Friday 29 January 2021

Allah will forgive those who guard their chastity and remember Him much

A believer's salvation lies in the remembrance of Allah and staying away from all sorts of behavior and actions that are deemed morally impure or unacceptable tending to corrupt the morals of the community. It is the humbleness that Allah likes to see in His servants and want them steer clear of the temptations that Satan is intending all the time to lure man into. Those who walk the righteous way, guard them selves against machinations of the Satan and are always remembering Allah are the ones who have been given the glad tidings of being forgiven and promised an eternal abode in Jannah, the promised paradise.

Who are these blessed believers? We have already quoted many verses from Qur'an in which the attributes of true believers have been mentioned. Today we share the 35th verse of Surah 33. Al Ahzab which also dwell on attributes and virtues of men and women who will be forgiven. This rather long verse also dispels many a reservations by women that they are not exclusively addressed as generally the subjects in Quranic ayats/verses are men only:

اِنَّ الۡمُسۡلِمِيۡنَ وَالۡمُسۡلِمٰتِ وَالۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ وَالۡمُؤۡمِنٰتِ وَالۡقٰنِتِيۡنَ وَالۡقٰنِتٰتِ وَالصّٰدِقِيۡنَ وَالصّٰدِقٰتِ وَالصّٰبِرِيۡنَ وَالصّٰبِرٰتِ وَالۡخٰشِعِيۡنَ وَالۡخٰشِعٰتِ وَالۡمُتَصَدِّقِيۡنَ وَ الۡمُتَصَدِّقٰتِ وَالصَّآئِمِيۡنَ وَالصّٰٓـئِمٰتِ وَالۡحٰفِظِيۡنَ فُرُوۡجَهُمۡ وَالۡحٰـفِظٰتِ وَالذّٰكِرِيۡنَ اللّٰهَ كَثِيۡرًا وَّ الذّٰكِرٰتِ ۙ اَعَدَّ اللّٰهُ لَهُمۡ مَّغۡفِرَةً وَّاَجۡرًا عَظِيۡمًا‏ 
(33:35) Surely the men who submit (to Allah) and the women who submit (to Allah), the men who have faith and the women who have faith, the men who are obedient and the women who are obedient, the men who are truthful and the women who are truthful; the men who are steadfast and the women who are steadfast, the men who humble themselves (to Allah) and the women who humble themselves (to Allah), the men who give alms and the women who give alms, the men who fast and the women who fast, the men who guard their chastity and the women who guard their chastity, the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember Allah much: for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and a mighty reward.

(the women who submit to Allah): That is those who have surrendered themselves to Allah: Who have accepted Islam as a code of life for themselves, and have decided to follow it in their lives, and who have no wish to resist the Islamic way of life and thought, but have adopted the way of obedience and submission to it.

(the men who have faith and the women who have faith): Who are believing: Whose obedience is not merely outward, nor unwilling but who sincerely regard the guidance given by Islam as based on the truth. Whose faith is that the way shown by the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the only right and straight way. And in following which alone lies their true success. That which has been declared as wrong by Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him) is certainly wrong. And that which has been declared as right by Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him) is certainly right. Also, psychologically and intellectually, they do not regard as improper any injunction that has been enjoined by the Quran and Sunnah, and do not remain on the lookout to change it somehow to suit their own desires or mold it according to the current trends of the world, avoiding at the same time the blame that they have effected a change in the command given by Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him). The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has described the true state of faith in a Hadith in these words:

“He who reconciled himself to Allah as his Lord and to Islam as his way of Life and to Muhammad as his Messenger, has the true taste of faith.” (Sahih Muslim).

In another Hadith, he has explained it thus:

“None of you becomes a believer until the desires of his self become subordinate to what I have brought.” (Sharh-as- Sunnah).

(who are obedient): That is, they do not rest content with mere belief but are obedient practically also. They are not the sort of the people who would honestly believe that what Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) have commanded was true but would violate it in practice: that they would sincerely regard what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden as bad but would go on following the same in practical life.

(who are truthful): That is, hey are truthful in their speech and honest in thou dealings. They do not deal in lies, deceptions, frauds and forgeries. They utter with their tongues only what their conscience approves as true. They practice and perform only what they honestly find to be in accordance with righteousness and truth, and they are honest in all their dealings with others.

(who are steadfast): That is, they patiently and steadfastly bear and face all the obstacles, dangers, difficulties and losses that they might have to encounter in following the right way taught by Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) and in establishing Allah’s religion in the world; no fear and no temptation and no desire of the self can succeed in diverting them from the right way.

(who humble themselves to Allah) That is, they are free from pride, vanity and haughtiness: they have full understanding of the reality that they arc servants and they have no other position than that of servitude. Therefore, their hearts as well as their bodies remain bowed before Allah, dominated by fear of Him. They never display the attitude which is the hallmark of the lives of those who are fearless of God and arc involved in arrogance. From the sequence it appears that the mention of Khushu (expression of humility) in particular along with the general attitude of the fear of God implies the Prayer, for the mention of the practice of charity and fast has been made just after it.

(the men who give alms and the women who give alms) This does not only imply payment of the obligatory Zakat, but it also includes general charity. It means to say that they spend their wealth freely in the way of Allah and they are not at all niggardly in the matter of helping the servants of Allah as much as they can. No orphan and no sick or afflicted person, no weak or disabled person, no poor and needy one remains deprived of their support in their dwelling; and if there arises the need for monetary help for promoting the cause of Allah’s religion, they are never miserly in spending their wealth for that purpose.

(the men who fast and the women who fast)  This includes both the obligatory and the voluntary fasts.

(the men who guard their chastity and the women who guard their chastity)  This has two meanings: (1) They refrain from adultery, and (2) they avoid nudity. One should also note that nudity does not only mean being naked but it is also nudity to put on a thin dress which shows the body, or is so tight fitting that it reveals all the outlines of the body.

(Allah much and the women who remember Allah much) Remember Allah much means that one should mention Allah’s name in one way or other at all times in every business of life. Man cannot develop such a state of the mind unless the thought of God becomes deeply embedded in his heart. When this idea has passed beyond his conscious mind and settled deep in his subconscious and unconscious mind, then only he will remember and mention God’s name in whatever he does and in whatever he says. He will begin with bismillah when he eats and say al-hamdu lillah when he finishes. He will remember Allah when he goes to bed, and mention Allah’s name when he gets up. In his conversation also he will again and again pronounce bismillah, al-hamdu-lillalh, insha-Allah, masha Allah, etc. and ask for Allah’s help in every matter, and thank Him for every blessing. He will seek His mercy in every affliction, and turn to Him in every trouble. He will fear Him on encountering every evil, and ask for His forgiveness when he happens to have committed an error and will pray to Him for fulfillment of every need. In short, in every state and in every business of life his function will be to remember Allah.

This, in fact, is the essence of the Islamic life. For all other acts of worship there is a prescribed time when they are performed, and one is free when one has performed them. But this is the worship which has no special time; it has to be performed constantly so that it links up the man’s life with Allah and His service permanently. The other worships and religious acts themselves also become meaningful only when the heart of man remains inclined to Allah not only at the time when the act is actually being carried out but at all times when the tongue is uttering Allah’s name constantly. In such a state as this worship and religious acts develop and flourish in a man’s life precisely in the same manner as a plant grows in a congenial climate and environment. Contrary to this, the example of the religious services and worships which are carried out only on special times and occasions in the life which is devoid of this constant remembrance of Allah is of the plant which has been planted in an un-congenial climate, and which is growing only due to the special attention and care of the gardener. This very thing has been explained by the Prophet (peace be upon him) in a Hadith, thus:

Muadh bin Anas Juhani relates that a person asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) of Allah, “Who among those who fight in the way of Allah will get the highest reward?” He replied: “The one who remembers Allah the most.” The man asked: “Who among the observers of the fast will get the highest reward?” He replied: “The one who remembers Allah the most.” The man then asked the same question about the performer of the Prayer, the payer of the Zakat and charities and the performer of Hajj and the Prophet (peace be upon him) in every case gave the same answer, saying: He who remembers Allah the most. (Musnad Ahmad).

(for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and a mighty reward) This verse plainly tells what qualities and characteristics are of real worth in the sight of Allah. These are the basic values of Islam which have been compressed into one sentence. As regards these, there is no difference between the man and woman. However, as for their life activity, the two sexes have separate spheres to function. The males have to function in some particular spheres and the females in some others. But if they possess these qualities and characteristics equally, Allah will raise them to equal ranks and bless them with equal rewards. It will in no way affect their rank and reward if one carried out household chores and the other performed the duties of caliphate and enforced the Shariah injunctions; one raised children in the house and the other went to the battlefield and fought for the sake of Allah and His religion.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir:
The Reason for Revelation - Imam Ahmad recorded that Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, the wife of the Prophet said, "I said to the Prophet , `Why is it that we are not mentioned in the Qur'an as men are' Then one day without my realizing it, he was calling from the Minbar and I was combing my hair, so I tied my hair back then I went out to my chamber in my house, and I started listening out, and he was saying from the Minbar: (O people! Verily Allah says: (Verily, the Muslims: men and women, the believers: men and women...)) to the end of the Ayah.''

This was also recorded by An-Nasa'i and Ibn Jarir. (Verily, the Muslims: men and women, the believers: men and women...) indicates that Iman is something other than Islam, and that it is more specific, because Allah says: (The bedouins say: "We believe.'' Say: "You believe not but you only say, `We have surrendered (in Islam),' for faith has not yet entered your hearts.'') (49:14). 

In the Two Sahihs, it says: (The adulterer does not commit adultery at the time when he is a believer.) For it snatches away his Iman, although that does not mean he is a disbeliever, according to the consensus of the Muslims. This indicates that Iman is more specific than Islam, as we have stated at the beginning of our commentary on Al-Bukhari.

" وَالْقَـنِتِينَ وَالْقَـنِتَـتِ " (the Qanit: men and the women,) Al-Qunut means obedience during quite time. (Is one who is (Qanit,) prostrating himself or standing in the middle of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord...) (39:9)

(To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. All are Uqnuti (Qanitun) to Him.) (30:26)

(O Maryam! "Uqnuti to your Lord and prostrate, and bow with Ar-Raki`in (those who bow).'') (3:43)

(And stand before Allah Qanitin) (2: 238). So, beyond Islam there is a higher level to be reached, which is Iman, and Qunut stems from them both.

" وَالصَّـدِقِينَ وَالصَّـدِقَـتِ " (the men and women who are truthful,) This refers to their speech, for truthfulness is a praiseworthy attribute. Some of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, were never known to have lied even once, neither during Jahiliyyah nor in Islam. Truthfulness is a sign of faith, just as lying is a sign of hypocrisy. Whoever is truthful will be saved:

(You have to be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. And beware of lying, for lying leads to immorality and immorality leads to Hell. A man will keep telling the truth and striving to do so until he will be recorded with Allah as a truthful. And a man will keep telling lies and will persist in doing so until he will be recorded with Allah as a liar.) And there are many Hadiths on this topic.

" وَالصَّـبِرِينَ وَالصَّـبِرَتِ " (the men and the women who are patient,) This is the attribute of those who are steadfast, which is patience in the face of adversity and knowing that what is decreed will inevitably come to pass. So, they face it with patience and steadfastness. Patience is the most difficult when disaster first strikes, then after that it becomes easier, and this is true steadfastness.

" وَالْخَـشِعِينَ وَالْخَـشِعَـتِ" (the Khashi`: men and the women,) Khushu` means serenity and tranquillity, deliberation and dignity and humility. What motivates a person to be like this is the fear of Allah and the awareness that He is constantly watching, as mentioned in the Hadith: (Worship Allah as if you can see Him, for if you cannot see Him, He can see you.)

" وَالْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ وَالْمُتَصَدِّقَـتِ " (the men and the women who give Sadaqat,) As-Sadaqah (charity) means doing good to people who are in need or who are weak and have no means of earning a living and none to financially support them. They give them from the excess of their wealth in obedience to Allah and as a good deed to His creation. 

It was recorded in the Two Sahihs: (There are seven whom Allah will shade with His Shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His Shade -- and among them he mentioned -- . ..a man who gave in charity and concealed it to the extent that his left hand did not know what his right hand was giving.) 

According to another Hadith: (Sadaqah extinguishes bad deeds just as water extinguishes fire.) There are many Hadiths which encourage charitable giving; this topic is discussed in detail elsewhere.

" والصَّـئِمِينَ والصَّـئِمَـتِ " (the men and the women who fast,) According to a Hadith narrated by Ibn Majah: (Fasting is the Zakah of the body.) In other words, it purifies it and cleanses it of things that are bad in both physical and Shar`i terms. Sa`id bin Jubayr said: "Whoever fasts Ramadan and three days of each month, is included in the Ayah, " والصَّـئِمِينَ والصَّـئِمَـتِ"  (the men and the women who fast,)'' 

Fasting is also one of the greatest means of overcoming one's desires, as the Messenger of Allah said: (O young men! Whoever among you can afford to get married, let him do so, for it is most effective in lowering the gaze and protecting the chastity. And whoever cannot get married, then let him fast, for it will be a protection for him.) 

It is quite apt that next should be mentioned: " وَالْحَـفِظِينَ فُرُوجَهُمْ وَالْحَـفِـظَـتِ " (the men and the women who guard their chastity) i.e., they protect their private parts from forbidden and sinful things, except for that which is permitted. 

Allah says: (And those who guard their chastity. Except from their wives or the whom their right hands possess -- for they are not blameworthy. But whosoever seeks beyond that, then it is those who are trespassers.) (70:29-31)

" وَالذَكِـرِينَ اللَّهَ كَثِيراً وَالذَكِرَتِ " (and the men and the women who remember Allah much) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said: (If a man wakes his wife at night and they pray two Rak`ahs, they will recorded that night as being among the men and the women who remember Allah much.) This was recorded by Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah from the Hadith of Abu Sa`id and Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with them both, from the Prophet. 

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "The Messenger of Allah was walking along a road in Makkah, and he came to (the mountain of) Jumdan, and said, (This is Jumdan, go ahead, for the Mufarridun have gone ahead.(The men and the women who remember Allah much) Then he said, (O Allah, forgive those who shaved their hair.) They said, `And those who shortened.' He said, (O Allah, forgive those who shaved their hair.) They said, `And those who shortened.' (And those who shortened.) This was recorded by Imam Ahmad with this chain of narration. It was also recorded by Muslim, except for the last part of it.

(Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward.) Here Allah tells us that for all of those mentioned in this Ayah, He has prepared for them forgiveness of their sins and a great reward, meaning, Paradise.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Islam, or submitting our will to Allah's Will, includes all the virtues, as particularly specified in this verse. A number of Muslim virtues are specified here, but the chief stress is laid on the fact that these virtues are as necessary to women as to men. Both sexes have spiritual as well as human rights and duties in an equal degree, and the future "reward" of the Hereafter.

The virtues referred to are: (1) Faith, hope, and trust in Allah, and in His benevolent government of the world; (2) devotion and service in practical life; (3) love and practice of truth, in thought and intention, word and deed; (4) patience and constancy, in suffering and in right endeavour; (5) humility, the avoidance of an attitude of arrogance and superiority; (6) charity, i.e., help to the poor and unfortunate ones in life, a special virtue arising out of the general duty of service (No. 2); (7) self-control, typically in food, but generally in all appetites; (8) chastity, purity in sex life, purity in motive, thought, word, and deed; and (9) constant attention to Allah's Message, and cultivation of the desire to get nearer to Allah.

Yu may also like to listen to Nouman Ali Khan explaining the above said verse:

May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. [2]  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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May Almighty Allah bless n forgive us for our follies n bad deeds.
Allah is Ghafoor and Raheem.
Please continue these Islamic blogs as these provide guidance. Thanks

May ALLAH guide us to the righteous path and bless us with his mercy.
May ALLAH give u strength to continue your good work for the guidance of humanity.
Ameen sum Ameen

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