Surah Al-Mumtahanah (Arabic: الممتحنة pronounced: mumtahina) is the 60th Surah of the Qur’an composed of 13 ayats (verses). It is classified as a Medinan Surah and the title in English is “She That Is To Be Examined”.
The Surah deals with how Muslims relationship should be with non-Muslims. In short, it says not take enemies of Allah as allies but at the same time do not consider every non-Muslim as their enemy.
Below you can read Surah Mumtahanah in it’s entirety with Sahih International English translation as well as Transliteration. For those looking to read commentary we added various different tafseers at the end of the Surah.
“Never will your relatives or your children benefit you; the Day of Resurrection He will judge between you. And Allah, of what you do, is Seeing.”
Surah Mumtahanah Ayat 3
Read Surah Mumtahanah with Translation, Transliteration and Arabic Text
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَتَّخِذُوا۟ عَدُوِّى وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَآءَ تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِم بِٱلْمَوَدَّةِ وَقَدْ كَفَرُوا۟ بِمَا جَآءَكُم مِّنَ ٱلْحَقِّ يُخْرِجُونَ ٱلرَّسُولَ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۙ أَن تُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ رَبِّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ خَرَجْتُمْ جِهَـٰدًۭا فِى سَبِيلِى وَٱبْتِغَآءَ مَرْضَاتِى ۚ تُسِرُّونَ إِلَيْهِم بِٱلْمَوَدَّةِ وَأَنَا۠ أَعْلَمُ بِمَآ أَخْفَيْتُمْ وَمَآ أَعْلَنتُمْ ۚ وَمَن يَفْعَلْهُ مِنكُمْ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَآءَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ
Yaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanoo laa tattakhizoo ‘aduwwee wa ‘aduwaakum awliyaaa’a tulqoona ilaihim bilmawaddati wa qad kafaroo bima jaaa’akum minal haqq, yukhrijoonar Rasoola wa iyyaakum an tu’minoo billaahi rabbikum in kuntum kharajtum jihaadan fee sabeelee wabtighaaa’a mardaatee; tusirroona ilaihim bilma waddati wa ana a’alamu bimaaa akhfaitum wa maaa a’lantum; wa many yaf’alhu minkum faqad dalla sawaaa’as sabeel
1. O you who have believed, do not take My enemies and your enemies as allies, extending to them affection while they have disbelieved in what came to you of the truth, having driven out the Prophet and yourselves [only] because you believe in Allah, your Lord. If you have come out for jihad in My cause and seeking means to My approval, [take them not as friends]. You confide to them affection, but I am most knowing of what you have concealed and what you have declared. And whoever does it among you has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way.
إِن يَثْقَفُوكُمْ يَكُونُوا۟ لَكُمْ أَعْدَآءًۭ وَيَبْسُطُوٓا۟ إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ وَأَلْسِنَتَهُم بِٱلسُّوٓءِ وَوَدُّوا۟ لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ
Iny yasqafookum yakoonoo lakum a’daaa’anw wa yabsutooo ilaikum aydiyahum wa alsinatahum bissooo’i wa waddoo law takfuroon
2. If they gain dominance over you, they would be to you as enemies and extend against you their hands and their tongues with evil, and they wish you would disbelieve.
لَن تَنفَعَكُمْ أَرْحَامُكُمْ وَلَآ أَوْلَـٰدُكُمْ ۚ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ يَفْصِلُ بَيْنَكُمْ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌۭ
Lan tanfa’akum arhaamukum wa laaa awlaadukum; yawmal qiyaamati yafsilu bainakum; wallaahu bimaa ta’maloon baseer
3. Never will your relatives or your children benefit you; the Day of Resurrection He will judge between you. And Allah, of what you do, is Seeing.
قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌۭ فِىٓ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ وَٱلَّذِينَ مَعَهُۥٓ إِذْ قَالُوا۟ لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَءَٰٓؤُا۟ مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ ٱلْعَدَٰوَةُ وَٱلْبَغْضَآءُ أَبَدًا حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ وَحْدَهُۥٓ إِلَّا قَوْلَ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ وَمَآ أَمْلِكُ لَكَ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ مِن شَىْءٍۢ ۖ رَّبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ ٱلْمَصِيرُ
Qad kaanat lakum uswatun basanatun feee Ibraaheema wallazeena ma’ahoo iz qaaloo liqawmihim innaa bura’aaa’u minkum wa mimmaa ta’budoona min doonil laahi kafarnaa bikum wa badaa bainanaa wa bainakumul ‘adaawatu wal baghdaaa’u abadan hattaa tu’minoo billaahi wahdahooo illaa qawla Ibraheema li abeehi la astaghfiranna laka wa maaa amliku laka minal laahi min shai; rabbanaa ‘alaika tawakkalnaa wa ilaika anabnaa wa ilaikal maseer
4. There has already been for you an excellent pattern in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, “Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah . We have denied you, and there has appeared between us and you animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone” except for the saying of Abraham to his father, “I will surely ask forgiveness for you, but I have not [power to do] for you anything against Allah . Our Lord, upon You we have relied, and to You we have returned, and to You is the destination.
رَبَّنَا لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةًۭ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ وَٱغْفِرْ لَنَا رَبَّنَآ ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ
Rabbana laa taj’alnaa fitnatal lillazeena kafaroo waghfir lanaa rabbanaa innaka antal azeezul hakeem
5. Our Lord, make us not [objects of] torment for the disbelievers and forgive us, our Lord. Indeed, it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”
لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِيهِمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌۭ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلْيَوْمَ ٱلْءَاخِرَ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ ٱلْغَنِىُّ ٱلْحَمِيدُ
Laqad kaana lakum feehim uswatunhasanatul liman kaana yarjul laaha wal yawmal aakhir; wa many yatawalla fa innal laaha huwal ghaniyyul hameed
6. There has certainly been for you in them an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day. And whoever turns away – then indeed, Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy.
۞ عَسَى ٱللَّهُ أَن يَجْعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَ ٱلَّذِينَ عَادَيْتُم مِّنْهُم مَّوَدَّةًۭ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ قَدِيرٌۭ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ
Asal laahu any yaj’ala bainakum wa bainal lazeena ‘aadaitum minhum mawaddah; wallahu qadeer; wallahu ghafoorur raheem
7. Perhaps Allah will put, between you and those to whom you have been enemies among them, affection. And Allah is competent, and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
لَّا يَنْهَىٰكُمُ ٱللَّهُ عَنِ ٱلَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَـٰتِلُوكُمْ فِى ٱلدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَـٰرِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوٓا۟ إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلْمُقْسِطِينَ
Laa yanhaakumul laahu ‘anil lazeena lam yuqaatilookum fid deeni wa lam yukhrijookum min diyaarikum an tabarroohum wa tuqsitooo ilaihim; innal laaha yuhibbul muqsiteen
8. Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.
إِنَّمَا يَنْهَىٰكُمُ ٱللَّهُ عَنِ ٱلَّذِينَ قَـٰتَلُوكُمْ فِى ٱلدِّينِ وَأَخْرَجُوكُم مِّن دِيَـٰرِكُمْ وَظَـٰهَرُوا۟ عَلَىٰٓ إِخْرَاجِكُمْ أَن تَوَلَّوْهُمْ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ
Innamaa yanhaakumul laahu ‘anil lazeena qaatalookum fid deeni wa akhrajookum min diyaarikum wa zaaharoo ‘alaa ikhraajikum an tawallawhum; wa many yatawallahum faulaaa’ika humuz zaalimoon
9. Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِذَا جَآءَكُمُ ٱلْمُؤْمِنَـٰتُ مُهَـٰجِرَٰتٍۢ فَٱمْتَحِنُوهُنَّ ۖ ٱللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِإِيمَـٰنِهِنَّ ۖ فَإِنْ عَلِمْتُمُوهُنَّ مُؤْمِنَـٰتٍۢ فَلَا تَرْجِعُوهُنَّ إِلَى ٱلْكُفَّارِ ۖ لَا هُنَّ حِلٌّۭ لَّهُمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحِلُّونَ لَهُنَّ ۖ وَءَاتُوهُم مَّآ أَنفَقُوا۟ ۚ وَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ أَن تَنكِحُوهُنَّ إِذَآ ءَاتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ ۚ وَلَا تُمْسِكُوا۟ بِعِصَمِ ٱلْكَوَافِرِ وَسْـَٔلُوا۟ مَآ أَنفَقْتُمْ وَلْيَسْـَٔلُوا۟ مَآ أَنفَقُوا۟ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ حُكْمُ ٱللَّهِ ۖ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌۭ
Yaa ayyuhal lazeena aamanoo izaa jaaa’akumul mu’minaatu muhaajiraatin famtah inoohunna Allaahu a’lamu bieemaanihinna fa in ‘alimtumoohunna mu’minaatin falaa tarji’oohunna ilal kuffaar; laa hunna hillul lahum wa laa hum uahilloona lahunna wa aatoohum maa anfaqoo wa laa junaaha ‘alaikum an tankihoohunna izaaa aataitumoohunna ujoorahunn; wa laa tumsikoo bi ‘isamil kawaafiri was’aloo maaa anfaqtum walyas’aloo maaa anfaqoo zaalikum hukmul laahi yahkumu bainakum wallaahu ‘aleemun hakeem
10. O you who have believed, when the believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them. Allah is most knowing as to their faith. And if you know them to be believers, then do not return them to the disbelievers; they are not lawful [wives] for them, nor are they lawful [husbands] for them. But give the disbelievers what they have spent. And there is no blame upon you if you marry them when you have given them their due compensation. And hold not to marriage bonds with disbelieving women, but ask for what you have spent and let them ask for what they have spent. That is the judgement of Allah ; He judges between you. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.
وَإِن فَاتَكُمْ شَىْءٌۭ مِّنْ أَزْوَٰجِكُمْ إِلَى ٱلْكُفَّارِ فَعَاقَبْتُمْ فَـَٔاتُوا۟ ٱلَّذِينَ ذَهَبَتْ أَزْوَٰجُهُم مِّثْلَ مَآ أَنفَقُوا۟ ۚ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنتُم بِهِۦ مُؤْمِنُونَ
Wa in faatakum shai’um min azwaajikum ilal kuffaari fa’aaqabtum fa aatul lazeena zahabat azwaajuhum misla maaa anfaqoo; wattaqul laahal lazeee antum bihee mu’minoon
11. And if you have lost any of your wives to the disbelievers and you subsequently obtain [something], then give those whose wives have gone the equivalent of what they had spent. And fear Allah, in whom you are believers.
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ إِذَا جَآءَكَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنَـٰتُ يُبَايِعْنَكَ عَلَىٰٓ أَن لَّا يُشْرِكْنَ بِٱللَّهِ شَيْـًۭٔا وَلَا يَسْرِقْنَ وَلَا يَزْنِينَ وَلَا يَقْتُلْنَ أَوْلَـٰدَهُنَّ وَلَا يَأْتِينَ بِبُهْتَـٰنٍۢ يَفْتَرِينَهُۥ بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِنَّ وَأَرْجُلِهِنَّ وَلَا يَعْصِينَكَ فِى مَعْرُوفٍۢ ۙ فَبَايِعْهُنَّ وَٱسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُنَّ ٱللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ
Yaaa ayyuhan nabbiyyu izaa jaaa’akal mu’minaau yubaai naka ‘alaaa allaa yushrikna billaahi shai ‘anw wa laa yasriqna wa laa yazneena wa laa yaqtulna awlaadahunna wa laa yaateena bibuhtaaniny yaftaree nahoo baina aydeehinna wa arjulihinna wa laa ya’seenaka fee ma’roofin fabaayi’hunna wastaghfir lahunnal laaha innnal laaha ghafoorur raheem
12. O Prophet, when the believing women come to you pledging to you that they will not associate anything with Allah, nor will they steal, nor will they commit unlawful sexual intercourse, nor will they kill their children, nor will they bring forth a slander they have invented between their arms and legs, nor will they disobey you in what is right – then accept their pledge and ask forgiveness for them of Allah . Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَتَوَلَّوْا۟ قَوْمًا غَضِبَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ قَدْ يَئِسُوا۟ مِنَ ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ كَمَا يَئِسَ ٱلْكُفَّارُ مِنْ أَصْحَـٰبِ ٱلْقُبُورِ
Yaaa ayyuhal lazeena amanoo laa tatawallaw qawman ghadibal laahu ‘alaihim qad ya’isoo minal aakhirati kamaa ya’isal kuffaaru min as haabil quboor
13. O you who have believed, do not make allies of a people with whom Allah has become angry. They have despaired of [reward in] the Hereafter just as the disbelievers have despaired of [meeting] the inhabitants of the graves.
Tafsir of Surah Mumtahanah
The Qur’an was revealed as a book of proof that Islam is the one true religion and to be a book of guidance for the believers. We’ve added this section to include various tafseer of Surah Mumtahanah for those looking to benefit from reading the commentary on this Surah.
Tafsir Surah Mumtahanah by Ibn Kathir
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
The story of Hatib bin Abi Balta`ah is the reason behind revealing the beginning of this honorable Surah. Hatib was among the Early Emigrants and participated in the battle of Badr. Hatib had children and wealth in Makkah, but he was not from the tribe of Quraysh. Rather, he was an ally of `Uthman. When the Messenger of Allah decided to conquer Makkah, after its people broke the peace treaty between them, he ordered the Muslims to mobilize their forces to attack Makkah, and then said,
(O Allah! Keep our news concealed from them.) Hatib wrote a letter and sent it to the people of Makkah, with a woman from the tribe of Quraysh, informing them of the Messenger’s intent to attack them. He wanted them to be indebted to him ﴿so that they would grant safety to his family in Makkah﴾. Allah the Exalted conveyed this matter to His Messenger , because He accepted the Prophet’s invocation ﴿to Him to conceal the news of the attack﴾. The Prophet sent someone after the woman and retrieved the letter. This story is collected in the Two Sahihs. Imam Ahmad recorded that Hasan bin Muhammad bin `Ali said that `Abdullah bin Abu Rafi` — or Ubaydullah bin Abu Rafi` — said that he heard `Ali say, “Allah’s Messenger sent me, Zubayr and Al-Miqdad saying,
(Proceed until you reach Rawdat Khakh, where there is a lady carrying a letter. Take that letter from her.) So we proceeded on our way, with our horses galloping, until we reached the Rawdah. There we found the lady and said to her, `Take out the letter.’ She said, `I am not carrying a letter.’ We said, `Take out the letter, or else we will take off your clothes.’ So she took it out of her braid, and we brought the letter to Allah’s Messenger . The letter was addressed from Hatib bin Abu Balta`ah to some pagans of Makkah, telling them about what Allah’s Messenger intended to do. Allah’s Messenger said,
(O Hatib! What is this) Hatib replied, `O Allah’s Messenger! Do not make a hasty decision about me. I was a person not belonging to Quraysh, but I was an ally to them. All the Emigrants who were with you have kinsmen (in Makkah) who can protect their families. So I wanted to do them a favor, so they might protect my relatives, as I have no blood relation with them. I did not do this out of disbelief or to renegade from my religion, nor did I do it to choose disbelief after Islam.’ Allah’s Messenger said to his Companions,
(Regarding him, he has told you the truth.) `Umar said, `O Allah’s Messenger! Allow me to chop off the head of this hypocrite!’ The Prophet said,
(He attended Badr. What can I tell you, perhaps Allah looked at those who attended Badr and said, “O the people of Badr, do what you like, for I have forgiven you.”)” The Group with the exception of Ibn Majah, collected this Hadith using various chains of narration that included Sufyan bin `Uyaynah. Al-Bukhari added in his narration in the chapter on the Prophet’s battles, “Then Allah revealed the Surah,
(O you who believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies as protecting friends…) ” Al-Bukhari said in another part of his Sahih, `Amr (one of the narrators of the Hadith) said, “This Ayah,
(O you who believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies as protecting friends’…) was revealed about Hatib, but I do not know if the Ayah was mentioned in the Hadith (or was added as an explanation by one of the narrators).” Al-Bukhari also said that `Ali bin Al-Madini said that Sufyan bin `Uyaynah was asked, “Is this why this Ayah,
(O you who believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies as protecting friends.) was revealed” Sufyan said, “This is the narration that I collected from `Amr, I did not leave a letter out of it. I do not know if anyone else memorized the same words for it.”
(O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies as protecting friends showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth,) refers to the idolators and the disbelievers who are combatants against Allah, His Messenger and the believers. It is they whom Allah has decided should be our enemies and should be fought. Allah has forbidden the believers to take them as friends, supporters or companions. Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah ,
(O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as protecting friends, they are but protecting friends of each other. And if any among you takes them (as such), then surely, he is one of them.) (5:51) This Ayah contains a stern warning and a sure threat. Allah the Exalted said,
(O you who believe! Take not as protecting friends those who take your religion as a mockery and fun from among those who received the Scripture before you, nor from among the disbelievers; and have Taqwa of Allah if you indeed are true believers.) (5:57)
(O you who believe! Take not for protecting friends disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves) (4:144) and,
(Let not the believers take the disbelievers as protecting friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself (His punishment).) (3:28) This is why Allah’s Messenger accepted Hatib’s excuse when he said that he only wanted to have a favor on the Quraysh, because of the property and family members he left behind in Makkah. Allah’s statement,
(and have driven out the Messenger and yourselves ( from your homeland)) follows His encouragement to fight against them and to avoid being their supporters. This is because they expelled the Messenger and his Companions on account of their hatred for Tawhid and worshipping Allah alone in sincerity. This is why Allah the Exalted said,
(because you believe in Allah, your Lord!) meaning, `your only fault is that you believed in Allah, Lord of all that exists.’ Allah the Exalted said in other Ayat,
(And they had no fault except that they believed in Allah, Almighty, Al-Hamid!) (85:8) and,
(Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly only because they said: “Our Lord is Allah.”) (22:40) Allah said,
(If you have come forth to strive in My cause and to seek My good pleasure.) Allah says, `if you are as described here, then do not take the disbelievers as supporters. If you migrated in Jihad for My cause and for seeking My pleasure, then do not take My enemies and your enemies as protecting friends, after they expelled you from your homes and property in rage against you and rejection of your religion.’ Allah’s statement,
(You show friendship to them in secret, while I am All-Aware of what you conceal and what you reveal.) Allah asks, `do you do this while I know the secrets of the hearts, the intentions and all apparent things,’
(And whosoever of you does that, then indeed he has gone astray from the straight path. Should they gain the upper hand over you, they would behave to you as enemies, and stretch forth their hands and their tongues against you with evil,) meaning, `if they gain the upper hand over you, they would use every type of harm in their disposal to hurt you in words and action,’
(and they desire that you should disbelieve.) meaning, `they are eager that you do not earn any good. Therefore, their enmity to you is outward and inward, so how can you become supporters of this type of people’ This also encourages the enmity. Allah’s statement,
(Neither your relatives nor your children will benefit you on the Day of Resurrection. He will judge between you. And Allah is the All-Seer of what you do.) means, `your family relations will not benefit you with Allah if Allah decided to cause harm your way. Your relations will not benefit you if you please them with what angers Allah.’ Those who agree with their family being disbelievers in order to please them will have earned loss and failure and their deeds will be rendered invalid. Their relation will not benefit them with Allah, even if their relation was with a Prophet. Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that a man said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Where is my father” He said,
(In the Fire.) When the man went away, the Prophet called him back and said:
(Verily, my father and your father are in the Fire.) Muslim and Abu Dawud also collected this Hadith.
Allah the Exalted says to His faithful servants, whom He commanded to disown the disbelievers, to be enemies with them, and to distant themselves and separate from them:
(Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him,) meaning, his followers who believed in him,
(when they said to their people: “Verily we are free from you…”) meaning, `we disown you,’
(and whatever you worship besides Allah: we rejected you,) meaning, `we disbelieve in your religion and way,’
(and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred forever) meaning, `Animosity and enmity have appeared between us and you from now and as long as you remain on your disbelief; we will always disown you and hate you,’
(until you believe in Allah alone,) meaning, `unless, and until, you worship Allah alone without partners and disbelieve in the idols and rivals that you worship besides Him.’ Allah’s statement,
(except the saying of Ibrahim to his father: “Verily, I will ask forgiveness (from Allah) for you…”) means, `you have a good example in Ibrahim and his people; as for Ibrahim’s prayers for Allah his father, it was a promise that he made for his father.’ When Ibrahim became sure that his father was an enemy of Allah, he declared himself innocent of him. Some of the believers used to invoke Allah for their parents who died as disbelievers, begging Him to forgive them. They did so claiming that Ibrahim used to invoke Allah to forgive his father. Allah the Exalted said in reply,
(It is not for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah’s forgiveness for the idolators, even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief). And Ibrahim’s request for his father’s forgiveness was only because of a promise he made to him .But when it became clear to him that he was an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him. Verily, Ibrahim was Awwah and was forbearing.) (9:113-114) Allah said here,
(Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people: “Verily, we are free from you…”) until,
(… except the saying of Ibrahim to his father: “Verily, I will ask forgiveness for you, but I have no power to do anything for you before Allah.”) meaning, `You cannot follow Ibrahim’s example as proof in the case mentioned here, as being allowed to ask Allah to forgive those who died on Shirk.’ This is the saying of Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Ad-Dahhak and several others. Allah the Exalted said that Ibrahim and his companions, who parted with their people and disowned their way, said afterwards, while invoking Allah in humility and submission,
(Our Lord! In You we put our trust, and to You we turn in repentance, and to You is the final Return.) meaning, `we trust in You for all matters, we surrender all of our affairs to You, and to You is the final Return in the Hereafter,’
(Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the disbelievers,) Mujahid said, “It means, `Do not punish us by their hands, nor with a punishment from You.’ Or they will say, `Had these people been following the truth, the torment would not have struck them’.” Ad-Dahhak said something similar. Qatadah said, “Do not give the disbelievers victory over us, thus subjecting us to trials by their hands. Surely, if You do so, they would then think that they were given victory over us because they are on the truth.” This is the meaning that Ibn Jarir preferred. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas: “Do not give them dominance over us, lest we suffer trials by their hands.” Allah’s statement,
(and forgive us, Our Lord! Verily, You, only You, are the Almighty, the All-Wise.) means, `cover our mistakes from being exposed to other than You, and forgive us for what (sin) is between us and You.’
(Verily, You, only You, are the Almighty,) `and those who seek refuge in Your majesty are never dealt with unjustly,’
(the All-Wise.) `in Your statements, actions, legislation and decrees.’ Allah the Exalted said,
(Certainly, there has been in them an excellent example for you to follow — for those who look forward to (the meeting with) Allah and the Last Day.) asserting what He has said before with the exemption mentioned, i.e., the good example that Allah mentioned before,
(for those who look forward to Allah and the Last Day.) thus encouraging the believers who believe in Allah and the Return to Him. Allah said,
(And whosoever turns away) meaning, from what Allah has ordained,
(verily, Allah is Al-Ghani, Al-Hamid.) Allah said in another Ayah,
(If you disbelieve, you and all on the earth together, then verily! Allah is Ghani, Hamid.) (14:8) `Ali bin Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas,
“(Ghani) is the One Who is perfectly rich.” That is Allah. This is Allah’s attribute that He alone is worthy of being described by; surely, He has no equal, none like unto Him. All praise is due to Allah, the One, the Irresistible.
(Hamid) means, the praiseworthy, in all His statements and actions, there is no (true) God except Him alone.
Allah said to His faithful servants, after ordering them to be enemies with the disbelievers,
(Perhaps Allah will make friendship between you and those, whom you hold as enemies.) meaning affection after animosity, tenderness after coldness and coming together after parting from each other,
(And Allah has power (over all things),) Allah is able to gather opposites and bring together hearts, after feeling hostility and hardness. In this case, the hearts will come together in agreement, just as Allah said when He mentioned His favor on the Ansar,
(And remember Allah’s favor on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His grace, you became brethren and were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it.) (3:103) Also the Prophet said to them,
(Did I not find you misguided, and Allah guided you through me; and divided, and Allah united ﴿your hearts﴾ through me) Allah the Exalted said,
(He it is Who has supported you with His help and with the believers. And He has united their hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah has united them. Certainly He is Almighty, All-Wise.) (8:62,63) And in the Hadith:
(Love your loved one moderately, because one day, he might become your enemy. Hate your hated one moderately, because one day, he might become your loved one.) Allah’s statement,
(And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) means, Allah forgives the disbelief of the disbelievers if they repent from it, returned to their Lord and surrendered to Him in Islam. Surely, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful to those who repent to Him from their sins, no matter what type of the sin it is.
(Allah does not forbid you with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes,) means, those who did not have a role in your expulsion. Therefore, Allah does not forbid you from being kind to the disbelievers who do not fight you because of the religion, such as women and weak disbelievers,
(to deal kindly) to be gentle with them,
(and justly with those) to be fair with them
(Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Asma’ bint Abu Bakr said, “My mother, who was an idolatress at the time, came to me during the Treaty of Peace, the Prophet conducted with the Quraysh. I came to the Prophet and said, `O Allah’s Messenger! My mother came visiting, desiring something from me, should I treat her with good relations’ The Prophet said,
(Yes. Keep good relation with your mother.)” The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Zubayr said, “Qutaylah came visiting her daughter, Asma’ bint Abi Bakr, with some gifts, such as Dibab, cheese and clarified (cooking) butter, and she was an idolatress at that time. Asma’ refused to accept her mother’s gifts and did not let her enter her house. `A’ishah asked the Prophet about his verdict and Allah sent down the Ayah,
(Allah does not forbid you with those who fought not against you on account of religion) until the end of the Ayah. Allah’s Messenger ordered Asma’ to accept her mother’s gifts and to let her enter her house.” Allah’s statement,
(Allah loves those who deal with equity.) was duly explained in the Tafsir of Surat Al-Hujurat. We also mentioned the authentic Hadith,
(The just, who are fair in their decisions, families and those under their authority, will be on podiums made of light, to the right of the Throne.)
(It is only as regards those who fought against you on account of religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out that Allah forbids you to befriend them.) (60:9) means, `Allah forbids you from being kind and befriending with the disbelievers who are openly hostile to you, those who fought against you, expelled you and helped to expel you. Allah the Exalted forbids you from being their friends and orders you to be their enemy.’ Then Allah stresses His threat against being friends with them, by saying,
(And whosoever will befriend them, then such are the wrongdoers.) As He said;
(O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as protecting friends, they are but protecting friends of each other. And if any among you takes them (as protecting friends), then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the wrongdoers) (5:51)
(10. O you who believe! When believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them; Allah knows best as to their faith, then if you ascertain that they are true believers, send them not back to the disbelievers. They are not lawful for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful for them. But give them (disbelievers) that which they have spent (on their dowery). And there will be no sin on you to marry them if you have paid their due to them. Likewise do not keep the disbelieving women, and ask for that which you have spent (on their dowery) and let them (the disbelievers) ask for that which they have spent. That is the judgment of Allah, He judges between you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.) (11. And if any of your wives have gone from you to the disbelievers then you succeed over them (gain victory); then pay those whose wives have gone, the equivalent of what they had spent. And have Taqwa of Allah, the One in Whom you are believers.)
In Surat Al-Fath, we related the story of the treaty at Al-Hudaybiyyah that was conducted between the Messenger of Allah and the disbelievers of Quraysh. In that treaty, there were these words, “Everyman (in another narration, every person) who reverts from our side to your side, should be returned to us, even if he is a follower of your religion.” This was said by `Urwah, Ad-Dahhak, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd, Az-Zuhri, Muqatil bin Hayyan and As-Suddi. So according to this narration, this Ayah specifies and explains the Sunnah. And this is the best case of understanding. Yet according to another view of some of the Salaf, it abrogates it. Allah the Exalted and Most High ordered His faithful servants to test the faith of women who emigrate to them. When they are sure that they are faithful, they should not send them back to the disbelievers, for the disbelievers are not allowed for them and they are not allowed for the disbelievers. In the biography of `Abdullah bin Abi Ahmad bin Jahsh in Al-Musnad Al-Kabir, we also mentioned that `Abdullah bin Abi Ahmad said, “Umm Kulthum bint `Uqbah bin Abi Mu`ayt emigrated and her brothers, `Umarah and Al-Walid, went after her. They came to Allah’s Messenger and talked to him about Umm Kulthum and asked that she be returned to them. Allah abolished the part of the treaty between the Prophet and the idolators about the women particularly. So He forbade returning Muslim women to the idolators and revealed the Ayah about testing them.” Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas, about Allah’s saying:
(O you who believe! When believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them;) “Their examination was asking them to testify to La ilaha illallah, and that Muhammad is Allah’s servant and His Messenger.” Mujahid explained the Ayah,
(examine them) by saying, “Ask them why they migrated. If they came because they were angry with their husbands, or for any other reason, and you realized that they did not embrace the faith, then send them back to their husbands.” Allah’s statement,
(then if you ascertain that they are true believers, send them not back to the disbelievers.) This Ayah indicates that faith can be recognized and affirmed.
(They are not lawful for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful for them.) This Ayah forbids Muslim women for idolators, which was a lawful marriage in the beginning of Islam. Abu Al-`As bin Ar-Rabi` was married to Zaynab, the Prophet’s daughter. She was a Muslim, while Abu Al-`As was still an idolator like his people. When he was captured during the battle of Badr, his wife, Zaynab, sent his ransom, a necklace that belonged to the Prophet’s first wife Khadijah. The Prophet became very emotional when he saw the necklace and said to the Companions,
(If you decide to set free the prisoner who belongs to her, then do so.) They did, and Allah’s Messenger set him free. His ransom was that he send his wife to Allah’s Messenger . Abu Al-`As fulfilled his promise and sent Zaynab to Allah’s Messenger along with Zayd bin Harithah. Zaynab remained in Al-Madinah after the battle of Badr, which took place in the second year of Hijrah, until her husband Abu Al-`As bin Ar-Rahi` embraced Islam in the eighth year after the Hijrah. She returned to their marriage without renewing the dowery. Allah’s statement,
(But give them that which they have spent. ) meaning, the husbands of the emigrant women who came from the idolators, return the dowery that they gave to their wives. This was said by Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, Az-Zuhri and several others. Allah’s statement,
(And there will be no sin on you to marry them if you have paid their due to them.) means, when you wish to marry them, then give them their dowery. That is, marry them under the condition that their `Iddah (waiting period) is finished and they have a legal guardian for their marriage etc. Allah said,
(Likewise do not keep disbelieving women,) thus forbidding His faithful servants from marrying idolator women or remaining married to them. In the Sahih, it is recorded that Al-Miswar and Marwan bin Al-Hakam said that after the Messenger of Allah conducted the treaty with the Quraysh idolators at Al-Hudaybiyyah, some Muslim women emigrated to him and Allah the Exalted sent down this Ayah about them,
(O you who believe! When believing women come to you as emigrants) until,
(Likewise do not keep disbelieving women,) Then `Umar bin Al-Khattab divorced two of his wives, who were idolatresses, and one of them got married to Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan, while the other got married to Safwan bin Umayyah. Ibn Thawr narrated that Ma`mar said that Az-Zuhri said, “This Ayah was revealed to Allah’s Messenger while he was in the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah, after making peace. He agreed that whoever comes from the Quraysh to his side, will be returned to Makkah. When some women came, this Ayah was revealed. Allah commanded that the dowery that was paid to these women be returned to their husbands. Allah also ordered that if some Muslim women revert to the side of the idolators, the idolators should return their dowery to their Muslim husbands. Allah said,
(Likewise do not keep disbelieving women).” Allah’s statement,
(and ask for that which you have spent and let them ask for that which they have spent.) means, ask them for what you have paid to your wives who reverted to the side of the idolators, and they are entitled to get back the dowery that they gave their wives who emigrated to the Muslims. Allah’s statement,
(That is the judgement of Allah, He judges between you.) means, this judgement about the treaty and excluding women from its clauses, is a decision that Allah made for His creatures,
(And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.) meaning, He knows what benefits His servants and is the Most Wise about that. Allah the Exalted said,
(And if any of your wives have gone from you to the disbelievers — then you succeeded (gained victory) over them; then pay those whose wives have gone, the equivalent of what they had spent.) Mujahid and Qatadah explained this Ayah, by saying, “This is about the disbelievers who did not have a treaty of peace. If a woman flees to the disbelievers and they do not give back what that her husband spent on her, then if a women comes to them (the Muslims) they are not to return to her husband anything until they pay the Muslim whose wife went to them the equivalent of what he spent. ” Ibn Jarir recorded that Az-Zuhri said, “The believers abided by Allah’s decree and paid what they owed the idolators to compensate for the dowery the idolators gave to the women (who emigrated). However, the idolators refused to accept Allah’s judgement for what they owed the Muslims. Allah said to the faithful believers,
(And if any of your wives have gone from you to the disbelievers — then you succeeded (gained victory) over them; then pay those whose wives have gone, the equivalent of what they had spent. And have Taqwa of Allah, the One in Whom your are believers.) Therefore, if a Muslim woman reverts to the idolators, the believers should give back the dowery her Muslim husband paid her, from whatever money is left with them from the dowery of women who migrated to the Muslims. They were supposed to return this wealth to the idolator husbands of these emigrant women. If they still have anything they owed the idolators, then they should return it to them.”
(And if any of your wives have gone from you to the disbelievers — then you succeeded (gained victory) over them; then pay those whose wives have gone, the equivalent of what they had spent. And have Taqwa of Allah, the One in Whom your are believers.) Therefore, if a Muslim woman reverts to the idolators, the believers should give back the dowery her Muslim husband paid her, from whatever money is left with them from the dowery of women who migrated to the Muslims. They were supposed to return this wealth to the idolator husbands of these emigrant women. If they still have anything they owed the idolators, then they should return it to them.”
Al-Bukhari recorded that `A’ishah the wife of the Prophet said, “Allah’s Messenger used to examine women who migrated to his side according to this Ayah,
(O Prophet! When believing women come to you pledging to you…) until,
(Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)” `Urwah said, “`A’ishah said, `When any believing woman agreed to these conditions, Allah’s Messenger would say to her,
(I have accepted your pledge.) but, by Allah, he never touched the hand of any women at all while taking the pledge from them. He only took their pledge of allegiance by saying,
(I have accepted your pledge.)” This is the wording of Al-Bukhari. Imam Ahmad recorded that Umaymah bint Ruqayqah said, “I came to Allah’s Messenger with some women to give him our pledge and he took the pledge from us that is mentioned in the Qur’an, that we associate none with Allah, etc; as in the Ayah. Then he said,
(As much as you can bear to implement.) We said, `Surely, Allah and His Messenger are more merciful with us than we are with ourselves.’ We then said, `O Allah’s Messenger, should you not shake hands with us’ He said,
(I do not shake hands with women, for my statement to one woman is as sufficient as my statement to a hundred women.)” This Hadith has an authentic chain of narration; At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah collected it. Al-Bukhari also recorded that Umm `Atiyah said, “The Messenger of Allah took our pledge and recited to us the Ayah,
(…that they will not associate anything with Allah,) and forbade us to wail for the dead. Thereupon, a lady withdrew her hand saying, `But such and such lady shared with me in lamenting (over one of my relatives), so I must reward hers.’ The Prophet did not object to that, so she went there and returned to the Prophet and he accepted her pledge of allegiance.” Muslim also collected this Hadith. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ubadah bin As-Samit said, “While we were with the Prophet , he said,
(Pledge to me in that you will not associate any with Allah, nor steal, nor commit Zina, nor kill your children.) Then he recited the Ayah that begins;
(when the believing women come to you. ..) and took the pledge of allegiance from the women. He then added,
(Those among you who fulfill this pledge, will receive their reward from Allah. Those who deviate from any of it and receive the legal punishment (in this life), the punishment will be expiation for that sin. Whoever deviates from any of it and Allah screens him, then it is up to Allah to punish or forgive if He wills.) The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith. Allah’s statement,
(O Prophet! When the believing women come to you pledging to you) means, `if any woman comes to you to give you the pledge and she accepts these conditions, then accept the pledge from her,’
(that they will not associate anything with Allah, that they will not steal,) meaning, the property of other people. In the case where a husband is not fulfilling his duty of spending on his wife, then she is allowed to use a part of his wealth, what is reasonable, to spend on herself. This is the case regardless of whether the husband knows about his wife’s actions or not, because of the Hadith in which Hind bint `Utbah said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Abu Sufyan is a miser! He does not give me sufficient money for the living expense of our family and myself. Am I allowed to secretly take from his money without his knowledge” Allah’s Messenger said to her,
(You may take from what is reasonable and appropriate for you and your children) This Hadith was recorded in the two Sahihs. Allah’s statement,
(they will not commit Zina,) is similar to His other statement,
(And come not near to Az-Zina. Verily, it is a Fahishah (immoral act) and an evil way.) (17:32) A Hadith collected from Samurah mentions that for the adulterers and fornicators there is a painful torment in the fire of Hell. Imam Ahmad recorded that `A’ishah said, “Fatimah bint `Utbah came to give her pledge to Allah’s Messenger , who took the pledge from her,
(that they will not associate anything with Allah, they will not steal, that they will not commit Zina (fornication and adultery),) Fatimah bashfully placed her hand on her head in shyness. The Prophet liked what she did. `A’ishah said, `O woman! Accept the pledge, because by Allah, we all gave the pledge to the same.’ She said, `Yes then,’ and she gave her pledge to the same things mentioned in the Ayah.”’ Allah’s statement,
(that they will not kill their children,) includes killing children after they are born. The people of Jahiliyyah used to kill their children because they feared poverty. The Ayah includes killing the fetus, just as some ignorant women do for various evil reasons. Allah’s statement,
(and that they will not utter slander, fabricating from between their hands and their feet,) Ibn `Abbas said, “It means that they not to attribute to their husbands other than their legitimate children.” Muqatil said similarly. Allah’s statement,
(and that they will not disobey you in Ma`ruf (good),) means, `that they will obey you when you order them to do good and forbid them from evil.’ Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah’s statement,
(and that they will not disobey you in any Ma`ruf (good), ) “This was one of the conditions which Allah imposed on the women.” Maymun bin Mihran said, “Allah did not order obedience to His Prophet for other than Ma`ruf, and Ma`ruf is itself obedience.” Ibn Zayd said, “Allah commanded that His Messenger, the best of His creation, be obeyed in that which is Ma`ruf.” Ibn Jarir recorded that Umm `Atiyah Al-Ansariyah said, “Among the conditions included in our pledge to Allah’s Messenger to good was not to wail. A woman said, `So-and-so family brought comfort to me (by wailing over my dead relative), so I will first pay them back.’ So she went and paid them back in the same (wailed for their dead), and then came and gave her pledge. Only she and Umm Sulaym bint Milhan, the mother of Anas bin Malik, did so.” Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith from the way of Hafsah bint Sirin from Umm `Atiyah Nusaybah Al-Ansariyah, may Allah be pleased with her. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Asid bin Abi Asid Al-Barrad said that one of the women who gave the pledge to Allah’s Messenger said, “Among the conditions included in the pledge that the Messenger took from us, is that we do not disobey any act of Ma`ruf (good) that he ordains. We should neither scratch our faces, pull our hair (in grief), tear our clothes nor wail.”
(O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the wrath of Allah.) referring to the Jews, Christians and the rest of the disbelievers whom Allah became angry with and cursed. Those who deserved being rejected and banished by Him. (Allah says here), `how can you become their allies, friends and companions, after Allah decided that they earn the despair of receiving any good or delights in the Hereafter’ Allah’s statement,
(just as the disbelievers have despaired of those (buried) in graves.) This has two possible meanings. First, the disbelievers despair of ever again meeting their relatives buried in graves, because they do not believe in Resurrection or being brought back to life. Therefore, they have no hope that they will meet them again, according to their creed. Secondly, just as the disbelievers who are buried in graves have lost hope in receiving any kind of goodness (i.e., after seeing the punishment and knowing that Resurrection is true). Al-A`mash reported from Abu Ad-Duha from Masruq that Ibn Mas`ud said,
(just as the disbelievers have despaired of those (buried) in graves.) “Just as the disbeliever despairs when he dies and realizes and knows his (evil) recompense.” This is the saying of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Muqatil, Ibn Zayd, Al-Kalbi and Mansur; Ibn Jarir preferred this explanation.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Mumtahanah, all praise and thanks be to Allah.
[60:1] O you who believe, do not take My enemies and your enemies for friends, expressing love with them, while they have rejected the Truth that has come to you, expelling the Messenger and your selves (from Makkah), merely because you have faith in Allah, your Lord, if you have set out to do jihad (struggle) in My way, and to seek My pleasure. You express love with them secretly, while I know what you have concealed and what you have revealed. And any of you who does this has missed the straight path.
The Surah opens with a prohibitory injunction to Muslims against having close and intimate friendship with disbelievers and those who associate partners with Allah. This injunction was revealed in the context of a particular incident which is mentioned below:
Background of Revelation
The tafsir of Qurtubi, with reference to Qushairi and Tha’labi, records that after the battle of Badr, before the Conquest of Makkah, a Makkan female vocalist whose name was Sarah, first arrived in Madinah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ asked her whether she had migrated to Madinah. She replied in the negative. Then he asked her whether she had embraced Islam. Again her reply was in the negative. Then he asked her to explain the reason why she arrived in Madinah. She explained, ‘You belong to the high society of Makkah and I used to do my living amongst you. The great leaders of Makkah were killed in the battle of Badr, and you have moved here. My living has become impossible. I am down-and-out and hard-pressed. I have come to you for help.’ The Holy Prophet ﷺ said to her, ‘You are a professional female singer of Makkah and where are the Makkan youngsters who used to shower money on you?’ She said that after the battle of Badr all her functions and singing sessions had come to an end. “Since that time”, she said, “nobody has invited me.” The Holy Prophet ﷺ encouraged Banu ` Abd-ul-Muttalib to assist her. They helped her with money, clothing and other things and sent her off.
[60:2] Should they have access to you, they will become your enemies, and will stretch their hands and tongues towards you with evil; and they desire that you should reject the (True) faith.إِن يَثْقَفُوكُمْ يَكُونُوا لَكُمْ أَعْدَاءً وَيَبْسُطُوا إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ وَأَلْسِنَتَهُم بِالسُّوءِ (Should they have access to you, they will become your enemies, and will stretch their hands and tongues towards you with evil;…60:2). The verse indicates how bitter are the feelings of disbelievers towards Muslims. They would use all means, their hands and their tongues, and would spare no effort to harm the Muslims. Therefore, it is impossible that when they find an opportunity in their favor and overpower Muslims, they will ever exercise tolerance towards them. وَوَدُّوا لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ (…and they desire that you should reject the (true) faith…60:2). The greatest desire of the non-believers’ hearts is to see the Muslims revert to disbelief. Thus when the Muslims stretch their hand of friendship towards them, it will be at the cost of their belief. They will never be happy with the Muslims unless they give up their faith.
[60:3] Neither your womb-relations nor your children will avail you on the Day of Judgment. He will decide between you, and Allah is watchful of what you do. لَن تَنفَعَكُمْ أَرْحَامُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُمْ ۚ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَفْصِلُ بَيْنَكُمْ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ (Neither your womb-relations nor your children will avail you on the Day of Judgment. He will decide between you, and Allah is watchful of what you do…60:3). The verse refutes the plea of Sayyidna Hatib ؓ . He did what he did for the love of his children, but they will be of no help on the Day of Resurrection. All relations on that day will come to an end. Parents will flee from their children, and children from their parents, and no secret will ever remain hidden from Allah.
[60:4] Indeed, there is an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people, “We disown you and what you worship instead of Allah. We disbelieve in you. Enmity and hatred has arisen between us and you forever, unless you believe in Allah alone”, – but (his example is) not (to be followed) in what Ibrahim said to his father, “I will pray to my Lord for your forgiveness, and I have no power from Allah (to do anything) for you.” – “0 our Lord, in you alone we trust, and to you alone we turn for help, and to you is the final return. قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۔ ۔ ۔ حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّـهِ وَحْدَهُ (Indeed, there is an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people, “We disown you and what you worship instead of Allah. We disbelieve in you. Enmity and hatred has arisen between us and you forever, unless you believe in Allah alone”,….60:4). This verse supports and emphasizes the abstaining from maintaining close friendly relations with non-believers. This rule of law is illustrated by the excellent example of Holy Prophet Ibrahim (علیہ السلام) whose entire family worshipped idols, but he not only washed his hands of them and disowned them, but also announced, and erected a wall of, enmity and hatred with them forever, unless and until they give up idol-worship and have belief in Allah alone.
Allaying a Doubt
The current verse emphasizes that Muslims should follow the excellent model of Holy Prophet Ibrahim (علیہ السلام) and, it is established in Surah Taubah and in other places in the Qur’an that, he prayed for the forgiveness of his father who was an idol-worshipper. This could create doubt that, in pursuance of the command of Allah to follow the example of Prophet Ibrahim (علیہ السلام) is permitted to pray for the forgiveness of one’s parents or other relatives who are idol-worshippers. But the later part of Verse  makes an exception to the command of following Ibrahim (علیہ السلام)
[60:5] Our Lord, do not make us persecuted by those who disbelieve, and forgive us, our Lord! You, only You, are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” [60:6] Indeed, for you there is an excellent example in them, for anyone who hopes (to meet) Allah and the Last Day. And whoever turns away, then Allah is Free of all needs, Worthy of all Praise. [60:7] Hopefully Allah will bring about love between you and those of them with whom you have enmity. And Allah is Powerful, and Allah is Most-forgiving, Very-Merciful.
The preceding verses vehemently prohibited Muslims to maintain any friendly intimacy with non-believers, even though they had very near blood relationships with them. The noble Companions used to carry out the commands of Allah and His Messenger in letter and spirit. In this matter, they did not care about their personal desires, or about their near and dear ones. This command was also carried out with the result that in some homes the father was a Muslim and the son was an unbeliever or vice versa. Friendly relations were severed. Obviously, this situation was not easy for their human nature. That is why Allah gives them the assurance that soon the hardship will be over.
[60:8] Allah does not forbid you from doing good and justice to those who did not fight you because of faith, and did not expel you from your homes. Surely Allah loves those who maintain justice. Some reports indicate that Sayyidah Asma’ s ؓ mother Qutailah was divorced by Sayyidna Abu Bakr ؓ in the Days of Ignorance. Sayyidah Asma’ s sister, Sayyidah ` A’ishah ؓ was born of the second wife of Abu Bakr ؓ ، namely, Umm Raman, who had embraced Islam. [Ibn Kathir and Mazhari]. The verse directs that justice and good behavior should be maintained with those unbelievers who did not fight the Muslims. As for justice, it is obligatory to maintain with every non-Muslim, whether he is a citizen of an Islamic State, or the Muslims have peace agreement with him, or a citizen of an un-Islamic State, even though he is at war with Muslims. Rather, Islam enjoins upon Muslims to do justice even to animals. We are not allowed to lay a burden on them more than they can bear. We need to take care of their fodder and comfort. The focus of the verse, therefore, is upon the direction that they should be treated, not only with justice, but also in good and courteous manner.
This verse proves that optional charities may be spent on non-Muslim citizens of an Islamic State and on non-Muslims with whom the Muslims have a peace pact. It is, however, forbidden to spend on non-believers who are at war with Muslims.
[60:9] Allah forbids you only from having friendship with those who fought you on account of faith, and expelled you from your homes, and helped (others) in expelling you. And those who develop friendship with them, it is they who are the wrongdoers. إِنَّمَا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّـهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ قَاتَلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَأَخْرَجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ وَظَاهَرُوا عَلَىٰ إِخْرَاجِكُمْ أَن تَوَلَّوْهُمْ (Allah forbids you only from having friendship with those who fought you on account of faith, and expelled you from your homes, and helped (others) in expelling you….60:9) This verse speaks of those unbelievers who fought the Muslims in the matter of religion, drove them from their homes or supported their expulsion. These are hostile disbelievers and the Divine injunction in connection with them is abstain from having friendly or cordial intimacy with them. This verse does not forbid just and friendly or cordial intimacy with them. It merely forbids friendly intimacy and relations. Prohibition of having such friendly intimacy is not restricted only to those enemies who actively wage war against Muslims, but it is extended to ahludh- dhimmah [non-Muslim citizens of an Islamic State] and to اَھلُ الصُّلح ahlus-sulh [non-Muslims with whom there is a peace pact]. Intimate and heart-felt friendship is not allowed with them too. On the basis of this juristic principle, Mazhari has ruled that justice, equity and fairness are necessary even with the hostile disbelievers who are at war with Muslims. Prohibition applies only in the case of cordial and friendly intimacy, not in the case of courteous attitude and kindness. This shows that it is permissible to be police and courteous to those hostile enemies who are at war with Muslims. However, treating them with tenderness and courtesy should not cause danger, threat, or loss to Muslims. Wherever courtesy or tenderness might pose such a danger, it is not permitted to be tender or courteous towards them. Of course, justice and equity in all cases and under all circumstances are necessary and imperative. Allah, the Pure and Exalted, knows best!]
[60:10] O you who believe, when the believing women come to you as emigrants, put them to a test. Allah knows best about their faith. So, if you find them faithful, do not send them back to the disbelievers. Neither these (women) are lawful for them, nor are those (disbelievers) lawful for these (women). And give them (the disbelievers) that (dower) which they had paid (to these women). And there is no sin for you if you marry them, when you give them their dowers. And do not hold on to the ties of marriage with the disbelieving women, and ask (their new non-Muslim husbands to pay to you) that (dower) which you had paid (to such women), and they (the previous non-Muslim husbands of the Muslim women) should ask (their new Muslim husbands) to pay that (dower) which they had paid (to their previous wives). That is the decision of Allah. He decides between you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
Cause of Revelation
Peace Treaty of Hudaibiyah and an Analysis of some of its Clauses
These verses are related to the event of the treaty of Hudaibiyah which was discussed at legnth in Surah Al-Fath. After protracted negotiation, a treaty was concluded between the Quraish of Makkah and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ for ten years. Some of the terms of the treaty were accepted only under pressure and the Muslims apparently felt subdued and thus were greatly disturbed. Therefore, the noble Companions expressed extreme grief and indignation but the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was working under Divine direction, in that the temporary feeling of defeat is actually a prelude to ‘a clear victory’, so he conceded to the fragile terms and conditions of the treaty, and eventually the blessed Companions also accepted.One of the terms of the treaty was that if any person goes away to Madinah from Makkah, the Holy Prophet ﷺ will send him back to Makkah, but if any person goes away to Makkah from Madinah, he will not be returned. The wordings of this clause are general, apparently covering both men and women. In other words, if a Muslim man or woman goes to the Holy Prophet ﷺ from Makkah, he shall send him or her back. The treaty had hardly been concluded while the Holy Prophet ﷺ was still in Hudaibiyah, several incidents occurred that were trying for the Muslims. One such incident was that of Sayyidna Abu Jandal ؓ who was imprisoned and held captive by the pagan Quraish in Makkah. Somehow he managed to escape and appeared before the Holy Prophet ﷺ in the Muslim camp with his feet in fetters. When the blessed Companions saw him, they were totally puzzled. They felt that he should be returned in terms of the treaty but, on the other hand, they thought it would be improper for them to hand their oppressed brother back to the oppressive enemies. But the Holy Prophet ﷺ had already concluded the treaty and the protection and firmness of the principles of Shari` ah could not be sacrificed on account of an individual. The Holy Prophet ﷺ was, at the same time, foresighted and farsighted. He could foresee the victory of the oppressed Muslims and their salvage very soon. The Holy Prophet ﷺ for sure must have felt natural grief about returning Sayyidna Abu Jandal ؓ ، but as he was bound by the terms of the treaty, he explained to him the situation and sent him off. A similar incident was that of Sayyidah Sa’idah bint al-Harith al-Aslamiyyah ؓ ، a Muslim lady. She was married to Saifi Ibn Ansab who was a non-believer. Some reports give his name as Musafir al-Makhzumi. Up to this point, marriage relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims was not forbidden. This Muslim lady escaped from Makkah and went to the Holy Prophet ﷺ . The husband followed her and demanded that the Holy Prophet ﷺ should restore his wife to him because he [the Holy Prophet ﷺ] has accepted this condition and the seal of the treaty is still fresh. On that occasion, the above verses were revealed, which declare that marriage tie between Muslims and idol-worshippers is forbidden. Consequently, if a Muslim lady, whether her Islam was known from beforehand, as in the case of Sayyidah Sa` idah bint al-Harith ؓ ، or her Islam is verified at the time of migration, emigrates and joins the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، she will not be returned to her non-Muslim husband, because she is forbidden to him. [Qurtubi cited this incident in his commentary on the authority of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ]. Hence, these verses clarify that the assumption that the general sense of the wordings of the treaty cover both genders, males as well as females, is incorrect. This condition is acceptable in the case of men, and not in the case of women. The best that can be done in their case is as follows: If a lady becomes Muslim and emigrates to the Muslim land, her mahr [dower] should be returned to her non-Muslim husband which he had spent on her. On the basis of these verses, the Holy Prophet ﷺ clarified the meaning of the clause. Hence, he did not restore the aforementioned Sa’idah ؓ to her non-Muslim husband. According to some reports, Umm Kulthum, the daughter of the notorious ` Utbah Ibn Abi Mu` ait, emigrated from Makkah and came to the Holy Prophet ﷺ . The disbelievers- invoked the treaty and demanded her return. Some reports also indicate that she was married to ` Amr Ibn al-` As [who had not become a Muslim until then]. Her two brothers along with her escaped from Makkah and reached the Holy Prophet ﷺ . Her husband ` Amr Ibn al-‘As ؓ came to Madinah to take her back. In compliance with the terms of the treaty, the two brothers, ` Umarah and Walid, were sent back, but the Holy Prophet ﷺ did not send Sayyidah Umm Kulthum ؓ and said that the clause applied to men, not to women. At this, the verses were revealed and confirmed the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ interpretation. Besides, several other reports relate similar incidents of other women who reached the Holy Prophet after embracing Islam. Obviously, there is no contradiction in these narratives. Possibly all these incidents have taken place.
Exemption of Women from the Terms of the Treaty is not a Breach of Treaty. It is a clarification by Mutual Agreement of Parties Concerned.
Qurtubi’s above narration indicates that the wordings of the relevant clause were, though general, did not, according to the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، cover women. Therefore, he clarified this position in Hudaibiyah, and these verses were revealed to confirm it. According to other versions, it seems that the Holy Prophet ﷺ went along with the general import of the clause, which covered women as well as men. These verses abrogated the general meaning of it, and the Holy Prophet ﷺ made it clear to the Quraish of Makkah, then and there, that the women are exempted from the clause. Consequently, he did not send them back. This shows that this exception was neither a breach of the treaty, which was highly unlikely from the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، nor was it the case of ending the treaty. It was, in fact, a case of clarifying the true import of the clause. It does not matter whether this was the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ understanding from the outset or whether he restricted the generality of the clause to men, to the exclusion of women, after the revelation of the verse. At any rate, even after the clarification, both parties confirmed the peace treaty and acted upon it for a period of time. As a result of the peace pact, roads were safe and secure. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ wrote letters to the kings and emperors of the world. Abu Sufyan’s trading caravan freely went into the Syrian territory where Heraclius invited him to his royal court and investigated about the Messenger of Allah ﷺ .
Testing the Believing Emigrant Women يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا جَاءَكُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ مُهَاجِرَاتٍ فَامْتَحِنُوهُنَّ ۖ اللَّـهُ أَعْلَمُ بِإِيمَانِهِنَّ (O, you who believe, when the believing women come to you as emigrants, put them to a test, Allah knows best about their faith…60:10). The verse purports to say that women are exempted from the relevant clause of the treaty because of their being Muslims. Since it was possible that a woman had fled from Makkah, not because of her faith, but on account of displeasure with her husband or being in love with some person in Madinah or for some other mundane motive. Such women are not exempted from the terms of the treaty, but it is incumbent to send her back. Therefore the Muslims were ordered by this verse that they should put such a woman to a test to discover whether she was sincere and honest in her faith. Allah further states: اللَّـهُ أَعْلَمُ بِإِيمَانِهِنَّ (Allah knows best about their faith… 60:10) It indicates that real faith belongs to human heart which none besides Allah knows. It is possible to estimate a man’s faith by his verbal confession and circumstantial evidence. Muslims are legally obliged to do just this much.Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ has explained the method of their testing as follows: An oath used to be taken from an emigrant woman to assert that she had not come because of hatred for her husband, or for the love of any man in Madinah, or for any mundane reason, but purely and solely for the sake of Allah and for the love and pleasure of His Messenger ﷺ . When she swore an oath to this effect, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ would permit her to reside in Madinah and would return to her disbelieving husband the dower [mahr] etc., that he might have spent on the believing emigrant wife. [Qurtubi] Sayyidah Siddiqah ؓ reports, as recorded in Tirmidhi [and he grades it as ‘hasan sahih’], that the method of testing them was the pledge of allegiance as in the forthcoming verse: إِذَا جَاءَكَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ يُبَايِعْنَكَ (… when the believing women come to you, seeking bai’ah [a pledge of allegiance] with you ….60:12). In other words, the methodology of testing the faith of the emigrant women was the pledge the women swore on the blessed hands of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ as set out in this verse. It is not inconceivable that they had first to take an oath as mentioned in the narration of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ and then they had to accomplish it by giving an oath of loyalty as mentioned in the verse 12. And Allah knows best! فَإِنْ عَلِمْتُمُوهُنَّ مُؤْمِنَاتٍ فَلَا تَرْجِعُوهُنَّ إِلَى الْكُفَّارِ (…So, if you find them faithful, do not send them back to the disbelievers. . .60:10). In other words, when you have tested the emigrant women according to the above method and ascertained to your satisfaction that they were sincere and honest in their faith, then it is not permissible to send them back to the unbelievers. لَا هُنَّ حِلٌّ لَّهُمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحِلُّونَ لَهُنَّ (…Neither these [women] are lawful for them, nor are those [disbelievers)] lawful for these [women]. _60:10). That is to say, neither the believing women are permitted to remain in marriage with the unbelieving men nor are the unbelieving men permitted to marry them again.
The verse states that any woman who was married to an unbeliever, but later she embraced Islam while her husband did not, the marriage tie between a believing woman and her disbelieving husband was ipso facto dissolved. This is the reason why women were exempted from the relevant clause of the treaty, as she was no longer permitted to her disbelieving husband.
[60:11] And if some of your (non-Muslim) wives have slipped from you, (and their present non-Muslim husbands do not pay to you the dower as aforesaid,) and you have your turn (of paying dower to the previous non-Muslim husbands of your present wives), then (instead of paying dower to them,) give those whose wives have slipped the like amount of what they had paid (to them). And fear Allah, the One in whom you believe. وَإِن فَاتَكُمْ شَيْءٌ مِّنْ أَزْوَاجِكُمْ إِلَى الْكُفَّارِ فَعَاقَبْتُمْ فَآتُوا الَّذِينَ ذَهَبَتْ أَزْوَاجُهُم مِّثْلَ مَا أَنفَقُوا ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ الَّذِي أَنتُم بِهِ مُؤْمِنُونَ And if some of your [non-Muslim] wives have slipped from you, [and their present non-Muslim husbands do not pay to you the dower as aforesaid,] and you have your turn [of paying dower to the previous non-Muslim husbands of your present wives], then [instead of paying dower to them,] give those whose wives have slipped the like amount of what they had paid [to them]. And fear Allah, the One in whom you believe. (60:11) The verb aqabtum is derived from mu ‘aqabah. It means ‘to retaliate’. This meaning is possible here [as reported by Qatadah, Mujahid and Qurtubi]. In this case, it implies that if some of the wives of the Muslims desert to disbelievers, it was legally binding on them in terms of the treaty to pay back the dowers given to them by the Muslim husbands, just as the Muslims gave them back the dowers given by the pagan husbands to the emigrant Muslim women. But since the pagans failed to reciprocate, and did not pay the dower money, the believing husbands are entitled to retaliate by withholding an amount equal to what was due on the disbelieving husbands who married the deserting wives of the Muslims, and did not pay it. How this withheld amount will be spent is mentioned in the following sentence: فَآتُوا الَّذِينَ ذَهَبَتْ أَزْوَاجُهُم مِّثْلَ مَا أَنفَقُوا (… then [instead of paying dower to them,] give those whose wives have slipped the like amount of what they had paid.) This means that the amounts withheld as aforesaid shall be given to the Muslims whose wives had gone to the pagans, and they did not pay back their dowers to their Muslim husbands. Another sense of the verb aqabtum, aqqabtum and a’qabtum in its variant form is ‘to acquire spoils of war’. The verb aqabtum is read in these variant forms (qira’ at) by various master readers of the Qur’an. Authorities like Qatadah and Mujahid have said that all these three forms of the verb mean to ‘acquire spoils of war’. In this case the verse means: if the Muslim husbands’ wives fled to the unbelievers and, in terms of the treaty, they did not return the dowers to the Muslim husbands, they would be compensated from the booty acquired in war.1 (1) A third interpretation of the word is that it is derived from ‘aqibah’ which means ‘turn’, and the infinitive mu’aqabah means ‘to take turn in riding a horse etc.’ In this case the verb aqabtum in the verse would mean: ‘you have your turn’, and the sense would be that when it is your turn to pay the dowers to the unbelievers, you should, instead of paying it to them, pay it to those Muslims whose wives have deserted them and joined the unbelievers who did not return to their husbands the dower they had paid to deserting wives and were entitled, by virtue of the treaty, to take it back from the unbelievers. This interpretation is adopted by ‘Alusi in R4-ul-Ma’ ani, and by Maulana Ashraf Thanawi (رح) . The translation in the text is based on it. (Mulammad Taqi Usmani)
Did some of the Muslim Women become Apostates and flee to Makkah?
Some of the authorities believe that the situation mentioned in this verse arose only in one incident. The wife of Sayyidna ` Iyad Ibn Ghanam Quraishi, Umm-ul-Hakam bint Abi Sufyan, abandoned the Islamic Faith and fled to Makkah. However, later on she reverted to Islam.
[60:12] O Prophet, when the believing women come to you, seeking bai’ah (a pledge of allegiance) with you that they will not ascribe anything as a partner to Allah, and will not commit theft, and will not commit fornication, and will not kill their children, and will not come up with a calumny that they falsely attribute between their hands and their feet, and will not disobey you in what is recognized (in Shari’ah), then effect bai’ah with them (i.e. accept their pledge) and pray Allah for their forgiveness. Surely Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.
Bai’ah of Women
ا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا جَاءَكَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ يُبَايِعْنَكَ عَلَىٰ أَن لَّا يُشْرِكْنَ بِاللَّـهِ شَيْئًا (O, Prophet, when the believing women come to you, seeking bai’ah [a pledge of allegiance] with you that they will not ascribe anything as a partner to Allah, ….60:12). This verse requires the Holy Prophet k to take a pledge from the Muslim women not only to adhere to Islamic articles of faith, but also to all the Islamic precepts. Previously, in verse  Allah had directed that when the emigrant women come to the believers, they should be tested and examined. The pledge of allegiance in the present verse is a complement to this test of the faith. But the words of the verse are general, and not confined to new Muslim emigrants. In fact, it covers all Muslim women. Accordingly, when the pledge was actually taken, it was not restricted to the emigrant new Muslim women, but the earlier Muslim women joined it as well, as is recorded in Sahih of Bukhari, on the authority of Sayyidah Umm ` Atiyyah ؓ . It is also recorded by Baghawi from Sayyidah Umaimah bint Ruqaiqah ؓ who adds that in the company of a few other women she gave bai’ah (pledge) to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ . The Holy Prophet ﷺ added the following over-rider فِیمَا استَطَعتُنَّ وَاَطَقتُنَّ (In as much as you have the ability and strength to carry them out.) Sayyidah Umaimah ؓ says: “This shows that the Holy Prophet ﷺ had more mercy and compassion for us than ourselves, as we wanted to pledge without any restriction or condition, but by utterance of this sentence he reduced the burden and tension of the terms of the loyalty, so that we may not be held guilty for any violation under compelled circumstances.” [Mazhari].
Men’s bai’ah was Concise and Women’s bai’ah Elaborate
Generally, the bai’ah taken from men was about Faith and Islam. Their pledge did not contain the details of injunctions of Shari’ah, unlike the pledge of women, which contained the details that are forthcoming. The difference between the two pledge is that men’s pledging for faith and obedience secures an undertaking to practice the entire system of Shari` ah and religion, and therefore there was no need for details. Women, on the other hand, are generally less intelligent than men. Therefore, details were thought to be necessary. This is the bai’ah that started with women, but later on was not confined to them. As time went on, the same detailed bai’ah was taken from men as well. Prophetic Traditions confirm this [as transmitted by Sayyidna ` Ubadah Ibn Samit ؓ] [Qurtubi]. Furthermore, the injunctions mentioned in the bai’ah of women in this verse are those regarding which they are normally lax. That is another reason why the following details had to be setry out. There are six injunctions mentioned in the verse; يُبَايِعْنَكَ عَلَىٰ أَن لَّا يُشْرِكْنَ بِاللَّـهِ شَيْئًا seeking bai’ah (pledge of allegiance) with you that they will not ascribe anything as a partner to Allah,….60:12) The first is that they will not ascribe any partner to Allah. Affirmation of faith and avoidance of shirk are vows common to men as well as women. The second pledge is that they shall not commit theft. Many women are wont to stealing from their husband’s possessions. Therefore, this vow has been taken. The third vow is that they shall avoid committing adultery. If the women are firm in this, it shall make men’s salvation from this sin easier. The fourth vow is that they shall not kill their children. In the Days of Ignorance, it was a common practice to bury infant girls alive and destroy their lives. This clause of the vow is a bar to it. The fifth vow is that they shall not bring calumny against anyone. While referring to this injunction, following words are added: بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِنَّ وَأَرْجُلِهِنَّ (…that they falsely attribute between their hands and their feet” ) This phrase has been added in order to indicate that on the Day of Resurrection man’s hands and feet will bear witness against his actions. The verse thus warns that he is committing such sins in the presence of four witnesses who will bear witness against him.
Tafseer by Abul A’la Maududi
60. Surah Al Mumtahina (The Woman Under Questioning)
In verse 10 of this Surah it has been enjoined that the women who emigrate to dar al-Islam (the Islamic State) and claim to be Muslims, should be examined hence the title Al-Mumtahinah. The word is pronounced both as mumtahinah and as mumtahanah, the meaning according to the first pronunciation being “the Surah which examines”, and according to the second, “the woman who is examined.”
Period of Revelation
The Surah deals with two incidents, the time of the occurrence of which is well known historically. The first relates to Hadrat Hatib bin Abz Balta’a, who, a little before the conquest of Makkah, had sent a secret letter to the Quraish chiefs informing them of the Holy Prophet’s intention to attack them. The second relates to the Muslim women, who had started emigrating from Makkah to Madinah, after the conclusion of the Truce of Hudaibiyah, and the problem arose whether they also were to be returned to the disbelievers, like the Muslim men, according to the conditions of the Truce. The mention of these two things absolutely determines that this Surah came down during the interval between the Truce of Hudaibiyah and the Conquest of Makkah. Besides, there is a third thing also that has been mentioned at the end of the Surah to the effect; What should the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) make the women to pledge when they come to take the oath of allegiance before him as believers?About this part also the guess is that this too was sent down some time before the conquest of Makkah, for after this conquest a large number of the Quraish women, like their men, were going to enter Islam simultaneously and had to be administered the oath of allegiance collectively.
Theme and Topics
This Surah has three parts;
The first part consists of vv. 1-9, and the concluding verse 13 also relates to it. In this strong exception has been taken to the act of Hadrat Hatib bin Abi Balta’a in that he had tried to inform the enemy of a very important war secret of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) only for the sake of safe guarding his family. This would have caused great bloodshed at the conquest of Makkah had it not been made ineffective in time. It would have cost the Muslims many precious lives; many of the Quraish would have been killed, who were to render great services to Islam afterward; the gains which were to accrue from conquering Makkah peacefully would have been lost, and all these serious losses would have resulted only because one of the Muslims had wanted to safeguard his family from the dangers of war. Administering a severe warning at this blunder Allah has taught the believers the lesson that no believer should, under any circumstances and for any motive, have relations of love and friendship with the disbelievers, who are actively hostile to Islam, and a believer should refrain from everything which might be helpful to them in the conflict between Islam and disbelief. However, there is no harm in dealing kindly and justly with those disbelievers, who may not be practically engaged in hostile activities against Islam and persecution of the Muslims.
The second part consists of vv. 10-11. In this a social problem has been settled, which was agitating the minds at that time. There were many Muslim women in Makkah, whose husbands were pagans, but they were emigrating and reaching Madinah somehow. Likewise, there were many Muslim men in Madinah, whose wives were pagans and had been left behind in Makkah. The question arose whether the marriage bond between them continued to be valid or not. Allah settled this problem for ever, saying that the pagan husband is not lawful for the Muslim women, nor the pagan wife lawful for the Muslim husband. This decision leads to very important legal consequences, which we shall explain in our notes below.
The third section consists of verse 12, in which the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) has been instructed to ask the women who accept Islam to pledge that they would refrain from the major evils that were prevalent among the womenfolk of the pre-Islamic Arab society, and to promise that they would henceforth follow the ways of goodness which the Messenger of Allah may enjoin.
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
1-3 Do not be friend with those who are enemies of Allah and the Muslims
(60:1) Believers,1 if you have left (your homes and) have come forth to struggle in My Way and to seek My good pleasure, do not make friends with My enemies and your enemies. You befriend them whereas they have spurned the Truth that has come to you; and (such is their enmity that) they expel the Messenger and yourselves for no other reason than that you believe in Allah, your Lord. You send to them messages of friendship in secrecy, although I know well whatever you do, be it secretly or publicly. And whosoever of you does so has indeed strayed far away from the Straight Path. (60:2) If they could overcome you, they would act as your foes and would hurt you by their hands and tongues, and would love to see you become unbelievers.2 (60:3) On the Day of Resurrection neither your blood-kindred nor your own offspring will avail you.3 (On that Day) He will separate you.4 Allah sees all that you do.5
1. It would be appropriate to give at the outset the details of the incident concerning which these verses were revealed so that the subject that follows is understood easily. The commentators agree, and Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, Urwah bin Zubair and others also have unanimously reported that these verses were revealed at the time when a letter of Hatib bin Abi Baltaa to the pagans of Makkah was intercepted.
It so happened that, when the Quraish broke the treaty of Hudaibiyah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) started making preparations for an invasion of Makkah, but he did not tell anyone, except a few close companions, about the goal of the expedition. At about the same time a woman arrived from Makkah, who had been a slave-girl of the Bani Abdul Muttalib, and then after her freedom had adopted singing as her profession. She complained of poverty to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and requested for financial help. The Prophet (peace be upon him) appealed to Bani Abdul Muttalib and he satisfied her need. When she was about to leave for Makkah, Hatib bin Abi Baltaa met her and quietly gave her a letter addressed to some of the Makkah chiefs and paid her ten dinars so that she kept the secret and carried the letter to the addressees secretly. When she had just left Al-Madinah, Allah informed the Prophet (peace be upon him) of it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) immediately sent Ali, Zubair and Miqdad bin Aswad after her with the instruction: Make haste. At Raudah khaki (12 miles from Al-Madinah on the road to Makkah) you will meet a woman, who carries a letter from Hatib to the pagans of Makkah. Seize that letter by any means you like. If she delivers the letter willingly, let her go; if she refuses to deliver it, kill her. When these companions reached the place, they found the woman there. They demanded the letter from her. She replied that she had a letter. They searched her but could find no letter. At last, they told her to deliver the letter, otherwise they would strip her and search her. When she saw that there was no way of escape, she took out the letter from her hair-plait and delivered it to them, and they brought it to the Prophet (peace be upon him). When the letter was opened and read, it was found to contain information to the Quraish that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was making preparations to attack them. (In different traditions different wordings of the letter have been reported but the purport of all is one and the same). The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked Hatib what induced him to act thus. He replied: Do not make haste in this matter of mine. I have not done this because I have become a disbeliever or an apostate, and have started preferring disbelief to Islam. But the truth is that my near and dear ones are still in Makkah. I do not belong to the tribe of the Quraish, but had settled there under the guardianship of some of them. The families of the Emigrants, which are still in Makkah, will be defended and protected by their tribes and clans, but I have no tribe which could give protection to my family. Therefore, I sent this letter in order to keep the Quraish under obligation so that they did not harm my children. (According to Hatib’s son Abdur Rahman, Habit had his children and brother still in Makkah at that time, and according to Hatib’s own report his mother was also there). Hearing what Hatib had to say, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to the people: Hatib has told you the truth. That is, the real motive of his action was this and not any treachery against Islam or any intention to support disbelief. Umar rose and said: Permit me, O Messenger of Allah, that I should cut off this hypocrite’s head. He has been treacherous to Allah and His Messenger and the Muslims. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: This man has participated in the Battle of Badr. You may not know, O Umar, Allah may have looked favorably at the people of Badr and said: Do as you please, I have forgiven you. (The words in the last sentence are different in different traditions. In some these are to the effect: I have granted you forgiveness; in some other: I am your forgiver; and in still an other: I will forgive you). Hearing this Umar wept and said: Allah and His Messenger have the best knowledge. This is a resume of those many traditions which Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Daud, Timidhi, Nasai, Ibn Jarir Tabari, Ibn Hisham, Ibn Hibban and Ibn Abi Hatim have related on the authority of several reliable transmitters. The most authentic of these is the tradition which Ali’s secretary, Ubaidullah bin Abu Rafi, heard from Ali himself, and from him Ali’s grandson, Hasan bin Muhammad bin Hanafiyah, heard and conveyed to the later reporters. In none of these there is any mention that Hatib was pardoned when he presented this excuse. But there is no hint either to show that he was awarded some punishment. That is why the Muslim scholars have concluded that Hatib’s excuse was accepted and he was pardoned.
2. Although what has been said up to here, and what follows in this regard, was revealed in connection with the incident relating to Hatib, Allah, instead of dwelling on his case only, has given the believers this lesson forever. It is contrary to the profession of the faith that a person should act, out of any motive or reason, in a way detrimental to the interests of Islam and subservient to the interests of disbelief when a conflict is going on between Islam and disbelief and some people have adopted a hostile attitude towards the Muslims only because they are Muslims. Even if a person be wholly free from any ill-will against Islam and acts thus not with an evil intention but for the sake of a dire personal need, the act anyhow is unbecoming of a believer, and whoever acts thus strays from the right way.
3. The allusion is to Hatib. As he had acted thus only in order to ensure that his mother and brother and children remained safe in the event of a war, it is being said: The relations for whose sake you have committed this grave error, will not save you on the Day of Resurrection. No one will dare come forward in the court of Allah and say: Our father, or our son, or our brother had committed this sin for our sake; therefore, we may be punished instead of him. At that time everyone will be worried only about himself, and weighed down with the anxiety of somehow saving himself from the consequences of his own acts, not to speak of being ready to take the burden of another’s sins on him. This thing has been expressed in clearer words at several other places in the Quran. At one place it has been said: To save oneself from the torment of that Day, the culprit will wish to give his children, his wife, his brother, his kinsfolk, who gave him shelter, and all the people of the earth, in ransom that this device might rescue him. (Surah Al-Maarij, Ayats 11-14). And at another place it is said: On the Day man shall flee from his brother and his mother and his father and his wife and his children. Each one of them, on that Day, shall have enough to occupy him so as to make him heedless of others.(Surah Abasa, Ayats 34-37).
4. That is, all worldly relations and bonds of love and friendship shall be rendered void in the Hereafter. The people will not be judged as groups and parties and families, but every person will have to present himself as an individual and render his own account only. Therefore, no one in the world should commit a wrong for the sake of a relationship or friendship or fraternity, for he will himself have to face all its consequences, and no one else will become a partner in a matter of his personal responsibility.
5. The following conclusions are deduced from the details of the case of Hatib, as mentioned above, and the verses which were revealed in this connection:
(1) Whatever the motive of the person, it was in itself an act of espionage, and a very dangerous kind of espionage on a critical occasion. The enemy, who was absolutely unaware, had been informed of the immanent attack from Al- Madinah. Then it was not a case based on suspicion but a letter written by the concerned person himself had been intercepted, after which no other proof of the guilt was required. These were not peace but war time conditions; yet the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not place Hatib in confinement without giving him a chance of self defense. This option was also not given to him in private but publicly before the people. This makes it manifest that there is no room in Islam for such laws and regulations under which the ruler may have the right in any case to imprison a person only on the basis of his own knowledge or suspicion. Islam also does not recognize the method of trying a person secretly in secret.
(2) Hatib was not only one of the emigrants but also a participant in the Battle of Badr, and enjoyed a distinguished place among the companions. But despite this a serious crime happened to be committed by him and Allah took him to task for this in the Quran as is evident from the above verses. In the Hadith too, his case has been narrated in detail and also among the commentators there may be none who has not made a reference to it. These are some of the evidences which prove that the companions were not innocent. They also could commit errors because of human weaknesses, and errors happened to be committed by them practically. The teaching of regarding them with respect and reverence that Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) have given, does not at all require that if one of them happened to commit an error, it should not be mentioned, for evidently, if this were their demand, neither would Allah have mentioned them in His Book, nor the companions and their successors and the traditionists and the commentators would have related their details in their traditions and books.
(3) The view that Umar expressed in the case of Hatib concerned the apparent aspect of the act. His reasoning was that the act was clearly in the nature of treachery to Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) and the Muslims. Therefore, Hatib was a hypocrite and deserved to be put to death. But the Prophet (peace be upon him) rejected his viewpoint and explained the viewpoint of the Islamic Shariah, saying: Decision should not be given only on the outward form of the act but it should also be seen what evidence is given by the past life and general character of the person, who happens to commit the act and the circumstances under which he commits it. The act, no doubt, smacked of espionage but did the attitude of the person concerned towards Islam and the followers of Islam until then indicate that he could do such a thing with the intention of treachery to Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) and the Muslims. He was one of those who had emigrated for the sake of the faith. Could he have made such a sacrifice without sincerity? He fought in a critical battle like Badr for the sake of his faith when the Muslims were facing an enemy much better equipped and three times their number. Could the sincerity of such a person be doubted or could it be believed that he had the slightest inclination towards the Quraish. He was telling the plain truth that his family at Makkah did not enjoy the protection of any tribe or clan, which the families of the other emigrants enjoyed; therefore, he acted thus during war time only in order to safeguard his children from the persecution of the disbelievers. The facts confirmed that he did not really belong to any tribe at Makkah and this too was known that his family members were still back at Makkah. Therefore, there was no reason why his statement should be taken as false and the opinion formed that his real motive was not this but the intention of treachery. No doubt, for a sincere Muslim even with a good intention it was not lawful that he should inform the enemy of the military plans of the Muslims only for the sake of his personal interests, yet there is a great difference between the error of a sincere Muslim and the treachery of a hypocrite. Both cannot be awarded the same punishment only on the basis of the similarity between their acts. This was the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) decision in this case, and Allah confirmed it in the verses of Surah Al- Mumtahinah. A careful study of the above three verses will show that in these Allah has certainly reprimanded Hatib, but it is a kind of a reprimand administered to a believer and not the one administered to a hypocrite. Moreover, no penalty, or physical punishment was awarded to him, but he was administered a severe rebuke publicly and let off, which meant that in a Muslim society even a blot on the honor of a guilty believer and his falling into disrepute was also a very severe punishment.
(4) About the great merit of those companions who fought at Badr, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: You may not know Allah might have looked favorably at the people of Badr and said: Do as you please, I have forgiven you. This does not mean that the companions of Badr were forgiven each and every sin and they were at liberty to commit whatever sin and crime they pleased, for forgiveness had already been guaranteed to them. This was neither meant by the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor the companions ever understood it in this meaning, nor any companion of Badr after hearing this good news ever thought that he was free to commit any sin, nor ever any rule was made on the basis of this in the Islamic Shariah that if a companion of Badr happened to commit a sin, he should not be given any punishment for it. As a matter of fact, if one considers the circumstances under which this was said and the words that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used on this occasion carefully, one can clearly understand the meaning to be this: It would not be anything impossible if in view of the great and meritorious services that the companions rendered at Badr out of sincerity and devotion and at the very risk of their lives for the sake of Allah and His religion, Allah might have forgiven all their former and latter sins mercifully. Therefore, you should not suspect such a companion of treachery and hypocrisy, and should accept the excuse that he himself was presenting for his crime.
(5) From the Quran and the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) sayings it also becomes evident that a Muslim’s being involved in espionage for the disbelievers by itself is not a sufficient basis for the conclusion that he has become an apostate, or is devoid of the faith, or is a hypocrite. For reaching such a conclusion if there are some other circumstances and evidences, it would be a different thing; otherwise by itself this act is only a crime, not a sign of disbelief.
(6) From these verses of the Quran it also becomes evident that for a Muslim it is in no case permissible that he should spy for the disbelievers, no matter how gravely his own life and property, or that of his near and dear ones, might be endangered.
(7) When Umar asked for the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) permission to put Hatib to death for the crime of espionage, the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not say that the crime was not punishable with death, but declined permission on the ground that Hatib’s being a companion of Badr was an express proof of his being sincere, and the statement given by him was correct that be had acted thus not out of any good wishes for the enemies but for the sake of safeguarding his family from any possible persecution to death. From this, one section of the jurists has argued that the general law in respect of a Muslim spy is that he should be put to death, unless there are very weighty reasons for awarding him a lesser punishment or a mere reprimand. But the jurists have disputed this question. Imam Shafei and some other jurists hold the view that the Muslim spy is punishable, but not with death. Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Auzai maintain that he will be subjected to corporal punishment and long imprisonment. Imam Malik says that he will be put to death, but the Maliki jurists hold different views on this question. Ashhab says that the Muslim ruler has vast powers in this matter. He can exercise his judgment keeping in view the circumstances of the crime and the culprit and award him any punishment. A saying of Imam Malik and Ibn al-Qasim also is to the same effect. Ibn al Majishun and Abdul Malik bin Habib say that if the culprit is a habitual spy, he should be put to death. Ibn Wahb says that the punishment of the spy is death, but if he repents of spying, he may be pardoned. Sahnun says that one cannot know whether his repentance is genuine or deceptive; therefore, he should be put to death. There is also a saying of Ibn al-Qasim in support of this. And Asbagh says that the belligerent spy is punishable with death, but the Muslim or dhimmi spy should be given corporal punishment instead of the death sentence, unless he be helping the enemies openly as against the Muslims. (Ibn al-Arabi, Ahkam al-Quran; Umdat al-Qari; Fath al- Bari.)
(8) The Hadith that has been cited above also permits that for the investigation of the crime not only the male but the female accused can also be stripped if so required. Although Ali, Zubair and Miqdad had not stripped the woman, yet they had threatened her that if she did not produce the letter, they would strip and search her. Obviously, if it were not lawful, the three illustrious companions could not have threatened her thus. And one can understand that they must have reported the story of their expedition on their return to the Prophet (peace be upon him). Had he expressed his displeasure, it must have been reported. That is why the jurists have held it as permissible. (Umdat al-Qari).
4-6 Ibrahim and his companions are and excellent example for the believers and Prayer of Ibrahim and his companions
(60:4) You have a good example in Abraham and his companions: they said to their people: “We totally dissociate ourselves from you, and from the deities that you worship instead of Allah. We renounce you6 and there has come to be enmity and hatred between us and you until you believe in Allah, the One True God.” (But you may not emulate) Abraham’s saying to his father: “Certainly I will ask pardon for you, although I have no power over Allah to obtain anything on your behalf.”7 (And Abraham and his companions prayed): “Our Lord, in You have we put our trust, and to You have we turned, and to You is our ultimate return. (60:5) Our Lord, do not make us a test for the unbelievers,8 and forgive us, our Lord. Surely You are Most Mighty, Most Wise.” (60:6) Indeed there is a good example for you in them; a good example for anyone who looks forward to Allah and the Last Day.9 As for him who turns away, Allah is All-Sufficient, Immensely Praiseworthy.10
7-9 Exception to the prohibition of friendship with unbelievers who had neither fought against the believers nor expelled them from their homes
(60:7) It may well be that Allah will implant love between you and those with whom you have had enmity.11 Allah is Most Powerful; and Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Compassionate. (60:8) Allah does not forbid that you be kind and just to those who did not fight against you on account of religion, nor drove you out of your homes. Surely Allah loves those who are equitable.12 (60:9) Allah only forbids you to be friends with those who have fought against you on account of religion and who have driven you out of your homes and have abetted in your expulsion. And any who make friends with them, they are the wrong-doers.13
11. Although the true believers were following the exhortation to sever their connections with the unbelieving kinsmen patiently, yet Allah knew how hard it was to break off one’s connections with his parents, brothers and sisters and near relations. Therefore, Allah consoled them with the hope that a time would soon come when their same relations would become Muslims and their today’s enmity would again change into love tomorrow. When this thing was said no one could understand how this would happen. But hardly a few weeks had passed after the revelation of these verses when Makkah fell and the people of Quraish began to enter Islam in large numbers, and the Muslims witnessed with their own eyes how the hope they were given materialized.
12. Here a doubt may arise in the minds. It is all right to treat the disbelievers, who are not hostile, kindly, but should only they be treated unjustly? And should the disbelievers, who arc hostile, be treated unjustly? The answer is that in this context, the word justice, in fact, has been used in a special sense. It means: Justice demands that you should not be hostile to those who are not hostile to you, for it is not justice to treat the enemy and the nonenemy alike. You have every right to adopt a stern attitude towards those who persecuted you for embracing Islam and compelled you to leave your homes and pursued you even after your expulsion. But as for those who were not partners in persecuting you, you should treat them well and should fulfill the right they have on you because of blood and other relationships.
13. The instructions to sever relations with the disbelievers given in the preceding verses, could cause the people the misunderstanding that this was because of their being the disbelievers. Therefore, in these verses it has been made clear that its real cause is not their disbelief but their hostility to Islam and their tyrannical treatment of the followers of Islam. The Muslims, therefore, should distinguish between the hostile disbeliever and the nonhostile disbeliever, and should treat those disbelievers well who have never treated them with evil. Its best explanation is the incident that took place between Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, and her disbelieving mother. A wife of Abu Bakr’s was Qutaylah bint Abdul Uzza, who was a disbeliever and had remained behind in Makkah after the migration. Asma had been born of her. After the peace treaty of Hudaibiyah when the traffic opened between Makkah and Madinah, she came to Al-Madinah to see her daughter and also brought some gifts. Asma herself has related that she went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked: Should I see my mother. And can I treat her as a daughter should treat her mother. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: Yes, treat her as your mother. (Musnad Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim). Asma’s son, Abdullah bin Zubair, has given further details of this incident. He says that Asma in the beginning had refused to see her mother. Then, when she received Allah and His Messenger’s permission she met her. (Musnad Ahmad, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim). This by itself leads to the conclusion that a Muslim’s serving his unbelieving parents and his helping his unbelieving brothers and sisters and relatives is permissible when they are not hostile to Islam. Likewise, one can also spend his charities on the indigent among the dhimmis. (Al-Jassas, Ahkam al-Quran; Ruh al-Maani).
10-11 Women that become believers, test their Iman, and if you find them truthful do not return them to their unbelieving husbands
(60:10) Believers, when believing women come to you as Emigrants (in the cause of faith), examine them. Allah fully knows (the truth) concerning their faith. And when you have ascertained them to be believing women, do not send them back to the unbelievers.14 Those women are no longer lawful to the unbelievers, nor are those unbelievers lawful to those (believing) women. Give their unbelieving husbands whatever they have spent (as bridal-dues); and there is no offence for you to marry those women if you give them their bridal-dues.15 Do not hold on to your marriages with unbelieving women: ask for the return of the bridal-due you gave to your unbelieving wives and the unbelievers may ask for the return of the bridal-due they had given to their believing wives.16 Such is Allah’s command. He judges between you. Allah is All-Knowing, Most Wise. (60:11) And if you fail to receive from the unbelievers a part of the bridal-due of your disbelieving wives, and then your turn comes, pay to those who have been left on the other side an amount the like of the bridal-due that they have paid.17 And have fear of Allah in Whom you believe.
14. The background of this injunction is that after the peace treaty of Hudaibiyah, in the beginning, the Muslim men started fleeing Makkah, while arriving at Al-Madinah they were sent back according to the terms of the treaty. Then the Muslim women started arriving and first of all, Umm Kulthum Uqbah bin Abi Muait emigrated to Al- Madinah, The disbelievers invoked the treaty and demanded return, and two brothers of Umm Kulthum, Walid bin Uqbah and Amarah bin Uqbah, came to Al- Madinah to take her back. At this the question arose whether the treaty of Hudaibiyah applied to the women as well. Allah has answered this very question here, saying: If they are Muslims, and it is ascertained that they have emigrated only for the sake of the faith and for no other motive, they are not to be returned.
Here, a complication has arisen on account of the narration of the Hadith from the viewpoint of the meaning and content, and it must be resolved. The traditions that are found in the Ahadith about the conditions of the treaty of Hudaibiyah are mostly traditions narrated from the viewpoint of the meaning and purport. About the condition under discussion the words in the different traditions are different. In some the words are to the effect: Whoever reaches us from you, we will not return him, but whoever reaches you from us, you shall return. In some others the words are to the effect: Whoever of his companions comes to the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah without the permission of his guardian, he will send him back. And in still another, the words are: Whoever, from the Quraish goes to Muhammad (peace be upon him) without the permission of his guardian, he will return him to Quraish. The style of these traditions by itself shows that this condition of the treaty has not been reported in the actual words of the treaty, but the reporters have reported its purport in their own words. But since most of the traditions are of the same nature, the commentators and traditionists generally have understood that the treaty was general, which applied to both men and women, and the women too were to be returned according to it. Later, when this injunction of the Quran that the believing women were not to be returned, came to their knowledge, they interpreted it to mean that Allah in this verse had decided to break the treaty in so far as it related to the believing women. But this was not an ordinary thing which should be accepted so easily. If the treaty was general, without any exception in respect of men and women, it could not be lawful for one party to amend it unilaterally and change a part of it by itself. And even if such a thing happened, it is strange that the Quraish did not protest against it, whereas they remained on the lookout for an opportunity to raise objections against everything that the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Muslims did. Had they found that the Prophet had committed a breach of the treaty conditions, they would have raised a loud clamor. But we do not find any trace of it in any tradition that they took an exception to this ruling of the Quran. Had this question been carefully considered the problem could have been resolved by reference to the actual words of the treaty. But many people paid no attention to it. If some scholars (e.g. Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn al-Arabi) did pay any attention, they did not hesitate to say that the reason why the Quraish did not raise any objection was that Allah had miraculously scaled their mouths in this matter. It is strange how these scholars felt satisfied at this explanation.
The fact of the matter is that this condition of the peace treaty had been proposed by the disbelieving Quraish, and not by the Muslims, and the words that Suhail bin Amr, their representative, had gotten included in the treaty were: And that whichever man (rajul) come to you from us, even if he be on your religion, you will return him to us. These words of the treaty have been reproduced in Bukhari (Kitab ash-Shurut: Bab ash-Shurut fil-Jihad wal- Masalahah) through authentic channels. It may be that Suhail used the word rajul in the meaning of a person, but this might be the meaning he had in his mind. The word written in the treaty was rajul, which is used for a fullgrown man in Arabic. That is why when the brothers of Umm Kulthum bint Uqbah came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and demanded her return, (according to Imam Zuhri’s tradition), Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) refused to return her, saying: The condition was about the men, not the women. (Ibn al-Arabi, Ahkam al-Quran; Loam Razi, Tafsir Kabir) Until then the people of Quraish themselves were under the delusion that the treaty applied to all kinds of emigrants, men or women; But when the Prophet (peace be upon him) drew their attention to these words of the treaty, they were struck dumb and had to accept this decision.
According to this condition of the treaty the Muslims had the right to decline return of any woman who emigrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah for any reason whatsoever. But Islam was interested only in safeguarding the believing women and not to make the holy city of Al-Madinah a place of refuge for every kind of female fugitive. Therefore, Allah enjoined: Ascertain by examination the faith of the women who emigrated to you and profess to have believed; and when it is fully ascertained that they have emigrated with genuine faith, and no other motive, do not return them. Thus, the procedure adopted for carrying out this command was that the women who emigrated were questioned whether they believed in the oneness of Allah and the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and had emigrated only for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), and not out of any worldly consideration, e.g. hatred of the husband, or love of somebody in Al-Madinah, or some other worldly motive. Only those women who gave satisfactory answers to these questions were allowed to stay, others were sent back. (Ibn Jarir on the authority of Iba Abbas, Qatadah, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Ibn Zaid).
In this verse a basic principle of the law of evidence has also been stated and its further clarification has been made by the procedure that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had prescribed for implementing it, The verse enjoins three things:
(1) Examine the faith of the emigrating women who present themselves as believers.
(2) Allah alone knows the truth about their faith; the Muslims have no means to find out whether they have really believed or not.
(3) When it has been ascertained that they are believers, they are not to be returned.
Then, in accordance with this injunction, the method that the Prophet (peace be upon him) prescribed for examining and ascertaining the faith of the women was that the statement given by them on oath should be relied on and it should be made sure after necessary examination that they had no other motive of emigration than the faith. First, it gives the principle that for taking decision on different matters it is not necessary for the court to have direct knowledge of the truth; for the court only that knowledge is sufficient which is obtained through evidence. Second, the statement given by a person on oath will be regarded as reliable until it is proved to be false by a clear evidence. Third, whatever declaration a person himself may make about his creed and faith, will be accepted and no search will be made into finding out, whether what he states actually constitutes his faith or not, unless there is a clear indication to the contrary. And fourth, in the personal affairs of a person, which no one else can know, his own statement will be trusted. e.g. in the matters of divorce and the waiting period (iddat) the woman’s own statement about her menstrual course and state of purity will be regarded as reliable, whether it is true or false. According to these very rules, in the science of the Hadith also, those traditions will be accepted, the apparent state of whose reporters testifies to their being righteous, unless, of course, there are other circumstances which forbid the acceptance of a particular tradition.
15. This means that, a Muslim who wants to marry any of these women should pay a fresh dower and marry her. The dowers to he repaid to their unbelieving husbands will not be considered their dowers.
16. Four very important injunctions have been laid down in these verses, which relate both to the family law of Islam and to the international law.
First, that the woman who becomes a Muslim is no longer lawful for her unbelieving husband nor her unbelieving husband is lawful for her.
Second, that the marriage of the married woman who becomes a Muslim and emigrates from the abode of disbelief (dar al-kufr) to the abode of Islam (dar al-lslam) is automatically annulled, and any Muslim who likes can marry her after paying her dower.
Third, that it is not lawful for a man who becomes a Muslim to retain his wife in wedlock if she likes to remain an infidel.
Fourth, that if there exist relations of peace between the abode of disbelief and the abode of Islam, the Islamic government should try to settle the question of the return of dowers with the non-Muslim government, thus: The dowers of the married women of the disbelievers, who become Muslims and emigrate to the abode of Islam, should be returned by the Muslims, and the dowers of the unbelieving married women of the Muslims who are left behind in the abode of disbelief, should be taken back from the disbelievers.
The historical background of these injunctions is as follows: In the beginning of Islam, there were many such men, who accepted Islam but their wives did not become Muslim, and there were many such women who became Muslim but their husbands did not accept Islam. Abul Aas, the husband of Zainab, a daughter of the Prophet (peace be upon him), was a non-Muslim and he remained non-Muslim for several years. In the early period no command had been given to the effect that the pagan husband was unlawful for the Muslim wife and the pagan wife was unlawful for the Muslim husband. Therefore, the marital relations continued to exist between them. Even after the migration for several years, it so happened that many women became Muslim and emigrated to Al-Madinah while their pagan husbands remained in the abode of disbelief. Likewise, many Muslim men emigrated and their pagan wives were left in the abode of disbelief. But in spite of this their marriage continued. This was creating complications for the women in particular, for the men could marry other women, but this was not possible for the women. Until their marriage with their previous husbands was dissolved, they could not remarry. After the peace treaty of Hudaibiyah when these verses came down, they annulled the previous marriage between the Muslims and the pagans, and laid down an absolute and clear law for guidance in future. The jurists of Islam have codified this law under four major titles:
First, the case when both the man and the wife are in the abode of Islam and one of them becomes a Muslim and the other remains an infidel.
Second, the case when both the man and the wife are in the abode of disbelief, and one of them becomes a Muslim and the other remains an infidel.
Third, the case when one of the spouses becomes a Muslim and emigrates to the abode of Islam and the other remains an infidel in the abode of disbelief.
Fourth, the case when either of the Muslim spouses becomes an apostate.
Below we give the viewpoints of the jurists with regard to all the four cases separately:
(1) In the first case, if the husband has accepted Islam and his wife is a Christian or a Jewess, and she remains faithful to her religion, their marriage will endure, for it is permissible for a Muslim to have a wife who is a follower of the earlier scriptures. This is agreed upon by all jurists.
And if the wife of the man who has accepted Islam, is not a follower of the earlier Books, and she adheres to her faith, the Hanafis say that Islam will be presented before her; if she accepts it, the marriage will endure; if she refuses to accept it, separation will be effected between them. In this case, if consummation between them had taken place, the woman will be entitled to the dower; if there was no consummation, she will not be entitled to any dower, for separation has been caused because of her refusal. (Al- Mabsut; Hedayah; Fath al-Qadir). Imam Shafei and Imam Ahmad say that if the spouses did not have consummation, the woman would be outside wedlock as soon as the man accepted Islam, and if consummation had taken place; the woman will remain in wedlock till three menstruations. During this period if she accepts Islam of her own free will, the marriage will continue, otherwise it will become void automatically as soon as she is free from her third menstrual course. Imam Shafei also adds that it is not right to present Islam before the woman on the basis of the pledge of non-interference in religion that the dhimmis have been given by the Muslims. But this, in fact, is a weak argument; for it would be interference in the dhimmi woman’s religion if she was compelled to accept Islam. It is no interference to tell her that if she accepted Islam, she would continue to be her husband’s wife, otherwise she would be separated from him. In Ali’s time there has been a precedent of this nature. An Iraqi landowner who was a Majusi by religion accepted Islam and his wife remained an unbeliever, AIi presented Islam before her, and when she refused to accept it, he effected separation between them. (Al-Mabsut). Imam Malik says that if consummation has not taken place, the unbelieving wife would forthwith cease to be the wife as soon as the man embraced Islam, and if consummation has taken place, Islam would be presented before the woman, and in case she refuses to accept it, separation will result. (Ibn Qudamah, Al-Mughni ).
And if Islam has been accepted by the woman and the man remains an infidel, whether he is a follower of an earlier scripture or a non-follower, the Hanafis say that Islam will be presented before the husband whether consummation between them has taken place or not. If he accepts it, the woman will continue to be his wife; if he rejects it, the qadi will effect separation between them. So long as the man does not refuse to accept Islam, the woman will remain his wife, but he will not have the right to have sexual relations with her. In case the husband refuses, separation will become effective just like an irrevocable divorce. If consummation has not taken place before this, the woman will be entitled to half the dower, and if it has taken place, the woman will be entitled to full dower as well as maintenance during the waiting period (iddat). (AI-Mabsut; Hedayah; Fath at-Qadir). According to Imam Shafei, marriage will dissolve as soon as the woman accepted Islam in case consummation has not taken place, and in case it has taken place, the woman will continue to be the man’s wife till the end of the waiting period. If in the mean-time he accepts Islam, marriage will remain valid, otherwise separation will take place as soon as the waiting period comes to an end. But in the case of the man, Imam Shafei has also expressed the same opinion as he has expressed about the woman as cited above. That is, it is not right to present Islam before him. But this is a weak opinion. In the time of Umar, on several occasions, the woman accepted Islam and the man was invited to Islam; when he refused to accept it, separation was effected between the spouses. There is, for examples the case of the wife of a Christian of the Bani Taghlib, which was brought before him. Umar said to the man: Accept Islam, otherwise I will effect separation between you two. He declined, and the Caliph enforced the decree. The case of a newly converted lady of Bahz al-Malik was sent to him. In her case too he ordered that Islam be presented before her husband; if he accepts it well and good, otherwise separation be effected between them. These incidents had happened in front of the companions and no dispute or difference of opinion has been reported. (AI-Jassas, Ahkam al-Quran; Al Mabsut; Fath al-Qadir). Imam Malik’s opinion in this connection is that if the woman becomes a Muslim before the consummation of marriage Islam should be presented before the husband; if he accepts it, well and good; otherwise separation should be effected forthwith. And if consummation has taken place, and the woman has accepted Islam afterwards, she will have to wait till the end of the waiting period. If the husband accepts Islam in the meantime, marriage will continue otherwise separation will take place as soon as the waiting period expires. A saying of Imam Ahmad is in support of Imam Shafei. His other saying is to the effect that the event of the difference of religion between the spouses will in any case lead to immediate separation, whether consummation between them has taken place or not. (Al-Mughni).
(2) If in dar al-kufr (abode of disbelief) the woman becomes a Muslim and the man remains an infidel, or the man becomes a Muslim and the wife (who neither is Christian nor Jew but is follower of a non-revealed religion) remains an infidel, the Hanafi viewpoint is that separation will not take place, whether consummation between them has taken place or not, until the woman completes three menstrual courses, or until she passes three months in case she is nonmenstruating. If in the meantime the other spouse is also converted, marriage will remain valid, otherwise separation will take place on the expiry of the term. Imam Shafei, in this case also, distinguishes between the occurrence of consummation and its non-occurrence. He maintains that if there was no consummation, separation would occur immediately on the event of the difference of religion between the spouses. And if the difference of religion has occurred after the consummation, marriage will continue valid until the end of the waiting period. If in the meantime the other spouse does not accept Islam, marriage will dissolve as soon as the waiting period comes to an end. (Al Mabsut, Fath al-Qadir, Al-Jassas Ahkam al-Quran).
In case where along with the difference of religion between the spouses the separation of abode also takes place, i.e. one of them remains an infidel in daral-kufr (the non-Muslim state) and the other emigrates to dar al-lslam (the Islamic state), the Hanafi viewpoint is that marriage between them will automatically dissolve. If the emigrant is the woman, she has the right to remarry immediately; she does not have to observe any waiting period. However, her husband will have to abstain from sexual intercourse until after she has discharged the menses once; and if she is pregnant, even then marriage can be contracted, but the husband must abstain from cohabitation until after the delivery. Imam Muhammad and Imam Abu Yusuf have differed from Imam Abu Hanifah in this. They say that the woman has to observe the waiting period; and if she is pregnant, she cannot contract marriage before the delivery. (Al-Mabsut; Hedayah; AI-Jassas, Ahkam al-Quran). Imam Shafei, Imam Ahmad and Imam Malik maintain that the separation of abode has nothing to do with this, for the real thing is only the difference of religions. If this difference takes place between the spouses, the injunctions to govern this are the same as those which govern it in case such a difference takes place between the spouses in the Islamic state (Al-Mughni). Imam Shafei along with his above cited opinion has also expressed the view that if the emigrant Muslim woman has emigrated after a quarrel with her infidel husband, with the intention of dissolving his marital right, an immediate separation will take place not on the basis of the separation of abode (ikhtilaf dar) but on the basis of her this intention. (Al-Mabsut Hedayah).
But a careful consideration of the Quranic verse under discussion clearly shows that in this matter the most sound opinion is the one that Imam Abu Hanifah has expressed. Allah has sent down this verse concerning the believing women who emigrated and about them He has said that they are no longer lawful for the pagan husbands whom they have left behind in dar al-kufr, and has allowed the Muslims of the Islamic state to marry them after they have paid them the dowers. On the other hand, the emigrant Muslims have been addressed and enjoined not to keep those of their pagan wives in wedlock, who are left is dar alkufr, and to ask of the disbelievers the dowers that they had given to those women. Obviously, these injunctions do not pertain only to the difference of religion, but it is the difference of abode that has given these injunctions this particular form. If on account of migration the marriages of the Muslim women with their pagan husbands had not become dissolved, how could the Muslims be permitted to marry them. And that too in a way that the permission does not contain any reference to the observance of the waiting period by them. Likewise, if even after the revelation of the command, “and you also should not hold back unbelieving women in marriage” the pagan wives of the Muslim emigrants had continued to be their wives, they also would have been commanded to divorce them. But there is no reference here to this either. No doubt, it is correct that after the revelation of this verse, Umar and Talhah and some other emigrants had divorced their wives, but this is no proof that such a thing was at all necessary, and their severing of the marital relationship with those wives depended on their pronouncing divorce on them, and if they had not pronounced the divorce, the wives would have continued to be their legal wives.
In response to this, three events of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) time are quoted as precedents, which are regarded as a proof that even after the revelation these verses the prophet (peace be upon him), in spite of the separation of abode, allowed the marriage relationship to continue between the believing and the unbelieving spouses. The first event is this, a little before the conquest of Makkah, Abu Sufyan visited the Islamic army at Marr az- Zahran (present Wadi Fatimah) and accepted Islam, and his wife, Hind, remained a pagan in Makkah. Then Hind accepted Islam after the conquest of Makkah, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) ruled that their previous marriage would continue to be valid. The second event is that after the conquest of Makkah, Ikrimah bin Abu Jahl and Hakim bin Hizam fled Makkah and in their absence the wives of both became Muslims. Then they sought the Prophet’s protection for their husbands and went and brought them back. Both the men come before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and accepted Islam and in their case too he held their previous marriages as valid. The third event relates to the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) own daughter, Zainab, who emigrated to Al-Madinah and her husband, Abul-Aas, was left an infidel in Makkah. About him Musnad Ahmad, Abu Daud, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah contain a tradition on the authority of Ibn Abbas, saying that he came to Al-Madinah in A.H. 8 and became a Muslim, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) allowed his daughter to continue in marriage with him, without renewal of marriage. But the first two of these events, in fact, do not come under the definition of the difference of abode. For the difference of abode does not mean a person’s temporarily leaving one place for another, or his fleeting to another place, but the difference takes place only in case a person emigrates from one place and settles down in another place and the difference of nationality takes place between him and his wife. As for the event relating to Zainab, there are two traditions, one related on the authority of Ibn Abbas, as referred to above, and the other related by Imam Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah on the authority of Abdullah bin Amr bin Aas. In this second tradition it has been stated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) allowed his daughter to continue as the wife of Abul- Aas after renewal of the marriage, and with a fresh dower. Thus, in the first place, this precedent, due to the difference in reporting, no longer remains a definite argument with those who deny the legal effect of the separation of abode. Secondly, if they insist on the authenticity of Ibn Abbas’s tradition, it contradicts their own viewpoint. For, according to their viewpoint, the marriage of the spouses between whom difference of religion takes place and who have consummated their marriage remains valid only until three menstruations. In the meantime if the other party also accepts Islam, the marriage continues to be valid, otherwise it dissolves automatically as soon as the third menstrual course starts. But in the case of Zainab from which they take their argument, the difference of religion between the spouses had taken place several years earlier. Abul Aas had affirmed the faith six years after Zainab’s emigration, and at least two years before his conversion to Islam the injunction had been revealed in the Quran, according to which the Muslim woman had been forbidden for the pagans.
(4) The fourth case is of apostasy. Its one form is that both the husband and the wife should become apostates together, and the other that one of them becomes an apostate and the other remains a Muslim. If both the husband and the wife become apostates together, the Shafeis and the Hanbalis say that their marriage contracted in Islam will dissolve immediately if this happened before consummation, and after the lapse of the waiting period if it happened after consummation. On the contrary, the Hanafis hold the view that although according to common sense their marriage should dissolve, yet in the time of Abu Bakr, when thousands of people became apostates, and then again became Muslims, the companions did not direct anyone to renew the marriage; therefore, we accept this unanimous decision of the companions and admit, contrary to common sense, that in case both the husband and the wife become apostates together, their marriages do not dissolve.(Al Mabsut; Hedayah; Fath al-Qadir Al-Fiqh alal-Madhahib al-Arbah).
If the husband becomes an apostate and the wife continues to be Muslim, according to the Hanafis and the Malikis, the marriage will dissolve immediately, whether this happens before consummation or after it. But the Shafeis and the Hanbalis in this connection make a distinction between the two states. If it happens before consummation, the marriage will dissolved immediately, and if it happens after consummation it will endure till the end of the waiting period, In the meantime if the person returns to Islam, marriage will continue to hold good, otherwise, on the expiry of the waiting period, it will be deemed to have dissolved since he became an apostate. That is, the woman will not have to observe another waiting period afresh. All the four jurists agree that if this happened before consummation, the woman would be entitled to half the dower, and if after consummation to full dower.
And if the woman became an apostate, the old ruling of the Hanafis was that in this case too marriage would dissolve immediately. But later the scholars of Balkh and Samarkand gave the ruling that in case the woman becomes an apostate, separation does not take place immediately; and by this their object was to discourage the women from adopting this course in order to get rid of their husbands. The Malikis verdict is somewhat similar. They say that if circumstances testify that the woman adopted this course only as a pretence to win separation from the husband, separation will not take place. The Shafeis and the Hanbalis say that in case of the woman’s turning an apostate too, the law is the same as in case of the husband’s turning an apostate. That is, if she became an apostate before consummation, marriage would dissolve immediately and if after consummation, Marriage will endure till the end of the waiting period. If conversion takes place in the meantime marriage will continue to hold good, otherwise it will be deemed to have dissolved since the time of apostasy. There is consensus with regard to the dower. If the woman became an apostate, before consummation she would not be entitled to any dower, and if she adopted apostasy after consummation, she would be entitled to full dower. (Al-Mabsut. Hedayah; Fath al-Qadlr, Al Mughni; Al-Fiqh alal-Madhahib al-Arbah).
17. This thing had two alternatives and the verse applies to both. First, with the disbelievers with whom the Muslims had treaty relations, they wanted to settle the matter, thus: We shall return the dowers of the women who have emigrated to us, and you will return the dowers of the pagan wives of our men who have been left on your side. But the disbelievers did not agree to this. However, according to Imam Zuhri, the Muslims, in obedience to the divine command became ready to return the dowers of the women who were left behind with the pagans in Makkah, but the pagans refused to return the dowers of the women who had emigrated to the Muslims in Al-Madinah. Thereupon Allah enjoined that the dowers of the emigrant women, which were to be returned to the pagans, should be collected together in Al-Madinah instead of sending these to pagans; then from these collections disbursements should be made to those to whom the dowers were due from the pagans according to what was due to them.
The second alternative was that there were several converts to Islam, who had emigrated to the abode of Islam from the territories of the disbelievers with whom the Muslims had no treaty relations, leaving their pagan wives behind. Likewise, some women had also become converts and emigrated, leaving their pagan husbands behind. About them it was decreed that the matter should be settled in the abode of Islam itself on the bargain basis. That is, when the dowers were not being returned by the disbelievers, no dowers should be returned to them. Instead, the dower of the woman who had emigrated to the abode of Islam, should be paid to the person whose wife had been left with the disbelievers.
But in case the account could not be settled equitably thus, and the amount of the dower due on behalf of the disbelieving wives of Muslims, who were left in the abode of disbelief, exceeded the amount of the dowers of the Muslim women who had emigrated, it was enjoined that the deficiency be made up from the spoils that the Muslims took in the wars against the disbelievers. Ibn Abbas has related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would command that the loss of the person who did not receive his share of the dower be made up from the spoils. (Ibn Jarir). This same view has been adopted by Ata, Mujahid, Zuhri, Masruq Ibrahim Nakhai, Qatadah, Muqatil and Dahhak. All these scholars say, that the people whose dowers are left with the disbelievers, should be paid these from the collective spoils taken from the enemy. That is, before the booty is distributed, the dead dowers of the people should be paid and then the distribution made in which these people too should be given their equal shares along with the other soldiers. Some jurists say that the loss of such people can be made up not only from the spoils but even from the fai properties. But a large section of the scholars does not subscribe to this view.
12-12 Women’s Bai’ah (oath of allegiance)
(60:12) O Prophet, when believing women come to you and pledge18 to you that they will not associate aught with Allah in His Divinity, that they will not steal,19 that they will not commit illicit sexual intercourse, that they will not kill their children,20 that they will not bring forth a calumny between their hands and feet,21 and that they will not disobey you in anything known to be good,22 then accept their allegiance23 and ask Allah to forgive them. Surely Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Compassionate.
18. As we have explained above, this verse was sent down some time before the conquest of Makkah. After the conquest the Quraish started coming to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in large numbers to take the oath of allegiance. From the men he took the oath himself on Mount Safa. As for the women he appointed Umar to administer the oath to them on his behalf and to ask them to pledge that they would refrain from the things mentioned in this verse. (Ibn Jarir, on the authority of Ibn Abbas; Ibn Abi Hatim, on the authority of Qatadah). Then, on his return to Al-Madinah he ordered the Muslim women of Al-Madinah to be gathered together in a house and he sent Umar to take the oath from them. (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Marduyah, Bazzar, Ibn Hibban, on the authority of Umm Atiyyah Ansariah). On the Eid day also, after his address to men, he went to the assembly of women and in his sermon to them, he recited this verse and asked them to pledge that they would refrain from the things mentioned in it. (Bukhari on the authority of Ibn Abbas’s tradition). Apart from these occasions, at different other times also, the women came before the Prophet (peace be upon him) individually as well as collectively to take the oath of allegiance, as mentioned in several Ahadith.
19. In Makkah, when the oath of allegiance was being administered, Hind bint Utbah, wife of Abu Sufyan, asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) its explanation and said: Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyan is rather stingy. Will it be sinful if I take out something from his wealth without his permission to meet my own and my children’s needs. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: Nay, but only, justly and lawfully; i.e. take only that much as may actually suffice for your needs. (Ibn al-Arabi, Ahkam al-Quran).
20. This also includes abortion, whether it is abortion of the legitimate or of the illegitimate fetus.
21. This implies two kinds of calumny:
(1) A woman’s accusing other women of having illicit relations with other men and her spreading such stories among the people, for the women are generally prone to spreading such things.
(2) A woman’s delivering a child by somebody else and making her husband believe that it is his. Abu Daud has related a tradition from Abu Hurairah saying that he heard the Prophet say: The woman who brings such a child into a family as does not actually belong to it, has no connection with Allah, and Allah will never admit her to Paradise.
22. In this brief sentence two important points of the law have been stated:
First, that obedience even to the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been restricted to “in what is good”, although about the Prophet (peace be upon him) no one could imagine that he would order somebody to do an evil. From this it automatically follows that no one in the world can be obeyed outside the bounds of divine law. For when obedience to Allah’s Messenger himself is conditional upon “in what is good”, who else can have a position to demand unconditional obedience and require the people to obey and follow each of his commands, laws, rules or customs, which are opposed to the law of Allah? The Prophet (peace be upon him) has stated this principle, thus: There is no obedience in the disobedience of Allah; obedience is only in what is good and right. (Muslim, Abu Daud, Nasai). Our great doctors have derived this very theme from this verse, Abdur Rehman bin Zaid bin Aslam says:
Allah has not said that they should not disobey you (the Prophet) but that they should not disobey you in what is good.
Then, when Allah Almighty has made obedience even to the Prophet himself conditional upon this, how can another person have the right that he should be obeyed in anything but what is good? (Ibn Jarir).
Imam Abu Bakr al-Jassas writes:
Allah knew that His Prophet (peace be upon him) never enjoined anything but what was good. Still He restricted obedience to him only in what is good, so that no one ever may find a provision to obey the kings when they enjoined something outside the obedience of Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has said: He who obeys a creature in disobedience to the Creator, Allah appoints the same creature over him in power. (Ahkam al-Quran).
Allama Alusi says:
This command refutes the view of those ignorant people who think that obedience to the ruler is absolutely necessary. Allah has restricted even obedience to His Messenger (peace be upon him) only in what is good, whereas the Messenger (peace be upon him) never enjoins anything but what is good. This is meant to warn the people that obedience to no one is lawful in disobedience to the Creator. (Ruh al-Maani).
Thus, this command in fact, is the foundation stone of the rule of law in Islam. The rule is that anything which is opposed to the law of Islam is a crime, and no one has the right to enjoin any such thing on any one. Anyone who enjoins anything against the law, is a culprit; and the one who obeys such a command is also a culprit. No subordinate can escape the punishment on the basis of the excuse that his superior officer had ordered him to do something which was a crime in the law.
The other thing which has great legal import is that in this verse after enjoining five prohibitions only one positive command has been given, namely that the Prophet (peace be upon him) will be obeyed in all good things. As for the evils, the major evils in which women of the pre-Islamic days were generally involved, have been mentioned and a pledge taken from them to refrain from them. But as for the good works, they have neither been mentioned nor any pledge taken to observe them. The only pledge that has been taken is that they will have to obey the Prophet (peace be upon him) in every good work that he enjoins. Now obviously, if the good works be only those which Allah Almighty has enjoined in the Quran, the pledge should have been to the effect: You will not disobey Allah, or You will not disobey the injunctions of the Quran. But when the pledge taken was to the effect: You will not disobey any good work that is enjoined by the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah, it automatically leads to the conclusion that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has been given vast powers for the reformation of society, and it is obligatory to obey all his commands, whether they are found in the Quran or not.
On the basis of this very legal authority the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked the women to pledge that they would refrain from all those evils which were prevalent among the women of the Arabian society at that time, and gave several such commands as have not been mentioned in the Quran. One may study the following Ahadith in this connection:
Ibn Abbas, Umm Salamah, Umm Atiyyah Ansariah and others have reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) while administering the oath of allegiance to the women asked them to pledge that they would refrain from mourning over the dead. These traditions have been related by Bukhari, Muslim, Nasai and Ibn Jarir.
A tradition reported by Ibn Abbas contains this detail: The Holy Prophet appointed Umar to administer the oath of allegiance to the women and commanded that he should forbid them to mourn over the dead, for in the days of pre- Islamic ignorance women used to tear their clothes and hair, scratched their faces and bewailed in aloud voice. (Ibn Jarir).
Zaid bin Aslam has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him), while administering the oath of allegiance forbade the women to scratch their faces, tear their garments, bewail and sing verses while mourning over the dead. (Ibn Jarir). Another tradition bearing on the same subject has been reported by Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir from a woman who was among the women taking the oath of allegiance. Qatadah and Hasan Basri say that one of the things that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had made the women to pledge also was that they would refain from talking with the other men freely. Ibn Abbas has explained it in a tradition, thus: That they would not talk with the other men in private.
Qatadah has further explained it thus: Hearing this command Abdur Rahman bin Auf said: O Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah, sometimes it so happens that we are not present in the house and somebody comes to see us. The Prophet replied: I do not mean this. That is, the woman is not forbidden to tell the visitor that the master of the house is not present. (These traditions have been cited by Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim).
Abdullah bin Amr bin al-Aas has reported another tradition from Umaimah bint-Rugaiqah, maternal aunt of Fatimah, saying: The Prophet (peace be upon him) made me to pledge that I would neither bewail the dead nor display myself like the women of the pre-Islamic paganism. (Musnad Ahmad, Ibn Jarir).
Salmah bint Qais, a maternal aunt of the Prophet (peace be upon him), says: I went before the Prophet (peace be upon him) with some other women of the Ansar to take the oath of allegiance. He made us to pledge that we would abstain from the things mentioned in this verse, and then said: Do not defraud your husbands. When we were about to leave, a woman said to me: Go and ask the Prophet (peace be upon him) what is meant by defrauding the husbands? When I went and asked the explanation, he replied: This that you should defraud him of his money and expend it on others. (Musnad Ahmad).
Umm Atiyyah says: The Prophet (peace be upon him) after administering to us the oath commanded us that we would attend the Eid congregational prayers, but the Friday prayer is not obligatory for us, and he forbade us to follow the bier. (Ibn Jarir).
The people who think that the constitutional powers and authority that the Prophet (peace be upon him) possessed emanated from his position as a ruler instead of his position as a Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah, and say that since he was also the ruler at the time, whatever commands he gave in that capacity were only meant to be obeyed during his time, say an absurd thing. Consider the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) commands and instructions that we have cited above. If these instructions given by him for the reformation of the woman had emanated only from his position as a ruler how could these reforms then be introduced and enforced among the women of the Muslim society of the entire world forever? Which ruler has there been in the world, who might have had the position that a command issued by him just once for a reform might have become enforced in the Muslim society everywhere in the world forever? (For further explanation, see (E.N. 15 of Surah Al-Hashr).
23. Several authentic Ahadith show that in the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) time the procedure of administering the oath of allegiance to the women was different from that to the men. For the men the procedure was that the ones pledging allegiance would give their hand in the hand of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and take the oath. As for the women; the Prophet (peace be upon him) never took any woman’s hand in his own hand, but adopted other different methods. In this connection, the following traditions have been reported:
Aishah says: By God, in connection with the oath of allegiance the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) hand never touched any other woman’s hand. While administering the oath of allegiance to a woman, he would only say to her: I have accepted your allegiance. (Bukhari, Ibn Jarir).
Umaimah bint Ruqaiqah has stated: I along with some other women went before the Prophet (peace be upon him) to pledge allegiance, and ho made us to pledge according to this verse of the Quran. When we said: We will not disobey you in what is good and right, he said: As far as it is in your power. We submitted: Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) are more kind to us than we could be to ourselves. Then we said: O Messenger of Allah, stretch your hand so that we may pledge allegiance. He replied: I do not shake hands with women: I only make them take the pledge. So he made us to pledge. In another tradition she has stated: The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not take the hand of any of us in his own hand. (Musnad Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Majah, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim).
Abu Daud in Marasi has related this from Shabi: While administering the oath of allegiance to the women, a sheet of cloth was stretched towards the Prophet (peace be upon him), which he took in his hand and said: I do not take the woman’s hand in my hand. This same subject has been related by Ibn Abi Hatim from Shabi, by Abdur Razzaq from Ibrahim Nakhai and by Saeed bin Mansur from Qais bin Abi Hazim.
Ibn Ishaq, in Maghazi has related this from Aban bin Salih: The Prophet (peace be upon him) would put his hand in a vessel full of water and then the woman also would put her hand in the same vessel. In Bukhari, a tradition from Abdullah bin Abbas is to the effect: After giving the Eid congregational sermon, the Prophet (peace be upon him) went through the rows of the men to the place where the women were sitting. There, in his address, he recited this verse of the Quran, then asked the women: Do you promise to act according to it? A woman from the assembly replied: Yes, O Messenger of Allah.
In a tradition related by Ibn Hibban, Ibn Jarir, Bazzar and others, Umm Atiyyah Ansariah has stated this: The Prophet (peace be upon him) extended his hand from outside the house and we extended our hands from inside the house. But this does not prove that the women might have shaken hands with the Prophet (peace be upon him), for Umm Atiyyah has not made any mention of the shaking of hands. Probably on this occasion for the purpose of taking the pledge the Prophet (peace be upon him) might have extended his hand from outside and the women their hands from inside the house towards him without any of their hands touching his.
13-13 Do not befriend with whom Allah is angry
(60:13) Believers, do not make friends with those against whom Allah is wrathful and who are despaired of the Hereafter, as despaired as are the unbelievers lying in their graves.24
24. The words in the original can have two meanings:
First, that they have despaired of their well-being and rewards in the Hereafter just as the deniers of the life-afterdeath have despaired of the resurrection of their near and dear ones, who are dead and gone into the graves. This meaning has been given by Abdullah bin Abbas and Hasan Basri, Qatadah and Dahak.
The second meaning can be: They have despaired of the mercy and forgiveness of the Hereafter just as the disbelievers, who are lying in the graves, have despaired of every good, for they are certain of their being involved in the punishment. This meaning has been related from Abdullah bin Masud and from Mujahid, Ikrimah, Ibn Zaid, Kalbi, Muqatil, Mansur (may Allah bless them all).