunctions that are derived from this verse and the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) and his companions’ practice according to it and the juristic inferences as based on this verse and the Sunnah:
(1) The real aim of the Muslim army in war is to break the fighting power of the enemy until it is crushed and the war lays down its arms. Under no circumstances, should the Muslim’s lose sight of this aim and start taking the enemy soldiers as captives. Captives should be taken after the enemy has been completely crushed and its numbers thinned down. The Arabs have been so instructed at the outset lest in the greed for ransom and taking slaves they should forget and overlook the real aim of the war.
(2) About the prisoners taken in war it has been said: You have the option whether you show them favor or accept ransom from them. This gives the general law that the prisoners of war should not be put to death. Abdullah bin Umar, Hasan Basri, Ata and Hammad bin Abi Sulaiman favor this view, which is quite valid. They say that a man can be killed only during the war. When the war is over and one has been made a prisoner, it is not lawful to kill him, Ibn Jarir and Abu Bakr alJassas have related that Hajjaj bin Yousuf handed over one of the prisoners of war to Abdullah bin Umar and commanded him to put him to death. He refused to obey and cited this verse and said: We are not allowed to kill a man when he is a prisoner. Imam Muhammad in As-Siyat al-Kabir also has related that Abdullah bin Amir had commanded Abdullah bin Umar to kill a prisoner of war, and he had refused to obey the command for this reason.
(3) But since in this verse it has neither been clearly forbidden to kill the prisoner, the Prophet (peace be upon him) understood this intention of Allah’s command, and also acted accordingly, that if there was a special reason for which the ruler of an Islamic government regarded it as necessary to kill a particular prisoner (or prisoners), he could do so. This is not the general law, but an exception to it, which would be applied only when necessary. Thus, the Prophet (peace be upon him) put to death only Uqbah bin Abi Muait and Nadr bin al-Harith from among the 70 prisoners taken at Badr, and only the poet Abu Azzah from the prisoners taken at Uhud. Since the Bani Quraizah had surrendered on the condition that they would accept whatever decision Hadrat Saad bin Muadh would give in their regard, and he had decreed that all the males of the Quraizah should be killed, the Prophet (peace be upon him) had them executed. From among the prisoners taken at Khaiber only Kinanah bin Abi al-Huqaiq was put to death because of his violating the agreement. At the conquest of Makkah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded in respect of only a few particular persons from among all the inhabitants of Makkah that any one of them who was captured should be put to death. Apart from these exceptions, the Prophet (peace be upon him) never killed prisoners of war, and the same also continued to be the practice of the righteous Caliphs. During their times also killing of prisoners of war was rare, which was resorted to only for a special reason. Umar bin Abdul Aziz also during his caliphate put to death only one prisoner of war for the reason that he had persecuted the Muslims very cruelly. On this very basis the majority of the jurists have held the view that the Islamic government can put a prisoner to death if necessary. But it is for the government to take such a decision; a soldier is not permitted to kill any prisoner he likes. However, if there is the danger of a prisoner’s running away or of his committing a dangerous mischief, the guard can kill him. In this connection, the jurists of Islam have also made three other points: (a) That if a prisoner accepts Islam, he cannot be killed; (b) that the prisoner can be killed only as long as he is in the government’s custody; if he has been allotted to, or given in somebody else’s possession by sale, he cannot be killed; and (c) that if the prisoner has to be killed, he should be killed in a straightforward way; he should not be tortured to death.
(4) The general command that has been given about the prisoners of war is: Show them favor, or accept ransom from them. Favor includes four things: (a) That they should be treated well as prisoners; (b) that instead of killing them or keeping them in captivity for lifetime, they should be handed over to the individual Muslims as slaves; (c) that they should be put under jizyah and made dhimmis; and (d) that they should be set free without ransom.
There are three ways of ransoming them: (a) That they should be set free on payment of a ransom; (b) that they should be set free after taking some special service from them; and (c) that they should be exchanged for the Muslim prisoners of war who are in the possession of the enemy. The Prophet (peace be upon him) and the companions at different times acted in one or the other way as the occasion demanded. The divine law has not bound the Islamic government to act in only one particular way. The government can take any action it deems appropriate on a particular occasion.
(5) The practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the companions confirms that as long as a prisoner of war is in the government’s custody, the government will be responsible for his food and clothing, and his treatment if he is ill or wounded. Islamic law does not permit prisoners to be kept without food or clothing, or be subjected to torture. On the contrary, instructions also have been given to treat them well and generously, and precedents of this very practice are found in the Sunnah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) distributed the prisoners of Badr in the houses of different companions and gave the instruction: Teat these prisoners well. One of those prisoners, Abu Aziz, has reported: The Ansar Muslims, in whose house I was kept, gave me bread in the morning and the evening, but as for themselves they had only dates to eat. About another prisoner; Suhail bin Amr, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was told: He is a fiery speaker, and has been making speeches against you: please have his teeth broken. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: If I have his teeth broken, Allah will break my teeth, although I am a Prophet. (Ibn Hisham). When Thumamah bin Uthal, the chief of Yamamah, was brought as a prisoner, he was provided with good food and milk on the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) orders as long as he remained a captive. (Ibn Hisham). The same was the practice in the time of the companions. No precedent is found when a prisoner might have been mistreated in their time.
(6) Islam has not permitted that the prisoners be kept in captivity forever so that the government may subject them to forced labor as long as it likes. If they are not exchanged for other prisoners of war, or ransomed, the method enjoined of doing them favor is that they should be made slaves and given in possession of individuals, and their masters instructed to treat them well This method was acted upon during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as well as of the companions, and the jurists of Islam have unanimously upheld it as permissible. In this regard, it should be borne in mind that a person who might have accepted Islam before being taken as prisoner, and then is somehow made a prisoner, will be set free, but the acceptance of Islam by a person who accepts it after being taken prisoner, or after being given in possession of somebody, will not gain him freedom automatically. A tradition has been related in Musnad Ahmad, Muslim and Tirmidhi on the authority of Imran bin Husain that a person from among the Bani Uqail was brought as a prisoner and he said: I have accepted Islam. Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If you had said this when you were free, you would certainly have attained to success. The same thing was said by Umar: When a prisoner becomes a Muslim after falling into the hands of the Muslims as a captive, he will not be killed, but will remain a slave. Oh this very point, the jurists of Islam have unanimously ruled that the prisoner who becomes a Muslim after being taken captive cannot escape slavery. (Imam Muhammad, As-Siyar al-Kabir). And this also is quite reasonable. If our law had been that anyone, who embraced Islam after being taken a captive, would be set free, no prisoner would be so foolish as not to win his freedom by pronouncing the Kalimah.
(7) The third manner of doing favor with the prisoners according to the law of Islam is that they may be put under jizyah and made dhimmi subjects of the Islamic state and allowed to live as free citizens of dar-al-Islam (abode of Islam) just like the Muslims. Imam Muhammad writes in his As-Siyar alKabir: Any person who can be made a slave, can also be made a dhimmi and put under jizyah. At another place he says: “The ruler of the Muslims has the right to levy jizyah on them and a tax on their lands and set than absolutely free. This method has been practiced generally in the condition when the territory of the people who have been made prisoners, is conquered and annexed to the Islamic state. The Prophet (peace be upon him), for instance, practiced this method in the case of the people of Khaiber, and then Umar followed and practiced it extensively on the conquest of Iraq and other territories. Abu Ubaid writes in his Kitab-al-Amwal: After the conquest of Iraq a deputation of the leading men of that country came before Umar and submitted: O Commander of the Faithful, before this the people of Iran had subdued us: they subjected us to harsh treatment and committed all sorts of excesses against us. Then, when God sent you, we became very pleased, and we neither put up any resistance against you nor participated in the war. Now, we hear that you want to make us slaves. Umar replied: You have the option either to become Muslims, or accept to pay jizyah and remain free. They agreed to pay the jizyah and they were granted full freedom. At another place in the same book. Abu Ubaid says: Umar wrote to Abu Musa al-Ashari: Set free every farmer and peasant from among the people who have been captured in the war.
(8) The fourth favor is that the prisoner be set free without ransom. This is a special concession that the Islamic government can give only in case the special conditions of a prisoner demand it, or when it is expected that the concession will win the prisoner’s gratitude forever, and help turn him a friend from an enemy, or a believer from a disbeliever; otherwise, obviously it would in no way be a wise thing to set free a person of the enemy camp, who could again return to fight the Muslims. This is why the Muslim jurists generally have opposed it, and imposed the condition: If the ruler of the Muslims finds it expedient to set the prisoners, or some of them, free as a favor, there is no harm in doing so. (As-Siyat al-Kabir). Many precedents of this are found in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and in almost every case expediency seems to be the reason.
About the prisoners taken at Badr, he said: If Mutim bin Adi were alive, and had spoken to me in respect of these treacherous people, I would have let them go for his sake. (Bukhari, Abu Daud, Musnad Ahmad). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said this because when he had returned from Taif to Makkah, Mutim at that time had given him refuge, and his armed sons had escorted him to the Kabah. Therefore, he wanted to repay his debt of gratitude in this way.
According to Bukhari, Muslim and Musnad Ahmad, when Thumamah bin Uthal, the chief of Yamamah, was brought as a prisoner, the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him: Thumamah, what do you say? He replied: If I am killed, then such a one would be killed, whose blood has some value: if I am shown favor, then favor would be shown to a person, who appreciates favor; and if you want wealth, ask for it, you will be given it. For three days the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him the same thing and he gave the same reply. At last, the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered that Thumamah be set free. On attaining freedom, he went to a nearby oasis, washed himself and came back, pronounced the kalimah and became a Muslim, saying: Before this day nobody was more detestable than you and no religion more odious than your religion in my sight, but now for me no man is more lovable than you and no religion more lovable than your religion. Then he went to Makkah for Umrah and gave the people of Quraish a notice to the effect: After this no grain will reach you from Yamamah unless Muhammad (peace be upon him) permits it. So, he stopped the grain supply and the people of Makkah had to request the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he should not stop the supply of grain for them from Yamamah.
From among the prisoners of the Bani Quraizah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) forgave Zabir bin Bata and Amr bin Saad (or Ibn Suda), the former because he had given refuge to Thabit bin Qais Ansari in the battle of Buath, in the pre-Islamic days of ignorance; therefore, he handed him over to Thabit that he may repay him for his favor. And he forgave Amr bin Sad because it was he who was exhorting his tribe not to be treacherous when the Bani Quraizah were committing breach of the trust with the Prophet (peace be upon him).
After the Battle of Bani-al-Mustaliq, when the prisoners were brought and distributed among the people, the Prophet (peace be upon him) paid Juwairiyah’s ransom to the person to whom she was allotted to secure her freedom and then married her to himself. At this all the Muslims set their own prisoners free, saying: Now they have become the Prophet’s relatives. Thus, the prisoners of a hundred families became free. (Musnad Ahmad, Tabaqat Ibn Saad, Ibn Hisham).
On the occasion of the treaty of Hudaibiyah, at about dawn, 80 men came from the direction of Tanim with the intention of launching a sudden attack on the Muslim camp, but were all captured, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) set all of them free lest it became a cause of war on that critical occasion. (Muslim, Abu Daud, Nasai, Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad).
At the conquest of Makkah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) forgave all the people of Makkah except only a few men, and did not kill more than three or four of even those who had been made an exception. The whole of Arabia was well aware of what atrocities the people of Makkah had committed against the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Muslims; yet he forgave them after attaining complete victory over them, gave the Arabs the satisfaction that they had not been overpowered by a tyrant but by a merciful, affectionate and generous leader. That is why after the conquest of Makkah the Arabian peninsula did not take longer than two years to be completely subdued.
After the Battle of Hunain, when the Hawazin deputation came to secure the freedom of their prisoners, the prisoners had already been distributed. The Prophet (peace be upon him) called the Muslims together and said: These people have come with repentance, and I am of the opinion that their men should be returned to them. He who would like to set the prisoner allotted to him free willingly without ransom, should set him free, and the one who would like to take ransom, shall be paid it out of the first income that is received in the Public Treasury. Thus, six thousand prisoners were set free, and those who wanted to take ransom, were given it by the government. (Bukhari, Abu Daud, Musnad Ahmad, Tabaqat Ibn Saad). This also shows that the government is not authorized to set the prisoners free after they have been distributed; this can be done by the willing approval of those in whose possession the prisoners have been given, or by paying them the ransom.
After the Prophet (peace be upon him), precedents of setting the prisoners free as a favor continue to be found throughout the period of the companions also. Abu Bakr set free Ashath bin Qais al-Kindi and Umar granted freedom to Hurmuzan and the prisoners of Manadhir and Maisan. (Abu Ubaid, Kitab alAmwal).
(9) The precedent of setting the prisoners free on payment of the ransom in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is found only on the occasion of Badr, when the prisoners were set free on payment of one thousand to four thousand dirhams each. (Tabaqat Ibn Saad, Kitab al- Amwal). No precedent of this is found in the time of the companions; and the jurists of Islam have generally disapproved it, for it means that we should take money and set a man free so that he may again rise against us with the sword. But since taking of ransom has been permitted in the Quran, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) also acted according to it once, it is not absolutely forbidden. Imam Muhammad writes in his As-Siyar al-Kabir that if the need arises the Muslims can free their prisoners on payment of the ransom.
(10) The criterion of freeing a prisoner for a service rendered is also found in connection with the battle of Badr. For those of the Quraish prisoners who had no ransom the Prophet (peace be upon him) imposed the condition that they should teach reading and writing to ten Ansar children each to win their freedom. (Musnad Ahmad, Tabaqat Ibn Saad, Kitab al-Amwal).
(11) Several instances of the exchange of prisoners are found in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Once he dispatched Abu Bakr on an expedition and he brought some captives, including a beautiful woman, who fell to the lot of Salamah bin Akwa. The Prophet urged him to give her back, then sent her to Makkah and had several Muslim prisoners released, in exchange for her. (Muslim, Abu Daud, Tahawi Kitab al-Amwal of Abi Ubaid, Tabaqat Ibn Saad). Imran bin Husain relates that once the tribe of Thaqif arrested two men of the Muslims. Some time later, a man of the Bani Uqail, who were allies of the Thaqif, was arrested by the Muslims. The Prophet (peace be upon him) sent him to Taif and got both the Muslims released in exchange for him. (Muslim, Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad). From among the jurists Imam Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad, Imam Shafai, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad hold the exchange of the prisoners as permissible. A ruling of Imam Abu Hanifah is that exchange should not be practiced, but according to another ruling of his exchange can be practiced. However, there is a consensus that the prisoner who becomes a Muslim should not be handed over to the disbelievers for the purpose of exchange.
This explanation makes it abundantly clear that Islam has formulated a comprehensive code in respect of the prisoners of war, which contains provision for this problem in every age under all sorts of conditions. Those people who take this Quranic verse in its simple meaning that the prisoners of war should either be shown favor and set free or freed for ransom, do not know what different aspects the question of the prisoners of war has, and what problems it has been creating in different ages and can create in the future.
9. That is, if Allah had only wanted to crush the worshipers of falsehood, He did not stand in need of your help for this. He could have done this through an earthquake or a tempest in no time, But what He wills is that the followers of the truth among the people should enter into a conflict with the worshipers of falsehood and fight against them so that the qualities and characteristics of each are brought out clearly by means of the test and each is given the place and rank that he deserves according to his conduct.
10. It means this: A person’s being slain in the way of Allah does not mean that he lost his life and as far as his person was concerned, all his lifework was wasted. It is wrong to think that the sacrifices of the martyrs are not beneficial for themselves but only for those who live after them in the world, and take advantage of their sacrifices. The fact is that even for the martyrs themselves it is a bargain of profit, not of loss at all.
11. This is the profit that the martyrs falling in the way of Allah will gain. Its three grades have been stated:
(1) That Allah will guide them.
(2) That He will set their condition right.
(3) That He will admit them into the Paradise with which He has acquainted them beforehand.
Guidance here obviously implies guiding to Paradise; setting the condition right implies that before their entry into Paradise, Allah will adorn them with robes of honor and remove every filth which had polluted them in the life of the world; and the third stage means that even in this world they have been told through the Quran and the Prophet (peace be upon him) what kind of Paradise it is that has been prepared for them. When they enter that Paradise they will enter a place with which they will already be familiar and they will come to know that they have been blessed precisely with the same that had been promised to them in the world.
7-11 If you help the cause of Allah, Allah will help and protect you
(47:7) Believers, if you aid Allah, He will come to your aid12 and will plant your feet firmly. (47:8) As to those who disbelieve, perdition lies in store for them13 and Allah has reduced their works to nought. (47:9) That was because they were averse to what Allah had revealed;14 so He let their works go to waste. (47:10) Have they not journeyed through the land to see the end of those who went before them? Allah utterly destroyed them. These unbelievers are doomed to the same end.15 (47:11) That is because Allah is the Protector of the believers whereas the unbelievers have none to protect them.16
12. If you help Allah: If you participate in the work of raising Allah’s Word with your life and wealth. But this has a deeper meaning too, which we have explained in (E.N. 50 of Surah Aal-Imran). 8
13. Literally, to stumble and fall down on the face.
14. That is, they preferred the whims, superstitions, customs and moral perversion of their former ignorance and did not like the teaching that Allah had revealed to guide them to the right way.
15. This sentence has two meanings:
(1) The same destruction that was met by those disbelievers now awaits these disbelievers, who are not accepting the invitation of Muhammad (peace be upon him).
(2) The ruin of those people does not end with the torment of the world; the same doom also awaits them in the Hereafter.
16. After being wounded at Uhud when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was resting in a hill pass with a few companions, Abu Sufyan shouted: We have Uzza and there is no Uzza for you. Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) told his companions to respond, saying: Our Protector and helper is Allah, and you have no protector and helper at all. This reply of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was derived from this very verse.
12-14 Believers do not follow their own desires
(47:12) Allah shall admit those who believe and do righteous works to the Gardens beneath which rivers flow. As for the unbelievers, they enjoy the pleasures of this transient life and eat as cattle eat.17 The Fire shall be their resort. (47:13) (O Prophet), how many are the cities that had greater power than your city that drove you out? We destroyed them and there was none to protect them.18 (47:14) Then, can he, who is on a Clear Guidance from His Lord, be like him whose evil deeds have been embellished to him, and who pursued their lusts?19
17. That is, just as an animal eats and does not think where from the food it eats has come, who has created it, and what rights of the creator are imposed on it for providing it with food, so are these people also eating and have no higher values or ideals beyond eating.
18. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was sorely distressed on leaving Makkah. When he was compelled to emigrate, he had stood facing the city outside it and said: O Makkah, you are the most beloved city in the sight of Allah, and I have the greatest love for you out of all the cities of Allah. If the polytheists had not driven me out, I would never have left you. About this it has been said: After driving you out of the city the people of Makkah think that they have achieved a great success, whereas, in fact, they have hastened only their own ruin by this evil act. The style of the verse clearly indicates that it must have been revealed soon after the Hijrah.
19. That is, how is it possible that when the Prophet and his followers have been guided by God to a clear and straight path and they have started following it in the light of full knowledge and vision, they should walk along, with those who are still persisting in their ways of ignorance, who regard their deviation as guidance and their evildoing as a praiseworthy thing, and who judge on the basis of their personal desires, and not by argument as to what is the truth and what is falsehood. Now, neither can the lives of these two groups be alike in this world nor can their end be alike in the Hereafter.
15-15 Parable of paradise and hell
(47:15) Here is the parable of Paradise which the God-fearing have been promised: in it shall be rivers of incorruptible water,20 rivers of milk unchanging in taste,21and rivers of wine, a delight to those that drink;22 and rivers of pure honey.23 In it they will have every kind of fruit as well as forgiveness from their Lord.24 Can such be like those who will abide in the Fire and will be given a boiling water to drink that will tear their bowels apart?
20. Literally, aasin is the taste and color of water which has changed, or which gives a bad smell. In the world the water of rivers and canals is generally muddy; its taste and color change due to the mixture of sand and dust and of different kinds of vegetation in it, and it also gives off a kind of bad smell. Therefore, the quality of the water of the rivers and canals of Paradise will be such that it will be pure and clear, without any adulteration.
21. In a Hadith directly reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him), it has been explained thus: It will not be the milk squeezed from the milk glands of animals. That is, it will be the milk which Allah will bring out in the form of springs from the earth and cause it to flow into canals of Paradise. About this natural milk it has been said: Its flavor will not change at all; that is, it will not give even the slightest offensive smell that is found in every kind of milk squeezed from the animal milk glands.
22. In another Hadith reported directly from the Prophet (peace be upon him), it has been explained, thus: This wine will not have been distilled from rotten fruit by beating and fermenting, like the wine in the world, but Allah will produce it also in the form of springs and cause it to flow into canals; then its quality will be such that it will be delightful for the drinkers. That is, it will not be bitter and foul-smelling like the wines of the world, which cannot be drunk even by the most habitual drinker without showing some distaste. In Surah As-Saffat, another quality of it has been described: Neither will the drinker be harmed physically thereby nor become drunk. (verse 47). In Surah Al-Waqiah it has been said: Which will neither cause them giddiness nor affect their sense. (verse 19). This shows that wine will not intoxicate, but will only give pleasure and delight.
23. In the Hadith it has been explained, thus: The honey will not have been drawn from the bees’ bellies, but it will also come out from springs and flow into canals; therefore, it will not have wax, and pieces of the honey-comb and legs of dead bees mixed in it, but it will be absolutely pure.
24. The mention of forgiveness from Allah after the blessings of Paradise can have two meanings:
(1) That the greatest blessing by far will be that Allah will forgive them.
(2) That the errors and faults that they happened to commit in the world, will not even so much as be mentioned before them, but Allah will cover them up forever so that they are not put to shame in Paradise.
16-19 Hypocrites are those on whose heart Allah has set a seal
(47:16) Among them some give ear to you. But no sooner do they leave your presence than they ask those endowed with knowledge: “What is it that he said just now?”25 Such are those whose hearts Allah has sealed and who pursue their lusts.26 (47:17) As for those who were led to the Guidance,27 Allah increases them in their guidance and causes them to grow in God-fearing.28 (47:18) Are they waiting, then, for anything else than the Last Hour to suddenly come upon them?29 Already some of its tokens have come.30 But when it does actually come upon them, where will any time be left for them to take heed? (47:19) Know, therefore, (O Prophet), that there is no god but Allah, and ask forgiveness for your shortcomings and also for (the shortcomings of) believing men and believing women.31 Allah knows the places where you move about and where you dwell.
25. This is concerning those disbelievers and hypocrites and unbelieving followers of the former Books, who sat in the assemblies of the Prophet (peace be upon him), listened to his discourses, or the verses of the Quran, but since in their hearts they were averse to the themes presented by him, they would understand nothing in spite of listening to him. Therefore, when they came out, they would ask the Muslims: What was he saying just now?
26. This was the real reason because of which their ears had become deaf to the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him). They were the slaves of their lusts, and the teachings that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was presenting fell against their lusts. Therefore, if ever they sat in the assemblies of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and listened to him, they would understand nothing.
27. That is, the same revelations about which the disbelievers and hypocrites ask: What was the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying just now? become a cause of further guidance for the rightly guided people, and from the same assembly from which these unfortunate people rise without gaining anything, the fortunate ones return with a new treasure of knowledge and insight.
28. That is, Allah grants them the grace to develop in themselves the kind of piety taqwa that they have the capability to develop.
29. That is, as far as the explanation and clarification of the truth is concerned; it has been explained well by argument and reasoning, the miraculous discourses of the Quran, the pure character of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the revolution in the lives of his companions. Now, are these people awaiting that Resurrection itself should take place and then only they will believe?
30. The portents of Resurrection imply those signs which indicate that its approach is near. One such important sign is the advent of God’s last Prophet after whom no other prophet will come till Resurrection. Traditions have been related in Bukhari, Muslim. Tirmidhi and Musnad Ahmad on the authority of Anas, Sahl bin Saad As-Saidi and Buraidah, saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) raised his index finger and the middle finger and said: My advent and Resurrection are like these two fingers. That is, Just as there is no other finger between these two fingers, so no other prophet will be raised between me and Resurrection; after me only Resurrection now will occur.
31. One of the morals taught to man by Islam is also this: However hard and sincerely may man be trying to serve and worship his Lord and fighting and struggling in the cause of His Religion, he should never be involved in the misunderstanding that he has done and accomplished whatever he was required to do. Rather, on the contrary, he should have the feeling that he has not been able to do full justice to what was expected of him by his Lord and Master. Therefore, he should confess his errors constantly and pray to Allah saying Lord, forgive me for whatever fault and error I may have committed in Your service. This is indeed the essence of Allah’s command: O Prophet, ask forgiveness for your fault. This does not mean that God forbid, the Prophet (peace be upon him) had actually committed an error willfully, but its correct meaning is that it did not even behoove the servant who was the greatest worshiper of his Lord that he should harbor even a tinge of the pride of accomplishment in his heart, but his true position also was that in spite of all his great and glorious services he should continue confessing his shortcomings before his Lord. It was under this state of the mind that the Prophet (peace be upon him) often implored his Lord for forgiveness. According to Abu Daud and Nasai, the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: I implore Allah for forgiveness one hundred rimes every day.
20-28 Promise of obedience (Islam) and good talk which is not followed by action is cursed by Allah
(47:20) The believers used to say: “Why is a surah (that would ordain fighting) not revealed?” But when a definitive surah was revealed wherein fighting was mentioned, you saw that those in whose hearts there was a sickness looked at you as though they were about to faint at the approach of death.32 Pity on them! (47:21) (They keep affirming their) obedience and saying good words. But when a course of action was clearly determined, it would have been better for them if they had proved true to Allah. (47:22) Now, if you were to turn away,33 what else can be expected but that you will work corruption in the land and fly at each other’s throats?34 (47:23) It is these upon whom Allah has laid His curse: so He made them deaf and deprived them of their sight. (47:24) Do they, then, not reflect on the Qur’an? Or are there locks on their hearts?35 (47:25) Certainly those who have turned their backs on the True Guidance after it became manifest to them, Satan has embellished their ways for them and has buoyed them up with false hopes. (47:26) This, because they said to those who are averse to the faith that Allah has revealed: “In some matters we shall obey you.”36 Allah has full knowledge of their secret parleys. (47:27) But how will they fare when angels will take their souls at death and will carry them, striking their faces and backs?37 (47:28) That is because they have followed a way that angered Allah, and have been averse to His good pleasure. So He reduced all their works to nought.38
32. That is, in view of the conditions through which the Muslims were passing and the attitude that the disbelievers had adopted towards Islam and the Muslims at that time, the believers were generally of the opinion that they should be permitted to fight even before fighting was actually enjoined by Allah. Rather they were asking Allah’s command in this regard impatiently and were asking again and again: Why are we not permitted to fight these wicked people? But the condition of the people who had joined the ranks of the Muslims hypocritically was quite different from that of the believers. They held their lives and their properties as dearer to themselves than Allah and His religion, and were not prepared to risk them at any cost. Therefore, as soon as fighting was enjoined, they were clearly sorted out from the true believers. Until the time when fighting had not been enjoined, the hypocrites and the common believers could not be distinguished one from the other. The hypocrites offered the Prayer just as the true believers did, they observed the Fast just like them, and practiced every article of the faith as made no demand of a sacrifice on them. But when the time came for making the supreme sacrifice of life for the sake of Islam, their hypocrisy was exposed and their veil of false display of the faith was rent asunder. In Surah An-Nisa, their this state has been described thus: Have you marked those to whom it was said: Withhold your hands a while and establish the salat and pay the zakat? Now that the fighting has been enjoined for them, some of them fear the people as they should fear Allah, or even more than that. They say: Our Lord, why have You enjoined fighting for us? Why have You not given us a brief respite? (verse 77)
33. Another translation of the words in the original can be: If you became rulers over the people,
34. Its one meaning is: If at this time you shirk supporting and defending Islam and refrain from fighting with your life and wealth for the cause of the great reformist revolution which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions are struggling to bring about. There will be no other consequence of this than that you would return to the same system of ignorance in which you have been cutting each other’s throat since centuries, burying your children alive and filling God’s earth with injustice and wickedness. Its other meaning is: You are a people of depraved character. You are not at all sincere in your claim of having affirmed the faith, because you are not prepared to make any sacrifice in its cause. Now, if Allah gives you power in the land and entrusts the affairs of the world to you when morally you are unsound and unreliable, what else can be expected of you than that you would commit tyranny and mischief and resort to killing of your own near and dear ones.
This verse clearly points out that Islam forbids severing of relations with the kindred. On the other hand, in positive terms also, at several places in the Quran, treating the relatives kindly and well has been enjoined and counted among the major virtues. (For instance, see (Surah Al- Baqarah, Ayats 83, (177); (Surah An-Nisa, Ayats 8, (36); (Surah An-Nahl, Ayat 90); (Surah Bani Israil, Ayat 26); (Surah An- Noor, Ayat 22) . The word rahm in Arabic is used for kinship and relationship by blood metaphorically. All the relations of a person, whether near or distant, are his kinsmen, dhwil-arham. The nearer the relationship the greater the right one has upon the other and greater the sin of severing the ties of blood. To treat the kindred well implies that one should do his utmost in doing whatever good he possibly can to his relative. As well as, he should avoid doing any ill or harm to him. Reasoning from this very verse Umar had forbidden as unlawful selling of the slave girl who had given birth to a child from her master, and the companions had concurred with him in this. Hakim in his Musradrik has related on the authority of Buraidah that one day when he was sitting among the audience of Umar, suddenly a clamor arose in the street. On inquiring it was known that a slave girl was being sold and her daughter was crying. Umar immediately got the Ansar and the Muhajirin together and put before them the question: Do you find in the religion that Muhammad (peace be upon him) has brought any room for severing of relations between the blood relationships? Everybody replied in the negative. Thereupon, Umar said: Then, how is it that in your houses a mother is being separated from her daughter? Could there be a greater and more serious instance of the cutting of these relationships? Then he recited this verse. The people said: You may adopt whatever measure you deem fit to stop this practice. At this Umar issued this decree for enforcement in all the Islamic territories: No slave-girl who has given birth to a child from her master is to be sold because this is breaking of kinship ties which is not lawful.
35. That is, either these people do not ponder over the Quran at all, or if they try to ponder over it, its teachings and meaning do not enter into their hearts, because they have put locks on them. As for this; “are there locks upon their hearts” means: There are such locks for them as are specially meant for the hearts which are not susceptible to the truth.
36. That is, in spite of professing the faith and being counted among the Muslims, they went on conspiring secretly with the enemies of Islam and even pledged to support them in certain matters.
37. That is, in the world they adopted this attitude so that they may safeguard their interests and may protect themselves from the dangers of the conflict between Islam and infidelity, but how will they escape Allah’s wrath after death? At that time, no device of theirs will prove helpful for them to remain safe from the punishment by the angels.
This verse also is one of those verses that point to the torment of barzakh (i.e. torment of the grave). It clearly shows that the unbelievers and hypocrites start being afflicted with the torment right from the time of death, and this torment is different from the punishment which they will get on Resurrection after their cases will have been decided by Allah. (For further explanation, see( Surah An- Nisa, Ayat 97); (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayats 93-94); (Surah Al- Anfal, Ayat 50); (Surah An-Nahl, Ayats 28, 32); (Surah Al- Muminun, Ayats 99-100); (Surah YaSeen, Ayats 26-27 and E.Ns 22, 23); (Surah Al-Mumin, Ayat 46 and E.N. 63).
38. This refers to all those works that they performed as Muslims. Their Prayers, their Fasting, their payments of the Zakat, and all other acts of worship and virtue, which in appearance and form are counted among good works, were rendered void, for they failed to adopt the attitude of sincerity and loyalty towards Allah and Islam and the Muslim community, even though they professed to be Muslims. But, on the contrary, they went on conspiring with the enemies of Islam for the sake of small worldly gains, and started devising schemes to save themselves from any possible risks as soon as time came for Jihad in the cause of Allah. These verses are absolutely decisive and conclusive in this regard that in the conflict between Islam and un-Islam the faith of the person whose sympathies are not with Islam and the Muslims, or are with disbelief and the disbelievers, cannot at all be reliable, not to speak of any of his works being acceptable before Allah.
29-34 Allah put the believers to test in order to know the valiant and the resolute
(47:29) Or do they, in whose hearts there is a sickness, believe that Allah will not bring their failings to light? (47:30) If We were to so will, We could have shown them to you so that you would recognise them by their faces, and you would certainly know them by the manner of their speech. Allah knows all your deeds. (47:31) We shall certainly test you until We know those of you who truly strive and remain steadfast, and will ascertain about you. (47:32) Those who disbelieved and barred others from Allah’s Way and opposed the Messenger after the True Guidance had become manifest to them, they shall not be able to cause Allah the least harm; rather, Allah will reduce all their works to nought.39 (47:33) Believers, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not cause your works to be nullified.40 (47:34) Verily Allah shall not forgive those who disbelieved and barred others from Allah’s Way and clung to their unbelief until their death.
39. This sentence has two meanings:
(1) That Allah will render vain and fruitless all those works which they had performed as good works, and they will get no reward whatever for them in the Hereafter.
(2) That all the devices that they are adopting to obstruct the way of Allah and His Messenger’s (peace be upon him) religion will prove ineffective and fruitless.
40. In other words, the deeds being beneficial and yielding of good results depends wholly on one’s obedience to Allah and His Messenger. After one has turned away from obedience, no deed remains a good deed so that one may deserve any reward for it.
35-36 In the case of war Allah is on the side of the believers
(47:35) So, be not faint-hearted and do not cry for peace.41 You shall prevail. Allah is with you and will not bring your works to nought. (47:36) The life of this world is but sport and amusement.42 If you believe and are God-fearing, He will grant you your reward, and will not ask you for your possessions.43
41. Here, one should bear in mind the fact that when this discourse was revealed only a handful of the Muslims consisting of a couple of hundreds of the Muhajirin and Ansar living in the small town of Madinah were upholding the standard of Islam and they were not only faced by the powerful Quraish but also by the whole of pagan Arabia. Such were the conditions when they were exhorted not to show weakness and not to beg (the enemy) for peace, but to make preparations for the decisive conflict. This does not mean that the Muslims should never negotiate for peace, but it means that in a state like this it is not right to initiate peace negotiations when it shows the Muslims’ weakness, for it will still further embolden the enemy. The Muslims should first establish their superiority in power and strength; then if they negotiate peace there will be no harm.
42. That is, as against the Hereafter, this world is no more than a means of temporary entertainment. The success or failure here is not anything real and enduring, which might in any way be important. The real life is the life Hereafter, and its success should be man’s main concern. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 102 of Surah Al-Ankabut).
43. That is, Allah is Self-Sufficient: He does not need taking anything from you for His own self. If He tells you to expend something in His way, He does so not for Himself but only for your own good.
37-38 Do not be niggardly if you are asked to give in the cause of Allah
(47:37) If He were to ask you for your possessions and press you (in that regard), you would have grown niggardly, and Allah would have brought your failings to light.44 (47:38) Behold, you are those who are called upon to spend in Allah’s Way, but some of you are niggardly. Whoever is niggardly is in fact niggardly to himself. For Allah is All-Sufficient, whereas it is you who are in need of Him. If you turn away, He will replace you by a people other than you, and they will not be like you.
44. That is, He does not put you to any severe trial that may bring out your weaknesses.