Monday 31 May 2021

Sūrah Al-Mujādilah - The Pleading Woman: Tafsir/Exegesis 58 Chapter of Qur'ān

Sūrah Al-Mujādilah " المجادلة " is the fifty eighth sürah with 22 āyāt with three rukus, part of the 28th Juzʼ  of the Qur'ān. A Medinan Sūrah which is a unique sūrah in a sense that in each of its verse, mention of Allah is made.

This Surah is entitled Al Mujadalah as well as Al Mujadilah, the title being derived from the word tujadiluka " تُجَادِلُكَ " of the very first verse. As at the outset mention has been made of the woman who pleaded with the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) the case of thihar / zihar pronounced by her husband and urged him to suggest a way out of the difficult situation in order to save her and, her children's life from ruin, and Allah has described her pleading by the word "mujadalah", the Surah came to be known by this very title. If it is read as "mujadalah", it would mean "pleading and arguing", and if it is read as "mujadilah", it would mean "the woman who pleaded and argued."

There is no tradition to tell as to when this incident of pleading and arguing took place, but there is a hint in the subject matter of the Surah on the basis of which it can be said with certainty that it happened some time after the battle of the Trench (Shawwal, 5 A. H.). In Surah Al-Ahzab, Allah while negating that an adopted son could be one's real son, had just said this and no more; "And Allah has not made those of your wives whom you divorce by zihar your mothers." But in that Surah there was nothing to the effect that to divorce a wife by zihar was a sin or a crime, nor anything about the legal injunction concerning it. Contrary to it, in this Surah the whole law relating to zihar has been laid down, which shows that these detailed injunctions were sent down some time after the brief reference to it in Surah Al- Ahzab.
This Sūrah is the second of the ten short Sūrahs (S. lvii. to S. lxvi.), all revealed in Madinah, and each dealing with some special point which needs emphasis in the social life of the Ummat. Its subject-matter is the acceptance of a woman's Plea by Allah. Besides, members of the Muslim society, which was a mixture of the sincere Muslims and the hypocrites and the waverers, have been told plainly as to what is the criterion of sincerity in Islam.
The sürah has been divided into three Ruku as under:
  • Ruku One:  Verses 1- 6: From the beginning of the Surah to verse 6 legal injunctions about zihar have been given, along with which the Muslims have been strictly warned that it is contrary to their profession of the Faith that they should still persist in the practices of ignorance after they have accepted Islam, that they should break the bounds set by Allah, or refuse to abide by them, or that they should make their own rules and regulations contradictory to them. For this there is not only the punishment of disgrace and humiliation in the world but in the Hereafter too there will be strict accountability for it.
  • Ruku Two: Verses 7-13
  • In verses 7-10 the hypocrites have been taken to task for their secret whisperings and consultations by which they conspired and intrigued against the "Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings), and because of their hidden malice and grudge greeted him, like the Jews, in a manner as to wish him ill instead of well. In this connection, the Muslims have been consoled, as if to say: "These whisperings of the hypocrites can do no harm to you; therefore, you should go on doing your duty with full trust in Allah". Besides, they have also been taught this moral lesson:" The true believers, when they talk secretly together, do not talk of sin and transgression and disobedience to the Messenger if they have to talk secretly together they should talk of goodness and piety."
  • In verses 11-13 the Muslims have been taught certain manners of social behavior and given instructions to eradicate certain social evils which were prevalent among the people then as they are today. If some people are sitting in an assembly, and more people arrive, they do not show even the courtesy as to squeeze in so as to make room for others, with the result that the new-comers have to keep standing, or to sit in the door-way, or to go back, or seeing that there is enough room yet start jumping over the people's heads to find room for themselves. This often used to be experienced in the Holy Prophet's assemblies. Therefore, Allah gave the instruction, as if to say:" Do not behave selfishly and narrow mindedly in your assemblies but do accommodate the new-comers also with an open heart."
  • Likewise, another vice found among the people is that when they go on a visit to somebody (an important person, in particular), they prolong their sitting and do not at all mind that encroaching upon his time unduly would cause him hardship. Then, if he tells them to leave, they mind it; if he himself rises up from their assembly, they complain of his lack of manners; if he tells them indirectly that he has some other business also to attend to, for which he needs time, they turn a deaf ear to his request. The Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) himself also had to experience such misconduct of the people, who in their earnestness to benefit by his teaching did not at all see that they were wasting his precious time so badly needed for other important works. At last, Allah in order to eradicate this bad manner, enjoined that when the people are asked to rise up from an assembly, they should rise up and disperse.
  • Another vice prevalent among the people was that each person wished to have secret counsel individually with the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) without any real need, or would like that he should approach him during an assembly and whisper something to him. This was not only embarrassing for the Holy Prophet but also annoying for the people who sat in the assembly. That is why Allah imposed the restriction that anyone who wanted to consult him in private, should first give away something in charity. The object was that the people should be warned of this bad manner and made to give it up. Thus, the restriction was kept in force for a short while, and when the people had corrected their behavior, it was withdrawn.
  • Ruku Two: Verses 14-22: From verse 14 to the end of the Surah members of the Muslim society, which was a mixture of the sincere Muslims and the hypocrites and the waverers, have been told plainly as to what is the criterion of sincerity in Islam. One kind of Muslims are those who are friends with the enemies of Islam: they do not hesitate for the sake of their interests to be treacherous to the religion which they profess to believe in; they spread all sorts of doubts and suspicions against Islam and prevent the people from adopting the Way of Allah. But since they are part of the Muslim community their false profession of Faith serves them as a cover and shield. The second kind of Muslims are those who, in the matter of Allah's Religion, do not care even for their own father, brother, children, and family, to say nothing of others. They do not cherish any feeling of love for the person who is an enemy of God and His Messenger and His Religion. Allah in these verses has explicitly stated that the people of the first kind, in fact, belong to Satan's party however hard they may try to convince others of their Islam by swearing oaths. And the honor of belonging to Allah's party is possessed only by the Muslims of the second kind. They alone are the true Muslims: they alone will attain to true success, and with them alone is Allah well pleased.
We have already presented the overview / summary of the sürah, which also includes its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles. We have also published a special post "The Pleading Woman" separately based on this surah. Let us now read the verse by verse translation and exegesis / tafseer in English. You may also listen to eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan explaining the Surah in English at the end of this post.
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

Ruku One:  Verses 1- 6
قَدۡ سَمِعَ اللّٰهُ قَوۡلَ الَّتِىۡ تُجَادِلُكَ فِىۡ زَوۡجِهَا وَ تَشۡتَكِىۡۤ اِلَى اللّٰهِ ​ۖ وَاللّٰهُ يَسۡمَعُ تَحَاوُرَكُمَا​ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ سَمِيۡعٌ ۢ بَصِيۡرٌ‏ 
( 1 )   Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband and directs her complaint to Allah. And Allah hears your dialogue; indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing.
Here, hearing does not merely imply hearing a complaint but also redressing the grievances 

"... Allah hears what both of you say" The translators generally have translated these sentences in the past tense, which tends to give the meaning that the woman had left after relating her complaint and the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) some time later might have received this Revelation. That is why Allah has said: We indeed heard what the woman said, who was pleading with you and complaining to Us, and We were at that time hearing the conversation of both of you." But in most of the traditions that have been reported in the Hadith about this incident, it has been stated that right at the rime when the woman was relating the zihar pronounced by her husband and complaining to the Holy Prophet to the effect that if she was separated from her husband, she and her children would be ruined, the state of receiving Revelation appeared on the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) and these verse's were sent down. On this basis we have preferred rendering these sentences in the present tense.
The lady concerning whom these verses were sent down was Khaulah bint-Tha`labah of the Khazraj tribe, and her husband, Aus bin Samit Ansari, was brother of Hadrat `Ubadah bin Samit, the chief of the Aus tribe. The story of the zihar upon her is related in detail below. What is worth mentioning here is that the incident of the lady's complaint being heard by Allah Almighty and the coming down of the Divine command immediately to redress her grievance was an event that earned her a place of honor and esteem among the Companions. Ibn Abi Hatim and Baihaqi have related that once Hadrat `Umar was on his way out with some companions. On the way he came across a woman, who stopped him; he immediately stopped and listened to what she had to say patiently with his head bent down, and did not move till she had finished. One of the companions said: 'O Commander of the Faithful, you held back the Quraish chiefs for so long for the sake of this old woman!" Hadrat `Umar said: "Do you know who she is?She is Khaulah bint-Tha'labah, the lady whose complaint was heard at the seventh heaven. By God! even if she had kept me standing till the night, I would have kept standing; I would only have excused myself at the Prayer times." Ibn `Abdul Barr has related in Al-Isti ab this tradition from Qatadah: "When Hadrat `Umar came across this lady, on the way, he greeted her. After answering his greeting, she said, "Hey, O `Umar, there was a time when I saw you at the `Ukaz, festival. Then you were called `Umair. You tended goats with the shepherd's staff in your hand. Then, not very long after this, you began to be called `Umar. Then a time came when the people began addressing you as Commander of the Faithful. So, fear Allah with regard to your subjects, and remember that the one who fears Allah's punishment, for him the stranger also is like a close kinsman, and the one who fears death, may well lose that very thing which he wants to save.' At this, jarud 'Abdi, who was accompanying Hadrat `Umar, said: O woman, you have talked insolently to the Commander of the Faithful. " Thereupon Hadrat `Umar said: Let her say whatever she has to say. Do you know who she is?-She was heard at the seventh heaven. So, she deserves to be heard longer and with greater attention by 'Umar." Imam Bukhari also has related briefly a story resembling this in his History. 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Reason for revealing this Surah:

Imam Ahmad recorded that `A'ishah said, "All praise be to Allah, Who hears all voices. "The woman who disputed'' came to the Prophet and argued with him while I was in another part of the room, unable to hear what she said. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored revealed this Ayah,

(Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her that disputes with you concerning her husband.)'' till the end of this Ayah. Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith without a chain of narration in the Book of Tawhid in his Sahih. An-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir also collected this Hadith. In the narration that Ibn Abi Hatim collected, `A'ishah said, "Blessed is He, Whose hearing has encompassed all things. I heard what Khawlah bint Tha`labah said while some of it I could not hear. She was complaining to Allah's Messenger about her husband. She said, `O Allah's Messenger! He spent my wealth, exhausted my youth and my womb bore abundantly for him. When I be- came old, unable to bear children, he pronounced the Ziharon me! O Allah! I complain to you.' Soon after, Jibril brought down this Ayah,

(Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her that disputes with you concerning her husband,)'' She added, "Her husband was Aws bin As-Samit.'' 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: The immediate occasion was what happened to Khaula bint Thalaba, wife of Aus son of Samit. Though in Islam, he divorced her by an old Pagan custom: the formula was known as Zihar, and consisted of the words "Thou art to me as the back of my mother". This was hold by Pagan custom to imply a divorce and freed the husband from any responsibility for conjugal duties. Such a custom was in any case degrading to a woman. It was particularly hard on Khaula, for she loved her husband and pleaded that she had little children whom she had no resources herself to support. She urged her plea to the Prophet and in prayer to Allah. Her just plea was accepted, and this iniquitous custom, based on false words, was abolished. 

This was an evil Arab custom. He pronounced words importing that she was like his mother. It is condemned in the strongest terms and punishment is provided for it. A man sometimes said such words in a fit of anger; they did not affect him, but they degraded her position.

For He is a just God, and will not allow human customs or pretences to trample on the just rights of the weakest of His creatures.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: According to the classical commentators, this is a reference to the case of Khawlah (or Khuwaylah) bint Tha'labah, whose husband Aws ibn as-Samit divorced her by pronouncing the arbitrary pre-Islamic oath known as zihar. When she pleaded before the Prophet against this divorce - which deprived her of all her marital rights and, at the same time, made it impossible for her to remarry - the iniquitous custom of zihar was abolished by the revelation of verses {2-4} of this surah. - In view of the sequence, as well as of several Traditions to this effect, there is no doubt that the above verse alludes, in the first instance, to the divine condemnation of zihar. However, the deliberately unspecified reference to "her who pleads concerning her husband" seems to point to all cases where a wife has reason to complain against her husband: that is to say, not merely to an appeal against an unjustified or cruel divorce, but also to a wife's demand for release from an unbearable marriage. Such a dissolution of the marriage-tie at the wife's instance - termed khul' - is fully sanctioned by the shari'ah on the basis of 2:229 and a number of extremely well-authenticated Traditions. 
(2:229) " ... And it is not lawful for you to take back anything of what you have ever given to your wives unless both [partners] have cause to fear that they may not be able to keep within the bounds set by God: hence, if you have cause to fear that the two may not be able to keep within the bounds set by God, there shall be no sin upon either of them for what the wife may give up [to her husband] in order to free herself."
All authorities agree in that this verse relates to the unconditional right on the part of the wife to obtain a divorce from her husband; such a dissolution of marriage at the wife's instance is called khul'. There exist a number of highly-authenticated Traditions to the effect that the wife of Thabit ibn Qays, Jamilah, came to the Prophet and demanded a divorce from her husband on the ground that, in spite of his irreproachable character and behaviour, she "disliked him as she would dislike falling into unbelief after having accepted Islam". Thereupon the Prophet ordained that she should return to Thabit the garden which he has given her as her dower (mahr) at the time of their wedding, and decreed that the marriage should be dissolved. (Several variants of this Tradition have been recorded by Bukhari, Nasa'i, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Bayhaqi, on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas.) Similar Traditions, handed down on the authority of 'A'ishah and relating to a woman called Hubaybah bint Sahl, are to be found in the Muwatta' of Imam Malik, in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, and in the compilations of Nasa'i and Abu Da'ud (in one variant, the latter gives the woman's name as Hafsah bint Sahl). In accordance with these Traditions, Islamic Law stipulates that whenever a marriage is dissolved at the wife's instance without any offence on the part of the husband against his marital obligations, the wife is the contract-breaking party and must, therefore, return the dower which she received from him at the time of concluding the marriage: and in this event "there shall be no sin upon either of them" if the husband takes back the dower which the wife gives up of her own free will. An exhaustive discussion of all these Traditions and their legal implications is found in Nayl al-Awtar VII, pp. 34-41. For a summary of the relevant views of the various schools of Islamic jurisprudence, see Bidayat al-Mujtahid II, pp. 54-57.
Lit., "does hear the mutual contentions of both of you (tahawurakuma)", i.e., of husband and wife alike, embracing with His infinite wisdom and justice the innermost motivations of both. Alternatively - if the above verse is understood as referring specifically to the case of Khawlah - the second person indicated by the suffix kuma ("both of you") may relate to the Prophet, who, before the revelation of this surah, thought that a divorce through zihar was valid and, therefore, repeatedly told Khawlah, "Thou art now indeed unlawful to him" (Tabari). This opinion was subsequently - almost immediately - reversed by the divine prohibition of zihar expressed in verses {2} ff.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The word “heard” here does not merely mean to listen – but to accept. In the Urdu language too, this word is used thus. The name of this lady as mentioned in certain narratives was Khawlah bint Tha‘labah. Her husband Aws ibn Ṣamit al-Ansari was the brother of ‘Ubadah ibn Ṣamit, a leader of the Aws tribe. It is evident from some narratives that he was ill-tempered and had also become irritable in old age. In this state, he had done zihar with his wife. The verse under discussion describes this very incident.

This incident is narrated in the beginning of the surah to tell its addressees that if a believer faces a puzzling situation regarding religion, then like this lady, he should present it before the Almighty; he should not make this situation an excuse for criticizing religion like the Hypocrites would do and for creating confrontation against God and His messenger; insistence and assertion in such matters is also not prohibited; the Almighty hears such petitions with great affection and attention.

The actual word used is تُجَادِلُکَ. According to linguistic principles, an incomplete verb is suppressed before it. If this suppression is kept in consideration, then it would mean the lady, whose case is discussed here, presented her petition with insistence and emphasis more than once before the Prophet (sws). The Qur’an has used this word مُجَادَلَة both in its positive and negative meaning. 
Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: … When used negatively, it means “to quibble” and “to quarrel.” When used positively, it refers to convince someone through affection, pleading, insistence and fondness; here the element of quarrel is present too; however, this quarrel is with love and trust, the way children try to convince their elders by quarrelling with them all the while trusting their affection. The best example of such an affectionate quarrel is that of Abraham (sws) which he had with His Lord regarding the people of Lot (sws). The Almighty praised it profusely. I have already referred to it in this tafsir. The argument of the lady mentioned in this verse was of precisely this nature as well. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 230)
It is evident from this that she was continuously making her petition to save her own life and that of her children from getting ruined and wanted some solution to her problem. At that time, there was no clear guidance available to the Prophet (sws) in the form of divine revelation; thus he was hesitant in answering her till finally her cries were heard by the Lord who sees and hears all. All this conversation was taking place before Him and He was listening to it very attentively and with great affection.

اَلَّذِيۡنَ يُظٰهِرُوۡنَ مِنۡكُمۡ مِّنۡ نِّسَآئِهِمۡ مَّا هُنَّ اُمَّهٰتِهِمۡ​ؕ اِنۡ اُمَّهٰتُهُمۡ اِلَّا الّٰٓـىِٔۡ وَلَدۡنَهُمۡ​ؕ وَاِنَّهُمۡ لَيَقُوۡلُوۡنَ مُنۡكَرًا مِّنَ الۡقَوۡلِ وَزُوۡرًا​ؕ وَ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَعَفُوٌّ غَفُوۡرٌ‏ 
( 2 )   Those who pronounce thihar among you [to separate] from their wives - they are not [consequently] their mothers. Their mothers are none but those who gave birth to them. And indeed, they are saying an objectionable statement and a falsehood. But indeed, Allah is Pardoning and Forgiving.
Among the Arabs it often so happened that during a family quarrel, the husband in the heat of the moment would say to his wife: Ant-i alayya ka-zahr-i ammi which literally means: "You are for me as the back of my mother." But its real meaning is: "To have sexual relations with you would be like having sexual relations with my mother. " Such words are still uttered by the foolish people, who, as the result of a family quarrel, declare the wife to be like their mother, or sister, or daughter, and make her unlawful for themselves like the prohibited women. This is called zihar. Zahr in Arabic is metaphorically used for riding and mounting. Thus, the conveyance is called zahr, because man rides on its back. As this word was employed in order to make the wife unlawful the formula was termed 'zihar". In the pre-Islamic days this was looked upon as tantamount to the pronouncement of divorce, even of greater effect than that, for they took it to mean that the husband was not only severing his marital relations with his wife but was also declaring her to be unlawful for himself like his mother. On this very basis, the Arabs thought reunion could be possible after a divorce but it was impossible after zihar.

" such are not their mothers; none are their mothers except those who gave birth to them " This is Allah's first decision concerning zihar It means that if a person shamelessly compares the wife to his mother, his this utterance does not make his wife his mother, nor is she endowed with the sanctity that the mother enjoys. The mother's being mother is an actual fact, for she has given birth to the man. On this very ground, she is eternally sacred and prohibited. Now, how will the woman who has not given him birth become his mother simply by a word of mouth, and how will sanctity and prohibition be established for her by reason, morality and law which, by virtue of this actual fact, is only reserved for the mother who gave birth? Thus, Allah by this condemnation abolished the custom of the pre-Islamic ignorance according to which the marriage contract between the husband pronouncing zihar and the wife stood dissolved and she became absolutely forbidden for him like the mother

" Indeed what they say is highly contemptible and false. " That is, "'To liken the wife to the mother is, in the first place, an absurd and shameful thing which no noble person should ever think of, not to speak of uttering it with the tongue. Secondly, it is also a falsehood, for if the one who says such a thing is giving the news that his wife has now become his mother for him, he is uttering falsehood, and if he is declaring that he has henceforth bestowed on his wife the sanctity of the mother, even then his claim is false, for God has not given him the authority that he may treat a woman as his wife as long as he likes and then start treating her as his mother as and when he likes. The lawgiver is Allah Almighty, not he, and Allah has included in the order of motherhood the grandmothers, both paternal and maternal, mother-in-law, foster mother and the wives of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) along with the woman who gave birth. Nobody has the right to include of his own whim another woman in this order, not to speak of the woman who has been his wife. This gives the second legal injunction. To pronounce zihar is a grave sin and forbidden act, the violation of which deserves to be punished. 

" Verily Allah is Most Pardoning, Most Forgiving " That is, Such an utterance actually deserves to be punished much more severely, but it is Allah's kindness that He has, firstly, abolished the custom of ignorance and saved your family life from utter ruin, and secondly, has prescribed the lightest punishment for the culprits. And His supreme kindness is that the punishment too, is not any form of physical torture or imprisonment, but a few acts of worship and virtue, which arc meant to reform you and help spread good in your society. In this connection, one should also understand that the acts of worship that have been prescribed by Islam as expiations for certain crimes and sins are neither mere punishments that they may be without the spirit of worship, nor mere acts of worship that they m. y entail no pain and suffering of the punishment. Hut both the aspects have been combined in them so that the culprit may experience pain as well as expiate his sin by means of performing a virtue and act of worship.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir:  Az-Zihar and the Atonement for It Imam:
Ahmad recorded that Khuwaylah bint Tha`labah said, "By Allah! Allah sent down the beginning of Surat Al-Mujadilah in connection with me and `Aws bin As-Samit. He was my husband and had grown old and difficult. One day, he came to me and I argued with him about something and he said, out of anger, `You are like my mother's back to me.' He went out and sat with some of his people. Then he came back and wanted to have sexual intercourse with me. I said, `No, by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Khuwaylah! You will not have your way with me after you said what you said, until Allah and His Messenger issue judgement about our case.' He wanted to have his way regardless of my choice and I pushed him away from me; he was an old man.' I next went to one of my neighbors and borrowed a garment from her and went to the Messenger of Allah . I told him what happened and kept complaining to him of the ill treatment I received from `Aws. 
He said,

«يَاخُوَيْلَةُ، ابْنُ عَمِّكِ شَيْخٌ كَبِيرٌ، فَاتَّقِي اللهَ فِيه»
(O Khuwaylah! Your cousin is an old man, so have Taqwa of Allah regarding him.) By Allah! Before I departed, parts of the Qur'an were revealed about me. Allah's Messenger felt the hardship upon receiving the revelation as he usually did and then became relieved. He said to me,

«يَا خُوَيْلَةُ، قَدْ أَنْزَلَ اللهُ فِيكِ وَفِي صَاحِبِكِ قُرْآنًا»
(O Khuwaylah! Allah has revealed something about you and your spouse.) He recited to me,

﴿قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِى تُجَادِلُكَ فِى زَوْجِهَا وَتَشْتَكِى إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ يَسْمَعُ تَحَاوُرَكُمآ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ ﴾
(Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her that disputes with you concerning her husband, and complains to Allah. And Allah hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.), until,

﴿وَلِلكَـفِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ﴾
(And for disbelievers, there is a painful torment.) He then said to me,

«مُرِيهِ فَلْيُعْتِقْ رَقَبَة»
(Command him to free a slave.) I said, `O Allah's Messenger! He does not have any to free.' He said,

«فَلْيَصُمْ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْن»
(Let him fast for two consecutive months.) I said, `By Allah! He is an old man and cannot fast.' He said,

«فَلْيُطْعِمْ سِتِّينَ مِسْكِينًا وَسْقًا مِنْ تَمْر»
(Let him feed sixty poor people a Wasq of dates.) I said, `O Allah's Messenger! By Allah, he does not have any of that.' He said,

«فَإِنَّا سَنُعِينُهُ بِعَرَقٍ مِنْ تَمْر»
(We will help him with a basket of dates.) I said, `And I, O Allah's Messenger! I will help him with another.' He said,

«قَدْ أَصَبْتِ وَأَحْسَنْتِ فَاذْهَبِي فَتَصَدَّقِي بِهِ عَنْهُ، ثُمَّ اسْتَوْصِي بِابْنِ عَمِّكِ خَيْرًا»
(You have done a righteously good thing. So go and give away the dates on his behalf and take care of your cousin.) I did that.''' Abu Dawud also collected this Hadith in the Book of Divorce in his Sunan, according to which her name is Khawlah bint Tha`labah. She is also known as Khawlah bint Malik bin Tha`labah, and Khuwaylah. All these are close to each other, and Allah knows best. This is what is correct about the reason behind revealing this Surah. Therefore, Allah's statement,

﴿الَّذِينَ يُظَـهِرُونَ مِنكُمْ مِّن نِّسَآئِهِمْ﴾
(Those among you who make their wives unlawful to them by Zihar) refers to Zihar, which is derived from Az-Zahr, meaning, the back. During the time of Jahiliyyah, when one wanted to declare Zihar towards his wife, he would say, "To me, you are like the back of my mother.'' That was one way they issued divorce during that time. Allah allowed this Ummah to pay expiation for this statement and did not render it as a divorce, contrary to the case during the time of Jahiliyyah. Allah said,

﴿مَّا هُنَّ أُمَّهَـتِهِمْ إِنْ أُمَّهَـتُهُمْ إِلاَّ اللاَّئِى وَلَدْنَهُمْ﴾
(they cannot be their mothers. None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth.) meaning, when the husband says to his wife that she is like his mother, or the back of his mother etc., she does not become his mother. Rather his mother is she who gave birth to him. This is why Allah said,

﴿وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَقُولُونَ مُنكَراً مِّنَ الْقَوْلِ وَزُوراً﴾
(And verily, they utter an ill word and a lie.) meaning, false and sinful speech,

﴿وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَعَفُوٌّ غَفُورٌ﴾
(And verily, Allah is Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.) meaning, `what you used to do during the time of Jahiliyyah, and what accidentally slips out of your mouth, unintentionally.'

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Such words are false in fact and iniquitous, inasmuch as they are unfair to the wife and unseemly in decent society.

Cf. iv. 99 and xxii. 60. Were it not that Allah in His Mercy makes allowances for our weaknesses and the various grades of motives that actuate us, such conduct would be inexpiable. But He prescribes expiation as in the next verse, because He wishes to blot out what is wrong and give us a chance to reform by His forgiveness.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: " As for those of you who [henceforth] separate themselves from their wives by saying, "Thou art as unlawful to me as my mother" "For this explanatory rendering of the verb yuzahirun, see my note on surah {33}. 
(33:4) " ... and [just as] He has never made your wives whom you may have declared to be "as unlawful to you as your mothers' bodies" [truly] your mothers, "
This is a reference to the pre-Islamic Arabian custom called zihar, whereby a husband could divorce his wife by simply declaring, "Thou art [henceforth as unlawful] to me as my mother's back", the term zahr ("back") being in this case a metonym for "body". In pagan Arab society, this mode of divorce was considered final and irrevocable; but a woman thus divorced was not allowed to remarry, and had to remain forever in her former husband's custody. As is evident from the first four verses of surah {58} (Al-Mujadalah) - which was revealed somewhat earlier than the present surah - this cruel pagan custom had already been abolished by the time of the revelation of the above verse, and is mentioned here only as an illustration of the subsequent dictum that the "figures of speech [lit., "your sayings"] which you utter with your mouths" do not necessarily coincide with the reality of human relations.
My interpolation of the word "henceforth" is necessary in view of the fact that the custom of zihar - in its sense of a definitive act of divorce - had been abolished by verses {2-4} of the present surah.

" [let them bear in mind that] they can never be [as] their mothers: none are their mothers save those who gave them birth: and so, behold, they but utter a saying that runs counter to reason " For this particular rendering of the term munkar, see my note on verse 90 of surah {16}:
(16:90) " ... and He forbids all that is shameful and all that runs counter to reason "
The term al-munkar (rendered by me in other places as "that which is wrong") has here its original meaning of "that which the mind [or the moral sense] rejects", respectively "ought to reject". Zamakshari is more specific, and explains this term as signifying in the above context "that which [men's] intellects disown" or "declare to be untrue" (ma tunkiruhu al-'uqul): in other words, all that runs counter to reason and good sense (which, obviously. must not be confused with that which is beyond man's comprehension). This eminently convincing explanation relates not merely to intellectually unacceptable propositions (in the abstract sense of the term) but also to grossly unreasonable and, therefore, reprehensible actions or attitudes and is, thus, fully in tune with the rational approach of the Qur'an to questions of ethics as well as with its insistence on reasonableness and moderation in man's behaviour. Hence my rendering of al-munkar, in this and in similar instances, as "all that runs counter to reason".

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Like ila, zihar too is a term of the Arab jahiliyyah. It means that a husband had used the words أَنْتِ عَلَيَّ كَظَهْرِ أُمِّيْ (if I now become sexually intimate with you, it will be as if I come near my mother for this purpose) for his wife. These words in those times would amount to giving such a divorce to the wife after which a wife had to be separated from her husband. The Arabs would think that by saying such words a husband is not only severing marital ties with his wife, he is also prohibiting her for himself like his own mother. Consequently, in their view, though after divorcing a wife a husband had the right to revoke it, but after doing zihar there was no chance left for him for any revocation.

Ie., if a person is unseemly enough to regard his wife as his mother or likens some limb of his wife to that of his mother, then such an utterance does not make his wife his mother and neither is she endowed with the sanctity a mother has. To be a mother is a reality since she has given birth to a person. The sanctity in relationship she is invested with is because of this very fact. This is an eternal and natural sanctity which only a real mother has. No other lady who is called by this name in such a manner can ever possess this sanctity. Consequently, such an utterance neither breaks marital ties nor does a wife become prohibited for a person like his mother.

In other words, if a person utters such a sentence, then he should know that these are very indecent and fallacious words, which no civilized person can ever think of let alone uttering them. Such a person could have been heavily taken to task by the Almighty, but He is the most gracious and the most merciful. So if a person overcome by anger says these false and abominable words and then realizes his mistake, he shall be forgiven by the Almighty 

For detail meaning of the two attributes of Allah mentioned in this verse, please vsit our links below that are part of 99 Attributes of Allah:
  • Al-'Afuw (العفو) - The Pardoner
  • Al-Ghafur (الغفور) - The Forgiving, The Pardoner
وَالَّذِيۡنَ يُظٰهِرُوۡنَ مِنۡ نِّسَآئِهِمۡ ثُمَّ يَعُوۡدُوۡنَ لِمَا قَالُوۡا فَتَحۡرِيۡرُ رَقَبَةٍ مِّنۡ قَبۡلِ اَنۡ يَّتَمَآسَّا​ ؕ ذٰ لِكُمۡ تُوۡعَظُوۡنَ بِهٖ​ ؕ وَاللّٰهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ خَبِيۡرٌ‏ 
( 3 )   And those who pronounce thihar from their wives and then [wish to] go back on what they said - then [there must be] the freeing of a slave before they touch one another. That is what you are admonished thereby; and Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
From here begins the statement of the legal injunctions concerning zihar. To understand this, it is necessary that one should keep in mind the incidents of zihar that took place in the time of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace), for the code of law pertaining to zihar is derived from the verses and the judgments that the Holy Prophet gave after the revelation of these verses in the cases of zihar brought before him.

According to Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Abbas, the first case of zihar in Islam was the one relating to Aus bin Samit Ansari, on whose wife Khaulah's complaint Allah sent down these verse:. Although the details of this case that the traditionists have cited from several reporters contain minor differences, yet the elements of legal import and significance are almost agreed upon. A resume of these traditions is as follows:
Hadrat Aus bin Samit had grown a little peevish in old age and according to Some traditions, had also developed an ailment resembling insanity. The reporters have described it by the word lamam which is not exactly madness in Arabic but a state resembling it. In this state he had also pronounced zihar on his wife several times before, but in Islam this was the first occasion that he pronounced it as the result of a quarrel with her. Thereupon, his wife appeared before the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) and relating the whole story to him, said: "O Messenger of Allah: Is there any way out of this situation that could save me and my children from ruin?" The Holy Prophet's reply has been reported in different words by different reporters. In some traditions the words are to the effect: "No command has been given to me so far in this regard," and in some others the words are: "In my opinion you have become unlawful to him," and in still others: "You arc unlawful to him." At this, she began to cry and complain and told the Holy Prophet over and over again that her husband had not pronounced the words of divorce; therefore, he should suggest a way by which she and her children and her old husband's life could be saved from ruin. But the Holy Prophet gave her the same reply every time. In the meantime he underwent the state of receiving revelation and these verses were revealed. After this, he said to her (and according to other traditions, he called her husband and told him) to free a slave. When they expressed their inability to do so, he said that the husband would have to observe two months' fast consecutively. She said: "Aus is such a man that unless he eats and drinks three times a day, his sight starts failing him. " The Holy Prophet said, "Then, you will have to feed 60 poor people. " They submitted that they did not have the means for that unless they were helped out by him. Thereupon the Holy Prophet gave them food articles that could suffice 60 men for two meals. Different quantities of it have been mentioned in different traditions. According to some traditions Hadrat Khaulah herself gave to her husband food articles equal in quantity to those given by the Holy Prophet so that he may perform the expiation. (Ibn Jarir, Musnad Ahmad Abu Da'ud, Ibn Abi Hatim).
The second incident of zihar relates to Salamah bin Sakhr Bayadi. He had a somewhat abnormal appetite for sex. When the fasting month of Ramadan came, he, fearing that he might lose self-control in daytime in the state of fasting, pronounced zihar on his wife till the end of Ramadan. Hut he could not adhere to his pledge and went in to his wife one night. Penitent he appeared before the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) and told him what he had done. He told him to release a slave. He said he had no one else beside his wife, whom he could release. The Holy Prophet then told him to observe two months' consecutive fast. He replied that it was during obligatory fasting itself that he had been unable to control himself and had become involved in trouble. The Holy Prophet then said that he should feed 60 poor people, He replied that they were poor themselves and had gone to bed at night without food. Thereupon the Holy Prophet got him a sufficient quantity of food articles from the collector of the zihar of Bani Zurayq so that he may feed 60 persons and may also save some thing for his children. (Musnad Ahmad, Abu Da'ud. Tirmadhi
The third incident that has been related without any reference to the name is that a man pronounced zihar on his wife and then had sexual intercourse with her even before making the expiation Then, when he came to the Holy Prophet to ask for the legal verdict, he commanded him to abstain from her till he had made the expiation. (Abu Da'ud, Tirmidhi, Nasa i Ibn Majah).
The fourth incident is that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) himself heard a man calling his wife as sister. Thereupon he said to him angrily: "Is she your sister?" But he did not regard it as zihar,. (Abu Da'ud).
These four are the reliable incidents that have been related in the Hadith through authentic channels, and through them only can one adequately understand the Qur'anic injunctions that have been laid down in the following verses.  

" who declare their wives to be their mothers and thereafter go back on what they have said" Literally: "that they return to that which they said," but in view of the Arabic language and idiom great differences have occurred in determining the meaning of these words:
Their one meaning can be: "If they repeat the words of zihar after they have uttered them once. " The Zahiriyyah and Bukair bin al-Ashajj and Yahya bin Ziyad al-Farm' hold this very view, and a saying from `Ata' bin Abi Rabah also has been reported in support of the same. According to-them, the pronouncement of zihar once is forgiven; however, if a person repeats it, he becomes liable to make the expiation. Hut this commentary is expressly wrong for two reasons: first, that Allah has condemned zihar as an absurd thing and a falsehood and then prescribed a penalty for it. Now, it is not conceivable that if a man utters falsehood or absurdities once he should be excused and if he utters it the second time he should make himself liable to punishment. The second reason of its being wrong is that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) never asked the man pronouncing zihrir whether he had pronounced it once or twice.
Its second meaning is "If the people who were used to uttering zihar in the pre Islamic days of ignorance, repeat it in Islam, they will incur this punishment." This would mean that zihar should by itself be liable to punishment, and who ever utters the words of zihar for his wife, should become liable to make the expiation whether he may divorce the wife after it, or his wife may die; or he may have no intention of resuming conjugal relations with his wife. This view is hold by Ta-us Mujahid, Sha'bi, Zuhri, Sufyan Thauri and Qatadah from among the jurists They say that if the woman dies after the zihar, the husband cannot inherit her unless he made: the expiation.
The third meaning is: "If after uttering the words of zihar the man may wish to go back on his words and makr amends for what he said " In other words, 'ada lima gala means that the man revoked what he had said.
The fourth meaning is: "If the man may wish to make lawful what he had made unlawful for himself by pronouncing the zihar " In ocher words, it would mean that the person who had made a thing unlawful for himself has now returned to make it lawful views.
Most of the jurists have preferred and adopted one of these last two  

" shall free a slave before they may touch each other. That is what you are exhorted to do." In other words: "This you are being enjoined for your own correction and admonition so that the members of Muslim society may give up this evil custom of ignorance and none of you may commit this folly. If you have to quarrel with your wife, you may quarrel with her like good people; if you intend to divorce her, then you should divorce her gracefully. It is absurd that you should compare her to your mother and sister whenever you have a quarrel with her. " 

"Allah is fully aware of all your deeds."  That is, "Allah will certainly know, even if nobody else does, if a person pronounces zihar, and then quietly resumes normal conjugal relations with his wife without first atoning for the offense. Such people cannot in any way escape Allah's punishment. " 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
﴿وَالَّذِينَ يُظَـهِرُونَ مِن نِّسَآئِهِمْ ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا قَالُواْ﴾
(And those who make unlawful to them (their wives) by Zihar and wish to free themselves from what they uttered,) Ash-Shafi`i said, "It means to keep her for a while after the Zihar, without divorcing her, even though his is able to do so.'' Ahmad bin Hanbal said, "To return to having sexual relations with her or to merely intend to do so, but only after he pays the expiation mentioned in the Ayah for his statement.'' It has been quoted from Malik that it is the intention to have sexual relations or to keep her or actually having sexual intercourse. Sa`id bin Jubayr said that this Ayah,

﴿ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا قَالُواْ﴾
(and wish to free themselves from what they uttered,) meaning, if they want to return to having sexual intercourse which was forbidden between them. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that it is to utilize her sexual organ, and he did not see any harm in doing what is less than that before paying the expiation. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas:

﴿مِّن قَبْلِ أَن يَتَمَآسَّا﴾
(before they touch each other.) "The `touching' refers here to sexual intercourse.'' Similar was said by `Ata', Az-Zuhri, Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan. Az-Zuhri added, "He is not to kiss or touch her until he pays the expiation.'' The Sunan compilers recorded from `Ikrimah, from Ibn `Abbas that a man said, "O Allah's Messenger! I pronounced Zihar on my wife, but then had sexual intercourse with her before I paid the expiation.'' The Messenger said,

«مَا حَمَلَكَ عَلى ذَلِكَ يَرْحَمُكَ الله»
(May Allah grant you His mercy, what made you do that) He said, "I saw the adornment she was wearing shining in the moon's light.'' The Prophet said,

«فَلَا تَقْرَبْهَا حَتْى تَفْعَلَ مَا أَمَرَكَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَل»
(Then do not touch her until you do what Allah the Exalted and Most Honored has ordered you to do.) At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib Sahih.'' Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i also recorded it. Allah said,

﴿فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ﴾
((the penalty) in that case is the freeing of a slave) indicating the necessity of freeing a slave before they touch each other. This Ayah mentions any slave, not only believing servants as in the case of the expiation for (unintentional) killing,

﴿ذَلِكُمْ تُوعَظُونَ بِهِ﴾
(That is an admonition to you.) meaning, a warning to threaten you in this case.

﴿وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ﴾
(And Allah is All-Aware of what you do.) meaning, He is All-Knower in what brings you benefit. 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: If Zihar were to be ignored as if the words were never uttered, it would mean that men may foolishly resort to it without penalty. It is therefore recognised in respect of the penalty which the man incurs, but safeguards the woman's rights. She can sue for maintenance for herself. If it was a hasty act and he repented of it, he could not claim his conjugal rights until after the performance of his penalty as provided below.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: the freeing or purchasing the freedom of a slave or captive. In modern times, when slavery is more or less non-existent, the concept of tahrir raqabah may, I believe, be legitimately extended to the redeeming of a human being from the bondage of debt or of great poverty.

Cf. 2:225 - "God will not take you to task for oaths which you may have uttered without thought, but will take you to task [only] for what your hearts have conceived [in earnest]".

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: There is a certain amount of ambiguity found in this sentence in deference to eloquence which is evident from the words: مِنۡ قَبۡلِ اَنۡ یَّتَمَآسَّا. 
Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: … The reason for this ambiguity is that what they allude to is self-obviously evil. The Qur’an has also regarded it to be مُنْكَر and زُوْر. It was inappropriate to mention an evil in explicit terms. For this reason, the Qur’an referred to it in vague terms. The meaning of the expression thus is that if they want to do the same thing which they had prohibited upon themselves like the prohibition of their mothers, then they must liberate a slave before being intimate with their wives. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 250)
The actual word used is: رَقَبَۃ (neck). It is evident from this word that no distinction is to be made in this regard between a slave-man and a slave-lady. Whoever is available can be used to atone for the sin. This is one of the measures that Islam adopted for the emancipation of slaves. For this reason, this option is placed the foremost before the other two. After the eradication of slavery, obviously only the other options remain that are mentioned later in the verse.

فَمَنۡ لَّمۡ يَجِدۡ فَصِيَامُ شَهۡرَيۡنِ مُتَتَابِعَيۡنِ مِنۡ قَبۡلِ اَنۡ يَّتَمَآسَّاؕ فَمَنۡ لَّمۡ يَسۡتَطِعۡ فَاِطۡعَامُ سِتِّيۡنَ مِسۡكِيۡنًا​ؕ ذٰلِكَ لِتُؤۡمِنُوۡا بِاللّٰهِ وَرَسُوۡلِهٖ​ؕ وَتِلۡكَ حُدُوۡدُ اللّٰهِ​ؕ وَلِلۡكٰفِرِيۡنَ عَذَابٌ اَلِیْمٌ‏ 
( 4 )   And he who does not find [a slave] - then a fast for two months consecutively before they touch one another; and he who is unable - then the feeding of sixty poor persons. That is for you to believe [completely] in Allah and His Messenger; and those are the limits [set by] Allah. And for the disbelievers is a painful punishment.
"And he who does not find a slave (to free), shall fast for two months consecutively before they may touch each other; and he who is unable to do so shall feed sixty needy people." This is the Divine commandment in respect of zihar. The following arc the details of the law that the Jurists of Islam have derived from the words of this verse, the judgments of the Holy Messenger of Allah (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) and the general principles of Islam.
  • (1) This law of zahir abrogates the Arabian custom of ignorance according to which the marriage contract stood annulled and the woman became permanently forbidden to the husband. Likewise, this law annuls all those laws and customs which regard zihar as a meaningless custom, which is of no legal effect, and permit man to continue having marital relations with his wife as usual even after having compared her to his mother and other prohibited relations. For in the sight of Islam the sanctity of the mother and other prohibited relations is not such an ordinary thing that a man may even think of the comparison between them and his wife, not W speak of uttering it with the tongue. Between the two extremes the position adopted by the Islamic law in this regard is based on three principles: (a) That the marriage contract is not annulled by zihar, but the woman continues to be the husband's wife as usual, (b) that the woman becomes only temporarily prohibited to the man by zihar, and (c) that this prohibition operates till the time that the husband makes the expiation, and that the expiation only can remove the prohibition
  • (2) As for the person pronouncing zihar, it is agreed that the zihar of that husband is only reliable, who is of sound mind and mature age and pronounces the words of zihar in his right senses; the zihar of the child or of the insane person is not reliable. Moreover, the zihar of the person who might not be in his right senses at the time of pronouncing its words is also not reliable, e.g. if he mutters words during sleep, or is senseless, due to any reason. However, the jurists have differed on the following points:
  • (a) About -the person who pronounces zihar in the state of intoxication a great majority of them including the four Imams have given the verdict that since he has intentionally used the intoxicant, his zihar, like his divorce, will be regarded as valid legally, for he has undergone this state deliberately. However, if he has taken a medicine on account of illness and has been intoxicated, or has been compelled to take wine in intense thirst in order to save life, his zihar and divorce pronounced in that state will not be enforced. This very view is held by the Hanafis and the Shafe`is and the Hanbalis and the same also was the view commonly held by the Companions of the Holy Prophet. Contrary to it, Hadrat `Uthman held the view that the zihar and divorce pronounced in the state of intoxication are not reliable. Imam Tahawi and Karkhi from among the Hanafis hold this view as preferable and a statement of Imam Shafa' i also supports it. According to the MalikIs the zihar pronounced in the state of intoxication will be reliable in case the person concerned has not wholly lost his senses, but talks sensibly and coherently and knows what he is saying.
  • (b) According to Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Malik, only the zihar of the husband who is a Muslim is reliable. These injunctions do not apply to the non-Muslim subjects of the Islamic state, for the Qur'anic words: Alladhina yazahiruna minkum: "those from among you who put away their wives by zihar, have been addressed to the Muslims, and the fasting, which is one of the three kinds of the expiations prescribed in the Qur'an, obviously cannot be applicable to the non-Muslim subjects. According to Imam Shafe`i and Imam Ahmad, these injunctions will be applicable both to the Muslims and to the non-Muslims; however, there is no fasting for the non-Muslim subject: he may only free a slave or feed 60 poor.
  • (c) Can a woman also, like a man, pronounce zihar? For instance will it be zihar if she says to her husband: `You are for me as my father, or I am for you like your mother? " The four Imams say that this is not zihar and , the legal injunctions of zihar do not apply to it at all. For the Qur'an in express words has laid down these injunctions in respect of the cases , where the husbands pronounce zihar on their wives, and the authority to pronounce zihar, can be held only by him who holds the authority to pronounce divorce. Just as the Shari'ah not given the woman the power to divorce the husband, so also it has not given her the power to make her own self unlawful to her husband. This same is the view of Sufyan Thauri, Ishaq bin Rahawaiyh, Abu Thaur and Laith bin Sa'd. They regard such a pronouncement by a woman as meaningless and without effect Imam Abu Yusuf. says that though this is not ,zihar, it will entail for the woman the atonement of the oath, for the pronouncement of such words by the woman means that she has sworn not to have marital relations with her husband. This same is the view of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal as cited by Ibn Qadamah. Imam Auza'i says that if before marriage the woman said that if she marred a particular man he would be for her as her father, it would be .zihar, and if she says such a thing after marriage it would be in the nature of an oath, which would entail the atonement for the oath. Contrary to it, Hasan Basri, Zuhri, Ibrahim Nakha'i and Hasan bin Ziyad Lu'lu'i say that this is zihar and will entail the expiation prescribed for zihar by the woman; however, the woman will not have the right to prevent the husband from coming in to her before making the expiation. Ibrahim Nakha`i has cited this incident in support of this view. Mus'ab, son of Hadrat Zubair, sent a proposal of marriage to 'A'ishah bint Talhah. She turned down the proposal, saying: "If I marred him, he would be for me as the back of my father (huwa `alayya ka-zahr-i abi). " After some time, she became willing to marry him. When the jurists of Madinah were asked for their ruling on it, many jurists including several Companions of the Holy Prophet ruled that 'A'ishah would have to make an expiation for the zihar. After citing this incident Ibrahim Nakha'i has expressed his own opinion, saying that if 'A'ishah had said this thing after the marriage it would not have entailed the expiation. But since she said this before marriage when she had the option to marry, or not to marry, the expiation became obligatory on her.
  • (3) The excuse of a sensible and mature person, who pronounces the express words of zihar in his full senses, cannot be acceptable that he uttered the words in a state of anger, or in jest, or in lout, or that he had no intention of the zihar. However, in respect of the.words which are not express in this regard, and which can give different meanings, the injunction will vary according to their nature. Below we shall tell what words of zihar arc express and what words are not express.
  • (4) It is agreed upon by all that zihar can be pronounced on the woman who is a wedded wife of the man. However, there is a difference of opinion whether zihar can be pronounced on the other woman also or not. In this matter, the following are the different viewpoints:
The Hanafis say that if a man says to the other woman: "If I marry you, you will be for me as the back of my mother," then whenever he marries her, he will not be allowed to touch her without first making the expiation. This same is the verdict of Hadrat 'Umar. During his caliphate a man said such words to a woman and afterwards married her. Hadrat 'Umar ruled that he would have to make the expiation for the zihar.

The Malikis and the Hanbalis also have expressed the same opinion, and they add this to it: If the woman was not specified, but the man said words to the effect that all women were for him like that, then whichever woman he married, he would have to make the expiation before touching her. The same is the opinion of Sa'id bin al-Musayyab, 'Urwah bin Zubair, 'Ata' bin Abi Rabah, Hasan Basri and Ishaq bin Rahawaiyh.

The Shafe'is say that zihar before marriage is meaningless. Ibn 'Abbas and Qatadah also hold the same opinion.
  • (5) Can zihar be pronounced for a fixed term? The Hanafis and the Shafe`is say that if a man has pronounced zihar for a certain period of time, he will have to make the expiation if he touches the wife before the expiry of that time; however, the zihar will become ineffective when the time has elapsed. Its argument is the incident concerning Salamah bin Sakhr Bayadi, who had pronounced zihar upon his wifc for the month of Ramadan, and the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) did not tell him that the fixation of the time limit was meaningless. On the contrary, Imam Malik and Ibn Abi Laila say that whenever zihar is pronounced it will be for ever and the specification of time will be of no effect, for the prohibition that has occurred cannot become void of its own accord on the expiry of the time.
  • (6) If the zihar is conditional, expiation will become incumbent whenever the condition is violated. For instance, if a man says to his wife: "If I enter the houses you will be to me as the back of my mother," then whenever he enters his house, it will be unlawful for him to touch his wife without first making-the expiation.
  • (7) In case the words of zihar, are repeated several times to a wife, the Hanafis ant the Shafe`is say that whether this is done in one sitting or in several sittings, it will entail as many expiations as the number of the times the word were repeated, unless the man might have repeated the words only to stress what he had said before. Contrary to this, Imam Malik and lmam Ahmad bin Hanbal say that no matter how often the wards are repeated, it will entail only one expiation. The same is the view of Sha`bi, Ta'us, `Ata` bin Abi Rabah Hasan Basri and Auza`i (may Allah show mercy to all of them). Hadrat 'All's ruling is that if the repetition is made in one sitting, there will be only one expiation, and if in different sittings, then there will be as many expiations as the number of the sittings in which the repetition was made. The same is the view of Qatadah ant 'Amr bin Dinar.
  • (8) If zihar is pronounced upon two or more wives simultaneously in one and the same set of words, e.g. if addressing them the husband says: “You are to me as the back of my mother," the Hanafis and the Shafe`is say that separate expiations will have to be made to make each of them lawful. The same is the opinion of Hadrat `Umar, Hadrat `Ali, `Urwah bin Zubair, Ta'us, `Ata, Hasan Basri, Ibrahim Nakha`i, Sufyan Thauri and Ibn Shihab Zuhri. Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad say that in this case one and the same expiation will suffice for all. Rabi`ah, Auza`i, Ishaq bin Riihawaiyh and Abu Thaur also have expressed the same opinion.
  • (9) It is agreed upon by all that if a man repeats zihar, again after making expiation for it once, the wife will not be lawful to him unless he makes another expiation
  • (10) Although it is sinful, according to the four Imams, to establish marital relations with the wife before malting the expiation, and the man should ask for Allah's forgiveness for it, and should refrain from repeating such a thing, yet it will entail only one expiation. The Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) had exhorted the people who had committed such an offense in his time to implore Allah for forgiveness and not to touch the wife unless they had made the expiation, but he did not enjoin any additional expiation besides the expiation for zihar Hadrat `Amr bin `As, Qabisah bin Dhu'aib, Sa'id bin Jubair, Zuhri and Qatadah say that it will entail two expiations, and Hasan Basri and Ibrahim Nakha'i have given the opinion that this will entail three expiations, Probably the Ahadith in which the Holy Prophet gave his ruling on this matter did not reach these scholars.
  • (11) As to comparison of the wife to whom would be zihar, the jurists have expressed different views:
'Amir Sha'bi says that her comparison to the mother only is zihar, and the Zahiriyyah say that her comparison only to the mother's back is zihar, for the injunction dces not supply to anything else. No section of the Islamic jurists, however; agrees with them in this regard, for the reason given by the Qur'an of the wife's comparison to the mother being sinful is that it is absurd and a lie. Now, obviously comparison of the wife to the women whose sanctity is just like the mother's would be as absurd as it is in the case of the mother Therefore, there is no reason why the commandment in that case should not be the same as in the can of the comparison to the mother.

The Hanafis say that in this command are included all those women, who are permanently prohibited to man on the basis of lineage, fosterage, or marital relationship, but the women who may only be temporarily prohibited and can become lawful at any time, are not included in this, e.g. the wife's sister, her maternal and paternal aunts, or another woman, who is not the men's wedded wife. It will be zihar if comparison is made with such a part of the permanently prohibited woman's body as is forbidden for men to look at. However, it will not be ,zihar if comparison is made of the wife's hand, foot, head, hair, tooth, etc. to the back of a permanently prohibited woman, or of the wife to her head, hand, foot, etc. for it is not unlawful to look at these parts of the mother's or sister's body. Likewise, to say to the wife: "Your hand is like my mother's hand, or your foot is like my mother's foot," is not zihar.

The Shafe`is say that in this command are included only those women, who were, and are, permanently prohibited, i.e. mother, sister, daughter etc. but this does not include those women, who may have been lawful at some time, e.g.. the foster-mother, foster-sister, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, or those who may become lawful at nay time, e.g. the wife's the wife's sister. Apart from these temporarily prohibited women, it will be zihar to compare the wife to such parts of the permanently prohibited woman's body as are not normally mentioned out of reverence and respect, As for those parts which are mentioned out of reverence and respect, it will be zihar to make a comparison with them only in case this is done with the intention of zihar; for instance, if a man says to his wife: "Your are to me like my mother's eye or life, or like my mother's hand, foot or belly," or he compares the wife's belly, or breast, with the mother's belly, or breast, or says that the wife's head, back or hand is to him as his mother," it will be zihar if said with the intention of zihar and reverence if said with the intention of reverence.

The Malikis say that to compare the wife to any of the prohibited women is zihar. so much so that even if a man says to his wife, "You are to me like the back of such and such other woman," it. would be zihar . Furthermore, they say that it would be zihar to compare any part of the mother's body, or of an eternally prohibited woman's body, to the wife, or to any part of the wife's body, without any condition that the parts thus compared be such as may look at any part of the mother's body as he looks at the wife's.

The Hanbalis include in this command all those women, who may be eternally prohibited, though they may have been lawful before, e.g. the mother-in law, or foster-mother. As for the women who may become lawful at any time later (e.g. the wife's sister), Imam Ahmad's one statement concerning them is that comparison to them is not zihar . Moreover, according to the Hanbalis to compare any part of the wife's body to any part of the prohibited woman's comes under ,zihar. However, the non-permanent parts like the hair, nails, teeth, etc. are excluded from this command.
  • (12) 'The jurists are agreed that to say to the wife: "You are to me like the back of my mother," is expressly zihar, for the Arabs used this very formula for zihar, and the Qur'anic command also was sent down only concerning this. However, the jurists have disputed as to which of the other words are such as clearly come under zihar, and which are such whose amounting or not amounting to zihar will be dependent upon the speake's intention.
With the Hanafis the express words of zihar are those in which a lawful woman (the wife) may have been clearly compared to an unlawful woman (i.e. any woman from among the eternally prohibited women), or compared to such part of the body which is forbidden for a man to look at, like saying: "You are to me like the belly or the thigh of my mother, or of such and such prohibited woman. " Apart from these, the other words are disputed. According to Imam Abu Hanifah, if the man says: "You are forbidden to me like the back of my mother," it is expressly zihar, but according to Imams Abu Yusuf and Muhammad it would be zihar if there was the intention of zihar and divorce if there was the intention of divorce, The view generally held by-the Hanafis is that if the man says: "You arc as my mother, or like my mother," it is zihar if said with the intention of zihar and irrevocable divorce if said with the intention of divorce, and meaningless if there was no such intention at alI However, according to Imam Muhammad this is express zihar. If the man calls his wife his mother or sister or daughter, it is an absurdity upon which the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) had expressed great anger, but he did not regard it as zihar. If the man says "You are forbidden to me like my mother", it would be zihar if said with the intention of zihar and divorce if said with the intention of divorce, and zihar if there was no intention at all. If he says: "You are to me like my mother, or as my mother," his intention will be questioned: if he said this out of respect and reverence, it would be respect and reverence, if with the intention of divorce, it would be divorce: if there was no intention whatever, it would be meaningless according to Imam Abu Hanifah, but would entail the atonement of the oath, though not of zihar according to Imam Abu Yusuf and would be zihar according to Imam Muhammad.

With the Shafe'is the express words of zihar are that a man should say to his wife: "You are to me, or with me, or for me, like the back of my mother, or you are like the back of my mother, or your body, or your self, is to me like the body or self of my mother. " Apart from these, in respect of all other words the decision will be dependent on the speaker's intention

According to the Hanbalis, every such word by which a man may have compared his wife, or a part from among the permanent parts of her body, to a prohibited woman, or to a part from among the permanent parts of the prohibited woman's body clearly, would be regarded as express in the matter of zihar

The Malikis' viewpoint also is almost the same. However, in the details they have given different rulings For instance, according to them, a man's saying to his wife: "You are to me as my mother, or like my mother," is zihar, if said with the intention, of zihar, divorce if said with the intention of divorce, and zihar if there was no intention at all. According to the Hanbalis, it may be regarded only as ,zihar provided there was the intention. If a man says to his wife: "You are my mother," this is zIhar according to the MalikIs, but according to the Hanbalis it would be zihar if said in a state of anger on account of a quarrel, and it would not be zihar if it was said out of lout and affection, although it is wrong. If a man says: "You have divorce on you: you are like my mother," according to the Hanbalis this is divorce, not zihar, and if he says: "You arc like my mother: you have divorce on you," both zihar and divorce will take place. To say: you are forbidden to me as the back of my mother," is zihar according to both the Malikis and the Hanbalis, whether the words were said with the intention of divorce, or without any intention.

In this discussion about the words of zihar one should clearly understand that aII the disputes of the jurists in this regard relate to the words and usage of the Arabic language. Obviously the people who speak other languages will neither pronounce zihar in Arabic nor will utter an exact and accurate translation of the Arabic words and sentences at the time they pronounce zihar. Therefore, if one has to decide whether a word or a sentence comes under the definition of zihar, or not, one should not examine it from the point of view of its being an exact translation of the words given by the jurists, but one should only see whether the speaker had compared his wife in the sexual context clearly to any of the women in the prohibited degrees, or whether there was the probability of other meanings also in his words. Its most conspicuous example is the Arabic sentence itself about which all the jurists and commentators are agreed that this very sentence was used for zihar in Arabic, i.e. Ant-i alayya ka-zahr-i ummi("You are to me like the back of my mother"). Probably in no other language of the world can the man pronouncing zihar use words that may be a literal translation of this Arabic sentence. However, he can certainly use words of his own language, which may have precisely the same meaning for which an Arab used this sentence. The meaning of this sentence was: "To have sexual intercourse"with you would be like having sexual intercourse with my mother," or as some foolish person might say to his wife: "If I come in to you, I would be going in to my mother."
  • (13) In the Holy Qur'an what has been mentioned as entailing the expiation is not the mere zihar but one's and (returning) after the zihar. That is, if a man only pronounces the zihar and does not `return", he does not incur any expiation. Now, the question is: What is this and {returning) that entails the expiation? In this regard, the jurists have held the following viewpoints:
The Hanafis say that and is the intention to have the sexual intercourse, but it does not mean that the mere intention should entail the expiation; so much so that the man may have to make the expiation even if he does not take any practical step after the intention. But its correct meaning is that the man who wishes to remove the prohibition that he had imposed on him by by pronouncing zihar of severing marital relations with his wife, should first make the expiation, for this prohibition cannot be removed without the expiation.

Three statements have been cited from Imam Malik in this regard, but his most well known and authentic statement, according to the MalikIs, is in full agreement with the Hanafi view point, as stated above. He says that what the man had made unlawful for himself by zihar was the sexual relation with his wife. Now, and means that he should return to establish the same relation with her.

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal's view as cited by Ibn Qadamah is almost the same as of the two Imams as noted above. He says that after the zihar expiation has necessarily to be made to make the sexual intercourse law ful. The man who wants to make it lawful after having pronounced zihar, in fact, wants to return from the prohibition. Therefore, ho has been enjoined to make the expiation before making it lawful for himself, precisely like the man who wants to make the other woman lawful for himself and has to marry her before she could be lawful for him.

Imam Shafe`is viewpoint is quite different. He says that a man's keeping his wife as usual and detaining her in wedlock as before after having pronounced zihar, is aud, for as soon as he pronounced zihar he in fact, forbade himself to keep her as wife. Therefore, if he did not divorce her immediately on pronouncing zihar and kept her back for so long that he could utter the words of divorce, he committed and and the expiation became incumbent upon him. This means that if after pronouncing zIhar the man did not pronounce divorce in the next breath, expiation would become incumbent, whether after wards he might decide not to keep the woman as wife and might have no intention of having marital relations with her. So much so that even if he divorced his wife after a few moments' thought, according to Imam Shafe`i, he would still have to make the expiation.
  • (14) The Qur'anic injunction is that the pronounces of zihar must make the expiation before the two (the husband and the wife) "touch" each other. All the four Imams are agreed that according to this verse not only is the sexual intercourse prohibited before the expiation but it is also prohibited that the husband touch the wife in any way. The Shafe'i's regard' only touching with desist as prohibited. The Hanbalis regard every kind of pleasure-seeking as forbidden; and the Malikis regard even casting of the look at the wife's body for the sake of pleasure as unlawful. According to them only casting of the look at the face and hands is an exception.
  • (15) If after zihar a man divorces his wife, he cannot touch her without first making the expiation in case it is a revocable divorce. If it is an irrevocable divorce, and he re-marries her, he still will have to make the expiation before he could touch her. So much so that even if he has divorced her thrice, and the woman after marrying another man becomes a widow, or is divorced, and then the pronounces of zihar re-marries her, she will not be lawful to him unless he first makes the expiation. For he has forbidden her to himself by comparing her to his mother or other prohibited woman, and. this prohibition cannot be removed without the expiation. All the four Imams agree about this.
  • (16) It is incumbent upon the woman that she should not allow the husband who has pronounced zihar on her to touch her until he makes the expiation. And since the marital relationship is a right of the woman of which the husband has deprived her by zihar, she can go to the court of law if he does not make the expiation. The court will compel the husband to make the expiation to remove the barrier ht has raised between himself and her. And if he does not comply, the court can award him lashes or imprisonment or both. This also is agreed upon by alI the four schools of law. However, the difference is that in the Hanafi Fiqh this is the only way out for the woman; if the court does not help her out of the situation, she will remain suspended under zihar indefinitely. For zihar does not dissolve the marriage contract, it only forbids the husband to have marital relations with the wife. According to the Malikl school if the husband pronounces zihar and keeps the wife suspended with a vices to punish her, the law of ila' will be applied against him, which means that he cannot keep her suspended for more than four months. (For the law of ila, ste E.N.'s 245 to 247 of Al-Baqarah). According to the Shafe'is, although in zihar the law of ila' can be applied only if the husband might have pronounced zihar for a specific period, which does not exceed four months, yet since according to them the expiation becomes incumbent upon the husband from the very moment he keeps back the woman as wife, it is not possible that he may keep her suspended for along period indefinitely.
  • (17) The express commandment of the Qur'an and the Sunnah is that the first expiation for zihar is to free a slave. If a man cannot afford this, he can expiate by fasting two months consecutively; and if he cannot do even this, then he can feed 60 poor. But if a man cannot expiate in any of the three ways, he will have to wait till he has the means to act in one or the other way, because the Shari'ah has not prescribed any other form of expiation. However, the sunnah confirms that such a person should be helped out so that he can make the third kind Of the expiation. The Holy Prophet helped such people out of the public treasury, who were caught in this awkward situation by a mistake of their own, and were helpless to expiate in any of the three prescribed ways.
  • (18 ) The Qur'an enjoins to release a neck (raqabah) as expiation, which applies both to a male and a female slave, and there is no restriction of the age in it. It would be sufficient to release a suckling child who may be in the state of slavery. However, the jurists have disputed whether both the believing and the unbelieving slaves can be released, or whether only the believing slave will have to be released. the Hanafis and the Zahiriyyah say that it is enough to release a slave, whether a believer or an unbeliever, as expiation for zihar for the Qur an only mentions raqabah (the neck); it does not say that it has to be a believer. On the contrary; the Shafe'is, the MalikIs and the Hanbalis impost the condition that it has to be a believing slave. They have held this injunction as analogous to the other expiations in which release of raqabah has been made conditional upon his being a believer.
  • (19) If the pronouncer of zihar cannot afford to release a slave, the Qur'an enjoins him to fast for two successive months before the two can touch each other. As for the details of acting on this Divine Command, the viewpoints of the different juristic schools are as follows:
  • (a) AII are agreed that the months imply the lunar months. If fasting is begun with the sighting of the new moon,.one will have to complete two months' un-interrupted fasting. If fasting is begun on another date in the month, according to the Hanafis and the Hanbalis, one will have to fast for 60 days consecutively; and according to the Shafe'is, one will observe a total of 30 fasts in the first and the third months and observe the whole of the middle lunar month, whether it is of 29 days or 30 days.
  • (b) The Hanafis and the Shafe'is say that fasting should be begun at a time when within the next two months there should neither fall the month of Ramadan nor the two `Id days, nor the day of sacrifice, nor the Tashriq days (10th to 13th of Dhil-Hajj) for the observance of the Ramadan fast and its abandonment on the `Id days and the day of Sacrifice ant Tashriq days, in the course of the expiation fasting, would break the succession of the fasting, and the pronouncer of zihar would have to start fasting afresh. The Hanbalis say that observance of the Ramadan fast and its abandonment on the forbidden days do not break the succession.
  • (c) In the course of the two months whether one abandons a fast on account of a valid excuse, or without a valid excuse, in both cases the succession will break according to the Hanafis and the Shafe`is, and one will have to start fasting afresh. The same is the opinion of Imam Muhammad Baqir, Ibrahim Nahka`i, Sa'id bin Jubair, and Sufyan Thauri. According to Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad, fasting can be abandoned on account of illness or a journey and this does not break the succession; however, succession does break if the fast is abandoned without a valid reason. Their reasoning is that the nature of the expiation fast is not obligatory as of the Ramadan fast: when that fast can be abandoned on account of an excuse, there is no reason why this cannot be. The same is the viewpoint of Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Abbas, Hasan Basri, `Ata' bin Abi Rabah, Sa`id bin al-Masayyab, 'Amr bin Dinar, Sha`bi, Ta'us, Mujahid, Ishaq bin Rahawaiyh, Abu Ubaid and Abu Thaur.
  • (d) If the man commits sexual intercourse with the wife undo zihar within the two months of fasting, according to all the Imams, the succession will break, and he will have to begin fasting anew, for he has been enjoined to fast for two successive months before he could touch the wife.
  • (20) According to the Qur'an and the Sunnah, the third kind of expiation (feeding the 60 poor) can be made only by him who does not have the power to make the second expiation (fasting for two months successively). The . details of acting on this command as worked out by the jurists are as follows:
  • (a) According to all the four Imams, being powerless to observe the fast means that one should either he powerless due to old age, or due to illness, or due to the reason that one may not be able to abstain from sexual intercourse for two successive months, and may become impatient at any time in the course of fasting. The validity of aII these three excuses is confirmed by the Ahadith that have been cited in connection with the cases of Aus bin Samit Ansari and Salamah bin Sakhr Bayadi. However, about illness there is a little difference of opinion among the jurists. The Hanafis say that the excuse of illness will be valid only in case there is no hope of recovery, or there is the fear that the disease may worsen on account of fasting. The Shafe`is say that if fasting is likely to cause a severe hardship by which the man may feel the danger of its being interrupted, this excuse also can be valid. The Malikis say that if the man strongly feels that he will be able to observe the fast in the future, he may wait till then, and if he has no such feeling, he should feed the poor. The Hanbalis say that the apprehension that the disease will worsen by fasting is a sufficient excuse for not fasting.
  • (b) Food can be given only to those poor people whose maintenance is not the obligatory responsibility of the man concerned.
  • (c) The Hanafis say that food can be given to both the Muslim and the nonMuslim subjects of the Islamic State, but not to the belligerent disbelievers and to those who have been given protection. The MMalikis, the Shafe`is and the Hanbalis say that the Muslim needy ones only can be fed.
  • (d) There is full agreement that feeding implies to feed two times a day to fill. However, there is a difference of opinion about the meaning of feeding. The Hanafis say that it is equally valid to feed with cooked food two times a day or to give away grain sufficient to meet the food requirements of a needy person two times a day, For the Qur'an has used the word it am, which means both to provide food and to feed. But the Malikis, the Shafe`is and the Hanbalis do not regard feeding with cooked food as correct; they think it is necessary to give away grain. In case grain is given, there is full agreement that the grain should be the staple food in the city or area, and all the poor people should be given it equally .
  • (e) According to the Hanafis, it is also valid if one and the same poor person is fed or given food for 60 days, though it is not cornet to give him food for 60 days on one and the same day. However, the other three schools do not think it is valid to provide food to one and the same poor man; it is necessary to give food to 60 persons. It is not permissible in any of the four school to provide food to 60 men at one time and to another 60 at another time.
  • (f) This also is not permissible according to any of the four schools that one may fast for 30 days and then feed 30 poor ones, for two different expiations cannot be combined. If one has to fast one should fast for two months successively, and if one has to feed, one should feed 60 poor once.
  • (g) Although in connection with the expiation of feeding the Qur'an' does not use words to the effect that this expiation also should be made before the husband and the wife can touch each other yet the context demands that this restriction will apply to this third kind of expiation as well. That is why the four Imams do not regard it as permissible that the man should go to his wife during the time the expiation of feeding is being performed. However, the difference i6 that according to the Hanbalis the man who commits this offense, will have to feed the poor afresh, but the Hanafis show leniency, for in respect of this third expiation there-is no mention of "before the two touch each other" in the Qur'an, and this provides a basis for the concession.
" All this is in order that you may truly believe in Allah and His Messenger."  So that you may believe": "So that you may adopt the attitude of a true and sincere believer. " Obviously, the addressees of this verse are not the pagans and polytheists, but the Muslims who had already affirmed the Faith To tell them after reciting before them a Shari'ah injunction: "This is being enjoined so that you may believe in Allah and His Messenger," clearly signifies that the conduct of the person who continues to follow the traditional law of paganism even after hearing the, Divine command would be contradictory to his profession of the Faith. It is not the character of a believer that when Allah and His Messenger have prescribed a law for him in some matter of life, he should set it aside and follow some other law of the world, or go on following his own whites and desires. 

"These are the bounds set by Allah; and a grievous chastisement awaits the unbelievers." Here "disbeliever" does not imply the denier of Allah and His Messenger, but the person who adopts the attitude and conduct of a disbeliever even after affirming faith in Allah and His Messenger. In other words, it means: `This, in fact, is a characteristic of the disbelievers that even after hearing the Command of Allah and His Messenger, they should go on following their own whims, and continue to practice the customs of ignorance, for a true and sincere believer would never adopt such an attitude. The same thing has been said in Surah AI-`Imran after enjoining the imperative duty of Hajj: "And the one who disbelieves (i.e. does not obey this commandment), then Allah is Self-Sufficient and does not stand in need of anyone in the worlds." (v. 97) At neither place has the word "kufr" been used in the sense that whoever continues to have marital relations with the wife after zihar without making the expiation, or thinks that divorce has taken place by the mere pronouncement of zihar on the wife, or does not go to perform Hajj, in spite of the means, should be declared an apostate and disbeliever by the religious court and regarded as excommunicated by the Muslims. But it means that in the sight of Allah such people as may reject His Commandments by word or deed, or may at least bother to know as to what bounds their Lord has set for them, what He has forbidden and what He has enjoined, what He has made lawful and what unlawful, arc not counted among the believers.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
﴿فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَتَمَآسَّا فَمَن لَّمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَإِطْعَامُ سِتِّينَ مِسْكِيناً﴾
(And he who finds not must fast two successive months before they both touch each other. And he who is unable to do so, should feed sixty of the poor.) is explained by the Hadiths that prescribe these punishments in this order, just as in the Hadith collected in the Two Sahihs about the man who had sexual intercourse with his wife during the day, in Ramadan. Allah said,

﴿ذَلِكَ لِتُؤْمِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ﴾
(That is in order that you may have perfect faith in Allah and His Messenger.) meaning, `We legislated this punishment so that you acquire this trait,'

﴿وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ﴾
(These are the limits set by Allah.) meaning, the things that He has forbidden, so do not transgress them,

﴿وَلِلكَـفِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ﴾
(And for disbelievers, there is a painful torment.) meaning, those who do not believe and do not abide by the rulings of Islamic legislation should never think they will be saved from the torment. Rather theirs will be a painful torment in this life and the Hereafter.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: " However, he who does not have the wherewithal shall fast [instead] for two consecutive months " I.e., in the manner prescribed for fasting during the month of Ramadan (see {2:183-187}). As regards the phrase "he who does not find the wherewithal (lam yajid)", it may indicate either a lack of financial means or the impossibility of finding anyone else who could be redeemed from factual or figurative bondage (see first half of explanation to verse 3 above). According to many Islamic scholars of our times (e.g., Rashid Rida', commenting on 4:92 ), this relates, in the first instance, to circumstances in which "slavery will have been abolished in accordance with the aim of Islam" (Manar V, 337).

" before the couple may touch one another again; and he who is unable to do it shall feed sixty needy ones: " Or, alternatively, one needy person for sixty days. The inability to fast for two consecutive months may be due either to ill-health or to really compelling external circumstances (for instance, the necessity of performing labours which require great physical and/or mental vigour and alertness).

" this, so that you might prove your faith in God and His Apostle. " Sc., "by showing that you have renounced the practices of the Time of Ignorance" (Razi). In other words, the pronouncement of zihar is not to be considered a divorce, as was the case in pre-Islamic times, but solely as a reprehensible act which must be atoned for by a sacrifice.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Cf. iv. 92. The penalty is: to get a slave his freedom, whether it is your own slave or you purchase his freedom from another; if that is not possible, to fast for two months consecutively (in the manner of the Ramadhan fast); if that is not possible, to feed sixty poor. See next note.

There is a great deal of learned argument among the jurists as to the precise requirements of Canon Law under the term "feeding" the indigent. For example, it is laid down that half a Sa' of wheat or a full Sa' of dates or their equivalent in money would fulfil the requirements, a Sa' being a measure corresponding roughly to about 9 lbs. of wheat in weight. Others hold that a Mudd measure equivalent to about 2 1/4 lbs. would be sufficient. This would certainly be nearer the daily ration of a man. It is better to take the spirit of the text in its plain simplicity, and say that an indigent man should be given enough to eat for two meals a day. The sixty indigent ones fed for a day would be equivalent to a single individual fed for sixty days, or two for thirty days, and so on. But there is no need to go into minutiae in such matters.

These penalties in the alternative are prescribed, that we may show our repentance and Faith and our renunciation of "iniquity and falsehood" (verse 2 above), whatever our circumstances may be.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: The implication is that this is God’s directive and whatever directive is given from God should be sincerely fulfilled both in letter and spirit, and it should be borne in mind that God is aware of everything and nothing shall remain hidden from him.

اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ يُحَآدُّوۡنَ اللّٰهَ وَرَسُوۡلَهٗ كُبِتُوۡا كَمَا كُبِتَ الَّذِيۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِهِمۡ​ وَقَدۡ اَنۡزَلۡنَاۤ اٰيٰتٍۢ بَيِّنٰتٍ​ ؕ وَ لِلۡكٰفِرِيۡنَ عَذَابٌ مُّهِيۡنٌ​ ۚ‏ 
( 5 )   Indeed, those who oppose Allah and His Messenger are abased as those before them were abased. And We have certainly sent down verses of clear evidence. And for the disbelievers is a humiliating punishment.
" Those who oppose . . . " : Those who do not recognize the bounds set by Allah and instead set some other bounds for themselves. Ibn Jarir Tabari has given this commentary of this verse: "That is, the people who resist Allah with regard to the bounds and duties enjoined by Him, and set for themselves some other bounds instead of the bounds set by Him." Baidawi; has given this commentary of it: "That is, they show hostility towards and dispute with Allah and His Messenger, or set other bounds for themselves than the bounds set by them, or adopt the bounds set by others. " Alusi in his Ruh Al-Ma `ani has concurred with Baidawi in this commentary and cited the statement of Shaikh-ul-Islam Sa`dullah Chalpi to the effect: "In this verse a threat has been held out to those kings and evil rulers who have framed many such rules as are opposed to the bounds set by the Shari ah, and called tjem law." Here, `Allama Alusi has dwelt upon the constitutional status (i.e, constitutional from the Islamic viewpoint) of the man made laws as against the Shari ah laws and concluded thus:

"There can be no doubt in the disbelief of the person who regards this law as commendable and superior to the Shari ah and says that it is wiser and better suited to the genius of the people. And when the Shari ah injunction in a particular matter is pointed out to him, he is angry, as we have seen some of those who are under the curse of Allah. " 

The word used in the original is kabt كُبِتُوۡ , which means to disgrace, to destroy, to curse, to drive off, to push out, to debase. What is meant to be said is that the communities of the former Prophets who resisted Allah and His Messenger and rebelled against His Commandments have already gone to their doom. Now those from among the Muslims who adopt the same attitude in life will also meet with the same evil end. Whenever the people made their own laws contradictory to Divine Law, or adopted laws made by others, they were deprived of Allah's bounty and grace, with the result that their lives were filled with deviations, immoralities and moral and social evils, which caused them to be ultimately degraded and humiliated oven in this world. If the same error now is committed by the community of the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings), there is no reason why it should continue to be regarded with favor by Allah and He may go on protecting it from a disgraceful destruction for ever and ever. Allah had neither any ill will against the communities of His former Messengers nor has He any special connection with the community of this Messenger. 

Are you not aware18 that Allah knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth? Never is there any whispering among three but He is their fourth; nor among five but He is their sixth;19 nor fewer nor more but He is with them wherever they may be.20 And then He will tell them on the Day of Judgement all that they have done. Surely Allah knows everything.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Explaining the Punishment of the Enemies of the Religion. Allah states that those who defy Him and His Messenger and contradict His commandments,

﴿كُبِتُواْ كَمَا كُبِتَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ﴾
(will be disgraced as those before them were disgraced) meaning, they will be humiliated, cursed and disgraced, just as what happened to their like were before them,

﴿وَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَآ ءَايَـتٍ بَيِّنَـتٍ﴾
(And We have sent down clear Ayat.) meaning, none contradicts or opposes them, except a disbeliever, rebellious, sinner,

﴿وَلِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ﴾
(And for the disbelievers is a disgraceful torment) meaning, as just recompense for their arrogant refusal to follow, obey and submit to the religion of Allah.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This is a reference to the Hypocrites all of whose sympathies were with the enemies of Islam, in particular the Jews. They would launch a whispering campaign and a secret propaganda against any teaching of Islam they would regard as being against their desires. The purpose would be to create doubts in the minds of weak Muslims and strip them of their conviction in Islam.

يَوۡمَ يَبۡعَثُهُمُ اللّٰهُ جَمِيۡعًا فَيُنَبِّئُهُمۡ بِمَا عَمِلُوۡا​ ؕ اَحۡصٰٮهُ اللّٰهُ وَنَسُوۡهُ​ ؕ وَاللّٰهُ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ شَهِيۡدٌ‏ 
( 6 )   On the Day when Allah will resurrect them all and inform them of what they did. Allah had enumerated it, while they forgot it; and Allah is, over all things, Witness.
"a chastisement that shall come upon them on the Day when Allah will raise them all to a new life and will inform them of their deeds." The express commandment of the Qur'an and the Sunnah is that the first expiation for zihar is to free a slave. If a man cannot afford this, he can expiate by fasting two months consecutively; and if he cannot do even this, then he can feed 60 poor. But if a man cannot expiate in any of the three ways, he will have to wait till he has the means to act in one or the other way, because the Shari'ah has not prescribed any other form of expiation. However, the sunnah confirms that such a person should be helped out so that he can make the third kind Of the expiation. The Holy Prophet helped such people out of the public treasury, who were caught in this awkward situation by a mistake of their own, and were helpless to expiate in any of the three prescribed ways.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir:  
Allah the Exalted said, ( يَوْمَ يَبْعَثُهُمُ اللَّهِ جَمِيعاً  On the Day when Allah will resurrect them all together) referring to the Day of Resurrection when He will gather the early and the latter generations in one area,

( فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا عَمِلُواْ (and inform them of what they did.) He will tell them all that they did in detail, whether good or evil,

( أَحْصَـهُ اللَّهُ وَنَسُوهُ Allah has kept account of it, while they have forgotten it.) meaning, Allah recorded and kept all these actions, even though they have forgotten what they did,

( وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ شَهِيدٌ  And Allah is Witness over all things.) meaning, nothing escapes His knowledge, and no matter is hidden from Him or escapes His complete observation.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Sc., "which they chose to disregard". Thus, proceeding from the particular to the general, the present passage connects with the reference, at the end of verse {4}, to "all who deny the truth", i.e., of divine revelation.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: This phrase, "Allah will tell them of their deeds (or their doings or their conduct)" occurs frequently. See explanation of v. 51; v. 108; vi. 60; ix. 94; etc. In this life there is a certain mist or illusion in our spiritual sight. We see things from different angles and dispute about them; we hide real motives, and pretend to virtues which we do not possess; others may attribute such virtues to us, and we may come to believe it ourselves; we conceive likes and hatreds on insufficient grounds; we forget what we should remember, and remember what we should forget. Our vision is narrow, and our values are false. On the Day of Account all this will be remedied. Not only will true values be restored, but we shall ourselves see the inwardness of things in our own lives, which we never saw before.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Ie., their fate will be the same as the one met by the rejecters of the messengers of God after these messengers have conclusively communicated the truth to them. This is an established practice of God and He never changes this established practice. His law is the same for everyone.

Ruku Two: Verses 7-13

اَلَمۡ تَرَ اَنَّ اللّٰهَ يَعۡلَمُ مَا فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَمَا فِى الۡاَرۡضِ​ؕ مَا يَكُوۡنُ مِنۡ نَّجۡوٰى ثَلٰثَةٍ اِلَّا هُوَ رَابِعُهُمۡ وَلَا خَمۡسَةٍ اِلَّا هُوَ سَادِسُهُمۡ وَلَاۤ اَدۡنٰى مِنۡ ذٰ لِكَ وَلَاۤ اَكۡثَرَ اِلَّا هُوَ مَعَهُمۡ اَيۡنَ مَا كَانُوۡا​ۚ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُمۡ بِمَا عَمِلُوۡا يَوۡمَ الۡقِيٰمَةِ​ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عَلِيۡمٌ‏ 
( 7 )   Have you not considered that Allah knows what is in the heavens and what is on the earth? There is in no private conversation three but that He is the fourth of them, nor are there five but that He is the sixth of them - and no less than that and no more except that He is with them [in knowledge] wherever they are. Then He will inform them of what they did, on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed Allah is, of all things, Knowing.
From here to verse 10 continuously the hypocrites have been taken to task for the attitude they had adopted in the Muslim society. Although apparently they were a part of the Muslim community, secretly they were a separate group from the believers, Whenever the Muslims saw them, they found them whispering secretly together. That is hew they conspired and made all sorts of plans in order to create rifts in the ranks of the Muslims, and to cause alarm and spread mischief among them. 

" Allah knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth? Never is there any whispering among three but He is their fourth; nor among five but He is their sixth;" The question may arise Why have three and five been mentioned here instead of two and three? Why has two, and then four, been left out? The commentators have given many answers to this question but in our opinion the correct answer is that this style has been adopted for maintaining the literary beauty of. the Qur'an. Without this the style would have suffered from blemishes. Therefore, after making mention of three and five whisperers the gap has been ,filled up in the following sentence by saying: whether the whisperers are fewer than three, or more than five, in any case Allah is always with them.

"  nor fewer nor more but He is with them wherever they may be " This Allah's being associated with them is, in fact, in the sense of Allah's being All-Knowing and All-Aware, All-Hearing and All-Seeing, and His being absolute in power, and not in the sense that Allah, God forbid, is a person who is secretly and invisibly present among the five persons as their sixth associate. This, in fact, is meant to make the people realize that they may be holding secret counsels in safe and hidden places and may be able to conceal their plans from the world but they cannot keep them concealed from Allah, that they may escape from every power of the world, but they cannot escape the grasp of Allah.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Allah's Knowledge encompasses Creation - Then Allah the Exalted informs of His knowledge encompassing all creation, observing it, hearing their speech and seeing them, wherever they may be and in whatever condition they may be in,

﴿أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ مَا يَكُونُ مِن نَّجْوَى ثَلَـثَةٍ﴾
(Have you not seen that Allah knows whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth There is no Najwa of three), i.e., secret consultation of three,

﴿إِلاَّ هُوَ رَابِعُهُمْ وَلاَ خَمْسَةٍ إِلاَّ هُوَ سَادِسُهُمْ وَلاَ أَدْنَى مِن ذَلِكَ وَلاَ أَكْثَرَ إِلاَّ هُوَ مَعَهُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كَانُواْ﴾
(but He is their fourth --- nor of five but He is their sixth --- nor of less than that or more but He is with them wheresoever they may be.) meaning, He is watching them, perfectly hearing their speech, whether uttered in public or secret. His angels record all that they say, even though He has better knowledge of it and hears them perfectly, as Allah said;

﴿أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ سِرَّهُمْ وَنَجْوَاهُمْ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَّـمُ الْغُيُوبِ ﴾
(Know they not that Allah knows their secret ideas, and their Najwa, and that Allah is the All-Knower of the unseen.) (9:78),

﴿أَمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّا لاَ نَسْمَعُ سِرَّهُمْ وَنَجْوَهُم بَلَى وَرُسُلُنَا لَدَيْهِمْ يَكْتُبُونَ ﴾
(Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private Najwa And Our messengers are by them to record.) (43:80) For this reason, several mentioned that there is a consensus among the scholars that this "with'' refers to Allah's knowledge. There is no doubt that this meaning is true, especially if we add to it the certainty that His hearing encompasses all things, as well as His sight. He, the Exalted and Most Honored, is never lacking in knowing all their affairs,

﴿ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا عَمِلُواْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌ﴾
(And afterwards on the Day of Resurrection He will inform them of what they did. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of everything.) Imam Ahmad commented, "Allah began the Ayah (58:7) by mentioning His knowledge and ended it by mentioning His knowledge.''

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Secrecy is a relative and limited term among ourselves. There is nothing hidden or unknown to Allah. Usually secrecy implies fear or distrust, plotting or wrong-doing. But all is open before Allah's sight.

اَلَمۡ تَرَ اِلَى الَّذِيۡنَ نُهُوۡا عَنِ النَّجۡوٰى ثُمَّ يَعُوۡدُوۡنَ لِمَا نُهُوۡا عَنۡهُ وَيَتَنٰجَوۡنَ بِالۡاِثۡمِ وَالۡعُدۡوَانِ وَمَعۡصِيَتِ الرَّسُوۡلِ وَاِذَا جَآءُوۡكَ حَيَّوۡكَ بِمَا لَمۡ يُحَيِّكَ بِهِ اللّٰهُۙ وَيَقُوۡلُوۡنَ فِىۡۤ اَنۡفُسِهِمۡ لَوۡلَا يُعَذِّبُنَا اللّٰهُ بِمَا نَقُوۡلُ​ؕ حَسۡبُهُمۡ جَهَنَّمُ​ۚ يَصۡلَوۡنَهَا​ۚ فَبِئۡسَ الۡمَصِيۡرُ‏ 
( 8 )   Have you not considered those who were forbidden from private conversation, then they return to that which they were forbidden and converse among themselves about sin and aggression and disobedience to the Messenger? And when they come to you, they greet you with that [word] by which Allah does not greet you and say among themselves, "Why does Allah not punish us for what we say?" Sufficient for them is Hell, which they will [enter to] burn, and wretched is the destination.
" Have you not seen those who were forbidden to whisper and yet they engaged in what they had been forbidden?" This shows that before the revelation of this verse the Holy Prophet (upon whom by Allah's peace) had forbidden the people this practice. Yet when they did not desist, Allah directly sent down this verse containing His warning and wrath for such people.

"  They secretly converse among themselves concerning sin and transgression and disobedience to the Messenger. And when they come to you, they greet you in a manner that Allah does not greet you," This was the common practice of the Jews and the hypocrites. According to several traditions, some Jews came before the Holy Prophet (upon be Allah's peace) and said: "As-sam alaika ya abul-Qasim. " That is, they pronounced as-sam `alaika in such a manner as to give the impression that they had said as-salam alaika (peace be on you), which is the Islamic way of greeting. But actually they had said "Sam ", which means death. In response the Holy Prophet said: "wa alaikum. "Hadrat `A'ishah retorted: "May death visit you and the curse of Allah!" The Holy Prophet warned her, saying: " `A'ishah, Allah does not like abusive language," She submitted: "Didn't you hear, O Messenger of Allah what they said?" The Holy Prophet replied: "And didn't you hear what reply I gave? I said: and the same upon you." (Bukhiiri, Muslim, Ibn Jarir Ibn Abi Hatim). Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Abbiis has stated that both the Jews and the hypocrites had adopted this very way of greeting. (Ibn Jarir).

"  and say to themselves: “Why does Allah not chastise us for these utterances of ours?” That is, they regarded it as a proof of the Holy Prophet's not being a Messenger. They thought that if he had been a true Messenger, they would be punished by a torment as soon as they greeted him in that way. Since there was not torment while they were greeting him day and night like that, he was not a Messenger of Allah.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: The Evil of the Jews - Ibn Abi Najih reported from Mujahid,

﴿أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ نُهُواْ عَنِ النَّجْوَى ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا نُهُواْ عَنْهُ﴾
(Have you not seen those who were forbidden to hold secret counsels, and afterwards returned to that which they had been forbidden,) He said, "The Jews.'' Similar was said by Muqatil bin Hayyan, who added, "The Prophet had a peace treaty with the Jews. When one of the Prophet's Companions would pass by a gathering of Jews, they would speak among themselves in secret, prompting the believer to think that they were plotting to kill or harm him. When the believer saw this, he feared for his safety and changed the route he was taking. The Prophet advised them to abandon their evil secret talks, but they did not listen and kept on holding the Najwa. Allah the Exalted sent down this Ayah in their case,

﴿أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ نُهُواْ عَنِ النَّجْوَى ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا نُهُواْ عَنْهُ﴾
(Have you not seen those who were forbidden to hold secret counsels, and afterwards returned to that which they had been forbidden).'' Allah's statement,

﴿وَيَتَنَـجَوْنَ بِالإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَمَعْصِيَتِ الرَّسُولِ﴾
(and conspired together for sin and wrongdoing and disobedience to the Messenger.) means, they used to talk to each other,

(بِالإِثْمِ (for sin) which involves themselves,) - (وَالْعُدْوَنِ and wrongdoing) which effects others. They speak about disobedience and defying of the Messenger , with persistence and recommending each other to follow their way,

﴿وَإِذَا جَآءُوكَ حَيَّوْكَ بِمَا لَمْ يُحَيِّكَ بِهِ اللَّهُ﴾
(And when they come to you, they greet you with a greeting wherewith Allah greets you not,) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `A'ishah said, "Some Jews came to the Prophet and greeted him by saying, `As-Sam `Alayka, O Abul-Qasim.' So I said to them, `wa `Alaykum As-Sam (the same death be upon you).' The Prophet said,

«يَا عَائِشَةُ إِنَّ اللهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفُحْشَ وَلَا التَّفَحُّش»
(O `A'ishah, Allah does not like rudeness and foul speech.) I said, `Didn't you hear them say, `As-Sam Alayka' He said,

«أَوَ مَا سَمِعْتِ أَقُولُ: وَعَلَيْكُم»
(Didn't you hear me answering them back by saying, `Wa `Alaykum (And the same upon you)') Allah the Exalted then sent down this Ayah,

﴿وَإِذَا جَآءُوكَ حَيَّوْكَ بِمَا لَمْ يُحَيِّكَ بِهِ اللَّهُ﴾
(And when they come to you, they greet you with a greeting wherewith Allah greets you not,)'' The narration collected in the Sahih states that `A'ishah said, "And be upon you the death, disgrace and curse.'' The Messenger of Allah said to her,

«إِنَّهُ يُسْتَجَابُ لَنَا فِيهِمْ، وَلَا يُسْتَجَابُ لَهُمْ فِينَا»
(Allah accepts our supplication against them, but not theirs against us.) Ibn Jarir recorded that Anas bin Malik said, "A Jew passed by Allah's Messenger , who was sitting with his Companions, he greeted them and they greeted him back. Allah's Messenger then said to his Companions,

«هَلْ تَدْرُونَ مَا قَالَ؟»
(Do you know what he just said) They said, `He said: As-Salam, O Allah's Messenger.' The Prophet said,

«بَلْ قَالَ: سَامٌ عَلَيْكُم»
(Rather he said, Sam `Alaykum.) meaning, `may you disgrace your religion.' Allah's Messenger then said,  «رُدُّوه» (Bring him back,) and when he was brought back, the Prophet asked him, «أَقُلْتَ: سَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ؟»
(Did you say: Sam `Alaykum) He said, `Yes.' The Prophet then said, «إِذَا سَلَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ أَحَدٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ فَقُولُوا: عَلَيْك» (When the people of the Book greet you, say, `Wa `Alaykum.')'' meaning, `and the same on you too.' The basis for the Hadith of Anas is in the Sahih and similar to this Hadith of `A'ishah is in the Sahih. Allah said,

﴿وَيَقُولُونَ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَوْلاَ يُعَذِّبُنَا اللَّهُ بِمَا نَقُولُ﴾
(and say within themselves:"Why should Allah punish us not for what we say'') means, the Jews say these words, changing the meaning of the Islamic greeting, into an abusive statement, and then say, `Had he been a Prophet, Allah would have punished us for what we said. Allah knows what we conceal. Therefore, if Muhammad were a Prophet, Allah would have sent His punishment on us sooner, in this life.' 

Allah the Exalted replied, (حَسْبُهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ Hell will be sufficient for them;) ell should be sufficient for them in the Hereafter,

﴿يَصْلَوْنَهَا فَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ﴾
(they will enter therein. And worst indeed is that destination!) Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr said that the Jews used to say, "Sam `Alayka,'' to Allah's Messenger . They would say then within themselves, "Why does Allah not punish us for what we say'' This Ayah was later revealed,

﴿وَإِذَا جَآءُوكَ حَيَّوْكَ بِمَا لَمْ يُحَيِّكَ بِهِ اللَّهُ وَيَقُولُونَ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَوْلاَ يُعَذِّبُنَا اللَّهُ بِمَا نَقُولُ حَسْبُهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ يَصْلَوْنَهَا فَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ﴾
(And when they come to you, they greet you with a greeting wherewith Allah greets you not, and say within themselves: "Why should Allah punish us not for what we say'' Hell will be sufficient for them; they will enter therein. And worst indeed is that destination!) Its chain of narration is Hasan, but they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not collect it.  Manners of the Najwa, (Secret Counsel)

Muhammad Asad Explanation: " Art thou not aware of such as have been forbidden [to intrigue through] secret confabulations, " The prohibition referred to here arises from the Qur'anic statement, "No good comes, as a rule, out of secret confabulations - save those which are devoted to enjoining charity, or equitable dealings, or setting things to rights between people" (see 4:114 and the corresponding note [138]). Although there is no doubt that, as the classical commentators point out, the "secret confabulations" spoken of in this passage relate to intrigues aimed against the Prophet and his followers by some of their unbelieving contemporaries, there is no doubt, either, that the passage has a general import, and is, therefore, valid for all times.

" and yet [always] revert to that which they have been forbidden, and conspire with one another with a view to sinful doings, and aggressive conduct, and disobedience to the Apostle? "  I.e., in the wider sense, disobedience to the Apostle's ethical teachings.

" Now whenever The reference to "approaching" the Prophet has here a twofold meaning, relating literally to his unbelieving contemporaries, and figuratively to an intellectual "approach" to his person and his teachings by hostile critics of all later times. The same observation is valid with regard to the next clause as well.

"  they salute thee with a greeting which God has never countenanced;" Lit., "with which God has never saluted thee". Historically, this is an allusion to the hostile attitude of the Jews of Medina towards the Prophet. It is recorded that instead of pronouncing the traditional greeting "Peace be upon thee" when encountering him, some of them used to mumble the word salam ("peace") in such a way as to make it indistinguishable from sam ("death"); and they employed the same scurrilous play of words with regard to the Prophet's Companions as well. (The relevant ahadith are quoted in full, with indication of the sources, by Tabari and Ibn Kathir in their commentaries on the above verse.) But see also the preceding note.

" and they say to themselves, "Why does not God chastise us for what we are saying?" " Sc., "if Muhammad is truly a prophet".

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: When the Muslim Brotherhood was acquiring strength in Madinah and the forces of disruption were being discomfited in open fight against the Messenger of Righteousness, the wicked resorted to duplicity and secret intrigues, in which the ringleaders were the disaffected Jews and the Hypocrites, whose machinations have been frequently referred to in the Qur-an. E.g. see ii. 8-16; and iv. 142-145.

The salutation of Allah was (and is) "Peace!" But the enemies, who had not the courage to fight openly often twisted the words, and by using a word like "Sam", which meant "Death!" or "Destruction!" instead of "Salam!" (Peace!), they thought they were secretly venting their spite and yet apparently using a polite form of salutation. Cf. ii. 106, and n. 107, where another similar trick is exposed.

The enemies derisively enjoyed their trick (see last note) according to their own perverted mentality. They asked blasphemously, "Why does not Allah punish us?" The answer is given: there is a Punishment, far greater than they imagine: it will come in good time: it will be the final Punishment after Judgment: it is delayed in order to give them a chance of repentance and reformation.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: It is evident from this that when this secret propaganda began, the Prophet (sws) checked them; however, they were not bothered and continued to indulge in it.

This is a reference to the actual objective to achieve which these secret conversations were initiated. The purpose was to induce Muslims to rebel against the Prophet (sws) so that the very foundation on which the edifice of this new religion was built is razed to ground.

The Almighty has not quoted their words. It is evident from Hadith narratives that they would pronounce them in such a way that the listener would think that they have said السلام عليك (peace be to you) to him; however in fact, they would have uttered the word السام which means “death” and السام عليك would mean “death be to you.” (Bukhari, no. 5678).

This is a reference to the salutation from God and the angels mentioned in verse thirty three of Surah al-Ahzab.

They would mean that since this does not happen, hence his claim that he is God’s Messenger is baseless.

يٰۤاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِذَا تَنَاجَيۡتُمۡ فَلَا تَـتَـنَاجَوۡا بِالۡاِثۡمِ وَالۡعُدۡوَانِ وَمَعۡصِيَتِ الرَّسُوۡلِ وَتَنَاجَوۡا بِالۡبِرِّ وَالتَّقۡوٰى​ؕ وَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ الَّذِىۡۤ اِلَيۡهِ تُحۡشَرُوۡنَ‏ 
( 9 )   O you who have believed, when you converse privately, do not converse about sin and aggression and disobedience to the Messenger but converse about righteousness and piety. And fear Allah, to whom you will be gathered.
This shows that najwa (talking secretly together) by itself is not forbidden, but it s being lawful or unlawful depends upon the character of the people who hold secret consultations and upon the circumstances under which such consultations are held, and upon nature of the consultations themselves, If the people whose sincerity, righteousness and purity of character arc well known, arc seen talking secretly together, nobody would have any misgiving that they were planning mischief. On the contrary, the whispering and secret consultations of the people who are notorious for their evil and wicked character, product in every mind. the suspicion that they arc engaged in a new conspiracy. Likewise, if a couple of persons talk for some time together on some matter secretly, it is not objectionable, but if some people have formed themselves into a gang and constantly engaged in a whispering campaign against the Muslim community, this would indeed be a prelude to some mischief. If nothing else, it would at least stir up divisions among the Muslims. Above all, the thing that decides whether najwa (secret counsel) is lawful or unlawful is the nature of the things talked of it. If two men hold a secret counsel in order to bring a dispute the an end, and to restore a person's right, or to bring a dispute an end, or to restore a person's right, or to promote a good cause, it is no evil, but rather and act of virtue, On the contrary, if the same secret counsel between two men is held with a view to creating mischief, or usurping the rights of . others, or committing a sin, obviously the object itself would be evil and the secret counsel about it evil added to evil.

In this connection, the teaching given by the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) of social etiquette is: "When three men are sitting together, no two of them should whisper to each other, for this would cause anguish to the third. " (Bukhari, Muslim, Musnad Ahmad Thirmidhi Adu Da'ud). In another Hadith, the Holy Prophet said: "Two men should not whisper together, without the leave of the third, for this would cause him anguish. " (Muslim). This objectionable sort of whispering also applies to the cast when two of the three men start talking in a language which is not understood by the third, and even more objectionable would be that during their whispering they should look towards the third person or gesticulate in a manner as to suggest that he is the topic of discussion between them. 

Allah the Exalted teaches His believing servants to avoid the ways of the disbelievers and hypocrites,

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir:
﴿يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ إِذَا تَنَاجَيْتُمْ فَلاَ تَتَنَـجَوْاْ بِالإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَمَعْصِيَةِ الرَّسُولِ﴾
(O you who believe! When you hold secret counsel, do it not for sin and wrongdoing, and disobedience to the Messenger,) meaning, do not hold evil secret counsels like the ignorant disbelieving People of the Scriptures and their allies among the hypocrites, who imitate their ways,

﴿وَتَنَـجَوْاْ بِالْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ الَّذِى إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ﴾
(but do it for Al-Birr and Taqwa; and have Taqwa of Allah unto Whom you shall be gathered.) and He will then inform you of all your deeds and statements; He has counted and recorded them and will justly hold you accountable for them. Allah the Exalted said,

﴿إِنَّمَا النَّجْوَى مِنَ الشَّيْطَـنِ لِيَحْزُنَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَلَيْسَ بِضَآرِّهِمْ شَيْئاً إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ ﴾
(An-Najwa are only from the Shaytan, in order that he may cause grief to the believers. But he cannot harm them in the least, except as Allah permits. And in Allah let the believers put their trust.) Allah states that secret talks, where the believers feel anxious, are

﴿مِنَ الشَّيْطَـنِ لِيَحْزُنَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ﴾
(only from Shaytan, in order that he may cause grief to the believers.) meaning, that those who hold such counsels do so because of the lures of the devil,

﴿لِيَحْزُنَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ﴾
(in order that he may cause grief to the believers.) The devil seeks to bother the believers, even though his plots will not harm the believers, except if Allah wills it. Those who are the subject of evil Najwa, should seek refuge in Allah and put his trust in Him, for none of it will harm them, Allah willing. The Sunnah also forbids the Najwa so that no Muslim is bothered by it. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«إِذَا كُنْتُمْ ثَلَاثَةً فَلَا يَتَنَاجَى اثْنَانِ دُونَ صَاحِبِهِمَا، فَإِنَّ ذلِكَ يُحْزِنُه»
(If you were three, then two of you should not hold a secret counsel in the presence of the third person, because that would cause him to be worried.) This Hadith is collected in the Two Sahihs using a chain of narration that contained Al-A`mash. `Abdur-Razzaq narrated that `Abdullah bin `Umar said that Allah's Messenger said,

«إِذَا كُنْتُمْ ثَلَاثَةً فَلَا يَتَنَاجَى اثْنَانِ دُونَ الثَّالِثِ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ، فَإِنَّ ذلِكَ يُحْزِنُه»
(If you were three, then two of you should not hold a secret counsel in the presence of the third person, except with his permission, because that would cause him to be worried.) Muslim collected this Hadith.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Ordinarily secrecy implies deeds of darkness, something which men have to hide; see the next verse. But there are good deeds which may be concerted and done in secret: e.g., charity, or the prevention of mischief, or the defeat of the dark plots of evil. The determining factor is the motive. Is the man doing some wrong or venting his spite, or trying to disobey a lawful command? Or is he doing some good, which out of modesty or self-renunciation he does not want known, or is he in a righteous cause defeating the machinations of Evil, which may involve great sacrifice of himself.?

اِنَّمَا النَّجۡوٰى مِنَ الشَّيۡطٰنِ لِيَحۡزُنَ الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَلَيۡسَ بِضَآرِّهِمۡ شَيۡـئًـا اِلَّا بِاِذۡنِ اللّٰهِ​ؕ وَعَلَى اللّٰهِ فَلۡيَتَوَكَّلِ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ‏ 
( 10 )   Private conversation is only from Satan that he may grieve those who have believed, but he will not harm them at all except by permission of Allah. And upon Allah let the believers rely.
This has been said so that if a Muslim watches some other people whispering, which causes him the doubt that it is directed against him, he should not feel so offended as to start planning a counter-attack on the basis of mere suspicion, or begin to nourish grief, or malice, or undue concern in his heart. He should understand that no one can harm him except by Allah's leave. This conviction would inspire him with such confidence that he would feel delivered of many a useless worry and imaginary danger and leaving the wicked to themselves would remain engaged in peacefully doing his duty. The believer who has trust in Allah is neither a faint-hearted person, whose peace of mind could be ruined by every doubt and suspicions nor so shallow and mean-minded as would lose his cool when confronted by the evildoers and start behaving in an unjust manner himself.  

Muhammad Asad Explanation: " [All other kinds of] secret confabulations are but of Satan's doing, so that he might cause grief to those who have attained to faith; yet he cannot harm them in the least, unless it be by God's leave: " I.e., in and by itself, the force of evil epitomized in the concept of "Satan" has no power whatever: cf. 14:22 - "I had no power at all over you: I but called you - and you responded unto me. Hence, blame not me, but blame yourselves." (See also Razi's views quoted in my note [31] on the above-mentioned verse.) As regards the problem of God's "letting" or "allowing" a person to go astray (implied in the phrase "unless it be by God's leave"), see note on 14:4 (appended below):
(14:4) " ... but God lets go astray him that wills [to go astray], and guides him that wills [to be guided] - for He alone is almighty, truly wise."
Or: "God lets go astray whomever He wills, and guides whomever He wills". All Qur'anic references to God's "letting man go astray" must be understood against the background of {2:26-27} - "none does He cause to go astray save the iniquitous, who break their bond with God" (regarding which latter expression, see surah {2}, note [19]): that is to say, man's "going astray" is a consequence of his own attitudes and inclinations and not a result of an arbitrary "predestination" in the popular sense of this word (cf. surah {2}, note [7]). In his commentary on the above verse, Zamakhshari stresses this aspect of free choice on the part of man and points out that "God does not cause anyone to go astray except one who, as He knows, will never attain to faith; and He does not guide anyone aright except one who, as He knows, will attain to faith. Hence, the [expression] 'causing to go astray' denotes [God's] leaving [one] alone (takhliyah) and depriving [him] of all favour, whereas [the expression] 'guidance' denotes [His] grant of fulfilment (tawfiq) and favour.... Thus, He does not forsake anyone except those who deserve to be forsaken, and does not bestow His favour upon anyone except those who deserve to be favoured." Commenting on the identical phrase occurring in 16:93 , Zamakhshari states: "[God] forsakes him who, as He knows, will [consciously] choose to deny the truth and will persevere in this [denial]; and...He bestows His favour upon him who, as He knows, will choose faith: which means that He makes the issue dependent on [man's] free choice (al-ikhtiyar), and thus on his deserving either [God's] favour or the withdrawal of [His] aid...and does not make it dependent on compulsion [i.e., predestination], which would rule out [man's] deserving anything of the above."
Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Evil can harm no one who is good, except in so far as (1) there is some question of trial in Allah's Universal Plan, or (2) what appears to be harm may be real good. Nothing happens without Allah's will and permission. And we must always trust Him, and not our cleverness or any adventitious circumstances that draw us the least bit from the path of rectitude.

يٰۤاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِذَا قِيۡلَ لَـكُمۡ تَفَسَّحُوۡا فِى الۡمَجٰلِسِ فَافۡسَحُوۡا يَفۡسَحِ اللّٰهُ لَـكُمۡ​ ۚ وَاِذَا قِيۡلَ انْشُزُوۡا فَانْشُزُوۡا يَرۡفَعِ اللّٰهُ الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مِنۡكُمۡ ۙ وَالَّذِيۡنَ اُوۡتُوا الۡعِلۡمَ دَرَجٰتٍ ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ خَبِيۡرٌ‏ 
( 11 )   O you who have believed, when you are told, "Space yourselves" in assemblies, then make space; Allah will make space for you. And when you are told, "Arise," then arise; Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
" Believers, when you are told: “Make room for one another in your assemblies,” then make room; Allah will bestow amplitude on you."  This has been explained in the Introduction to the Surah above. Some commentators regard this Command as restricted to the assemblies of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace). But as pointed out by Imam Malik, the correct view is that this is a general instruction for the assemblies held by the Muslims. One of the rules of etiquette taught by Allah and His Messenger to the Muslims is that when they arc sitting in an assembly and some more people arrive, they should have the courtesy to accommodate the new-comers and should squeeze in together as far as possible to make room for them to sit. The new-comers also should have the courtesy not to press in forcibly and make others rise up in order to take their place. In the Hadith Hadrat 'Abdullah bin 'Umar and Hadrat Abu Hurairah have reported that the Holy Prophet said: Nobody should make another person rise up so as to take his place, but you should yourself make room for others. " (Musnad Ahmad Bukhari Muslim). And Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Amr bin 'As reports that the Holy Prophet said: "It is not lawful for a person that he should forcibly press in between two men except by their leave." (Musnad Ahmad, Abu Da 'ud, Tirmidhi).

" And when it is said: “Rise up,” then rise up;"  Abdur Rahman bin Zaid bin Aslam has stated that the people used to prolong their sitting in the Holy Prophet's assemblies and tried to sit till the end. This caused him inconvenience and discomfort as well as hindrance in his daily chores. At this Allah sent down this Command, teaching the people the etiquette: `When you are told to rise up froth the assembly, you should rise up and disperse." (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Kathir). 

" Allah will raise to high ranks " That is, "You should not think that if in the Holy Prophet's assembly you had to sit a little farther away from him for the sake of making room for others, you would be reduced in rank or if you were asked to rise up and disperse from the assembly, you were disgraced. The real means of exaltation of ranks is faith and knowledge, and not an opportunity to sit nearest to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) in his assembly and sit the longest. If a person happened to sit nearer to him, it does not mean that he became exalted in rank, for the high ranks belong only to those who have attained to the wealth of knowledge and faith. Likewise, the person who prolonged his sitting with the Holy Prophet only to cause him inconvenience and discomfort, in fact, displayed lack of good manners. His there sitting near him for a long ;time will not exalt him in rank in any way. Far higher and exalted in rank in the sight of Allah is he who attained to taste faith and knowledge and imbibed the morals that should belong to a believer. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: [O YOU who have attained to faith! When you are told, "Make room for one another in your collective life",] Lit., "in the assemblies (al-majalis)". Although it is frequently assumed that this refers to the assemblies held by the Prophet, when his followers would throng around him in their eagerness the better to hear what he had to say, or - more generally - to congregations in mosques, etc., in later times, I am (with Razi) of the opinion that the plural noun majalis is used here in a tropical or metaphorical sense, denoting the totality of men's social life. Taken in this sense, the "making room for one another" implies the mutual providing of opportunities for a decent life to all - and especially to the needy or handicapped - members of the community. See also next note.

" do make room: [and in return,] God will make room for you [in His grace]. " Commenting on this passage, Razi says: "This verse indicates that if one widens the means (abwab) of happiness and well-being of God's creatures ('ibad), God will widen for him all that is good in this life and in the hereafter. Hence, no reasonable person (al-'aqil) could ever restrict [the purport of] this verse to merely making room for one another in an [actual] assembly."

" And whenever you are told, "Rise up [for a good deed]", do rise up; " The interpretation implied in the words "for a good deed" interpolated by me above is analogous to that offered by most of the classical commentators, and most explicitly by Tabari; in the words of Qatadah (ibid.), "Whenever you are called upon to do a good deed, respond to this call."

" [and] God will exalt by [many] degrees those of you who have attained to faith and, [above all,] such as have been vouchsafed [true] knowledge: " Cf. the saying of the Prophet: "The superiority of a learned man ('alim) over a [mere] worshipper ('abid) is like the superiority of the moon on the night when it is full over all other stars" (Ibn Hanbal, Abu Da'ud, Tirmidhi, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah and Darimi).

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir:  Manners for Assemblies - Allah teaches His servants good manners and orders them to be kind to each other when they are sitting together,

﴿يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمْ تَفَسَّحُواْ فِى الْمَجَـلِسِ﴾
(O you who believe! When you are told to make room in the assemblies,)

﴿فَافْسَحُواْ يَفْسَحِ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ﴾
(make room. Allah will give you room.) Indeed, the reward or recompense depends on the type of action. In a Hadith, the Prophet said,

«مَنْ بَنَىىِللهِ مَسْجِدًا بَنَى اللهُ لَهُ بَيْتًا فِي الْجَنَّة»
(Whoever builds a Masjid for Allah, Allah builds for him a house in Paradise.) In another Hadith, the Prophet said,

«وَمَنْ يَسَّرَ عَلى مُعْسِرٍ يَسَّرَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْاخِرَةِ، وَاللهُ فِي عَوْنِ الْعَبْدِ مَا كَانَ الْعَبْدُ فِي عَوْنِ أَخِيه»
(He who relieves a difficulty for a person living in straitened circumstances, then Allah will relieve the difficulties of this life and the Hereafter for him. Surely, Allah helps the servant as long as the servant helps his brother.) There are many similar Hadiths. This is why Allah the Exalted said,

﴿فَافْسَحُواْ يَفْسَحِ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ﴾
(make room. Allah will give you room.) Qatadah said, "This Ayah was revealed about gatherings in places where Allah is being remembered. When someone would come to join in assemblies with the Messenger , they would hesitate to offer them space so that they would not loose their places. Allah the Exalted commanded them to spread out and make room for each other.'' Imam Ahmad and Imam Ash-Shafi`i recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«لَا يُقِمِ الرَّجُلُ الرَّجُلَ مِنْ مَجْلِسِهِ فَيَجْلِسَ فِيهِ، وَلَكِنْ تَفَسَّحُوا وَتَوَسَّعُوا»
(One of you should not remove someone from his place and sit in it, but instead, spread out and make room.) This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,

«لَا يُقِمِ الرَّجُلُ الرَّجُلَ مِنْ مَجْلِسِهِ ثُمَّ يَجْلِسُ فِيهِ، وَلَكِنِ افْسَحُوا يَفْسَحِ اللهُ لَكُم»
(A man should not remove another man from his place and then sit in it. Rather spread out and make room and Allah will make room for you.) Imam Ahmad also recorded this Hadith with the wording:

«لَا يَقُومُ الرَّجُلُ لِلرَّجُلِ مِنْ مَجْلِسِهِ، وَلَكِنِ افْسَحُوا يَفْسَحِ اللهُ لَكُم»
(A man should not leave his place for another man, but rather spread out and make room, and Allah will make room for you).'' It has been reported that Ibn `Abbas, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and others said that:

﴿إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمْ تَفَسَّحُواْ فِى الْمَجَـلِسِ فَافْسَحُواْ يَفْسَحِ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ﴾
(When you are told to make room in the assemblies, make room. Allah will give you room.) means to war assemblies, and that,

﴿وَإِذَا قِيلَ انشُزُواْ فَانشُزُواْ﴾
(And when you are told to rise up, then rise up.) means, "Get up to fight.'' Qatadah said

﴿وَإِذَا قِيلَ انشُزُواْ فَانشُزُواْ﴾
(And when you are told to rise up, then rise up.) means, "When you are called to any type of good, then respond.''

The Virtues of Knowledge and People of Knowledge: Allah's statement,
(يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَـتٍ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ Allah will exalt in degrees those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.) means, do not think that if one of you makes room for his brother, or rises up when he is commanded to do so, that this will diminish his right or honor. Rather, this will increase his virtue and status with Allah, and Allah the Exalted will never make his good deed be lost. To the contrary, He will reward him for it in this life and the Hereafter. Surely, he who humbles himself by and before the command of his Lord, then Allah will elevate his status and make him known by his good behavior. the statement of Allah the Exalted,

( يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَـتٍ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well--Acquainted with what you do.) meaning, surely, Allah is Aware of those who deserve this reward and those who are not worthy of it. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu At-Tufayl `Amir bin Wathilah said that Nafi` bin `Abdul--Harith met `Umar bin Al-Khattab in the area of `Usfan. `Umar appointed Abu At-Tufayl to be the governor of Makkah. `Umar asked him, "Whom did you appoint as your deputy for the valley people (that is, Makkah).'' `Amir said, "I appointed Ibn Abza, one of our freed slaves, as my deputy.'' `Umar said, "You made a freed slave their governor in your absence'' He said, "O Leader of the faithful! He has memorized Allah's Book and has knowledge of regulations of inheritance, along with being a proficient judge.'' 

`Umar said, "Surely, your Prophet has said, «إِنَّ اللهَ يَرْفَعُ بِهذَا الْكِتَابِ قَوْمًا وَيَضَعُ بِهِ آخَرِين» (Verily, Allah elevates some people and degrades others, on account of this Book.)'' Muslim collected this Hadith.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Even when a great man or a Leader comes into an Assembly, we are not to press forward without discipline, as it causes inconvenience to him and detriment to public business. Nor are we to shut out other people who have equal rights to be in the Assembly. We must spread out, for Allah's earth is spacious, and so are our opportunities.

"Rise up" here may imply: 'when the Assembly is dismissed, do not loiter about'.

Faith makes all people equal in the Kingdom of Allah, as regards the essentials of citizenship in the Kingdom. But there is leadership, and rank and degree, joined with greater or less responsibility, and that depends on true knowledge and insight.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This has been said to curb the mischief worked by the Hypocrites in the gatherings of the Prophet (sws) through their whispering, gesturing, veiled references and sarcastic remarks. When people are told on behalf of the Prophet (sws) that they should not sit in groups but sit with spaces between them, then this directive should be obeyed without any reluctance.

Ie., God will create room and space for them in Paradise ahead. However, there are some insinuations in this for this world as well. 

Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: … The apparent sense of these words is that the Almighty will create room for them in Paradise; however, the truth of the matter is that for the person who widens his heart for others, the Almighty widens the hearts of others for him. Every deed of a person whether apparent or hidden, good or evil has a natural impact; its true manifestation will take place in the Hereafter yet its consequences are also seen in this world as well, provided a person has eyes to see them. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 262)
The implication is that if the whole gathering is disbanded or if a person is told individually to change his place or leave the gathering, then he should do so without any objection or hesitation and obey the Prophet (sws) whole-heartedly.

These words are very meaningful. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: … The implication is that the Hypocrites who have infiltrated in the ranks of the Muslims will definitely raise objections against such a directive; they will regard giving space to others by getting up as tantamount to disgracing them. Some of them would even think that they are inferior to others with regard to knowledge and deeds because of which they have been given preference over them; however, men of knowledge and the faithful who whole-heartedly obey this directive will be greatly rewarded in the Hereafter by the Almighty. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 263)

Ie., since He is aware, He will fully reward people.

وَاَطۡهَرُ ​ؕ فَاِنۡ لَّمۡ تَجِدُوۡا فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِيۡمٌ‏ 
( 12 )   O you who have believed, when you [wish to] privately consult the Messenger, present before your consultation a charity. That is better for you and purer. But if you find not [the means] - then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
According to Hadrat 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas, this Command was sent down because the Muslims had started requesting the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) for private counsel much too frequently; and this put him to great inconvenience. At last, Allah willed to relieve His Prophet of this burden.. (Ibn Jarir). Zaid. bin Aslam says that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) would never turn down the request of anyone, who wanted to consult him in private. Whoever desired to have private counsel with him, he would oblige him Often it so happened that the people would ask for private counsel in matters in which there was no real need. This was the time when all of Arabia was engaged in war against Madinah. Sometimes after a person had made such a request, Satan would whisper into the ears of the people the idea that he had brought to the Holy Prophet the news of invasion by such and such tribes, and this would cause rumors to spread in Madinah. On the other hand, this would give the hypocrites an opportunity to say that Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) was a credulous person, who listened to and believed in whatever anyone told him. Because of this Allah imposed the restriction that anyone who wanted to have private counsel with the Prophet should first give away something in charity. (Ibn 'Arabi: Ahkam al-Qur an). Qatadah says that some people talked to the Holy Prophet in private in order to show their superiority to others.

Hadrat 'Ali says when this was enjoined the Holy Prophet asked him, What should be the quantity of the charity? Should it be one dinar? I said: This is more than the people can afford. The Holy Prophet then asked: Should it be half a dinar? I said: This too is too much. Then he asked what it should be. I said . Gold equal to a barley grain. The Holy Prophet remarked: Your advice is for too little! " (Ibn Jarir, Tirmidhi, Musnad Abu ya'la). In another tradition Hadrat `Ali says: "This is a verse of the Qur'an which no one acted upon except me. As soon as it was enjoined, I offered the charity and consulted the Holy Prophet about a problem. " (Ibn Jarir, Hakim, lbn al-Mundhi, `Abd bin Humaid).

Muhammad Asad Explanation: " O YOU who have attained to faith! Whenever you [intend to] consult the Apostle, offer up something in charity on the occasion of your consultation: " This call to an exercise of charity on every occasion (bayna yaday) of one's "consultation" with God's Apostle has been widely misunderstood as applying only to factual consultations with him, i.e., in his lifetime, supposedly with a view to lessening the encroachments on his time by some of his too-eager followers. This misunderstanding, together with the qualified dispensation from the above-mentioned injunction expressed in the next verse, has given rise to the unwarranted contention by some of the commentators that this injunction has been "abrogated". But apart from the fact that the theory of "abrogation" as such is entirely untenable (see 2:106 and the corresponding note [87]), the above verse reveals its true meaning as soon as we realize that the term "the Apostle" (ar-rasul) is used in the Qur'an not merely to designate the unique person of the Prophet Muhammad but also the sum-total of the teachings conveyed by him to the world. This is evident from the many Qur'anic exhortations, "Pay heed unto God and the Apostle", and, more specifically (in 4:59 ), "if you are at variance over any matter, refer it unto God [i.e., the Qur'an] and the Apostle [i.e., his sunnah]", which latter is but meant to elucidate the former.

" this will be for your own good, and more conducive to your [inner] purity. Yet if you are unable to do so " Lit., "if you do not find", sc., anyone on whom to bestow charity at that particular moment, or have - for whatever reason - no opportunity to exercise it.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: In the Kingdom of Allah all instruction or consultation is open and free. But human nature is weak. And people want special instruction or private consultation with the Prophet from one of several motives: (1) they may have, or think they have, a special case, which they are not willing to disclose to their brethren in general; (2) they may have some sense of delicacy or dignity, which can only be satisfied by a private interview; (3) they may even be selfish enough to want to monopolise the Prophet's time. These motives are, in an ascending order, worth discouraging; and yet, considering the weakness of human nature, they cannot be reprobated to the extent of shutting out their victims from chances of improvement. It is therefore recommended that they spend something in charity for the good of their poorer brethren before they indulge in such weaknesses.

The charity is a sort of expiation for their pardonable weakness. Having made some monetary sacrifice for their poorer brethren they could face them with less shame, and the charity would direct their attention to the need for purifying their motives and conduct. At the same time, this special charity is not made obligatory, lest such persons should be shut out altogether from chances of the higher teaching on account of their pardonable foibles.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: After the Muslims were checked earlier, there was a possibility that the Hypocrites would come and try to satisfy the Prophet (sws) by their sweet and clever talk. This restriction was imposed to circumvent this. The implication was that meeting in private should become a serious matter and whoever comes in the presence of the Prophet (sws) should be on guard and also come after doing some hard work.

Since this directive was given to all Muslims, the sincere among them are assured that his would discourage the Hypocrites. Thus it will have a positive influence on their group and make them strong on the obedience of God and His Prophet (sws); hence it is also noble in nature.

Ie., the poor and the indigent were exempt from this directive. They could still meet the Prophet (sws) in private as before and talk to him.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: The Order to give Charity before One speaks to the Prophet in private - Allah commanded His believing servants, when any of them wanted to speak with Allah's Messenger in secret, to give away charity beforehand so that his charity cleanses and purifies him and makes him worthy of having a private counsel with the Prophet . This is why Allah the Exalted said,

﴿ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَطْهَرُ﴾
(That will be better and purer for you.) then He said,

﴿فَإِن لَّمْ تَجِدُواْ﴾
(But if you find not.) meaning, if he is unable to do so due to poverty,

﴿فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ﴾
(then verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) He only commanded those who are financially able to give this type of charity. Allah the Exalted said: 

ءَاَشۡفَقۡتُمۡ اَنۡ تُقَدِّمُوۡا بَيۡنَ يَدَىۡ نَجۡوٰٮكُمۡ صَدَقٰتٍ​ ؕ فَاِذۡ لَمۡ تَفۡعَلُوۡا وَتَابَ اللّٰهُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ فَاَقِيۡمُوا الصَّلٰوةَ وَ اٰتُوا الزَّكٰوةَ وَاَطِيۡعُوا اللّٰهَ وَرَسُوۡلَهٗ​ ؕ وَاللّٰهُ خَبِيۡرٌۢ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ‏ 
( 13 )   Have you feared to present before your consultation charities? Then when you do not and Allah has forgiven you, then [at least] establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
This second Command was sent down some time after the first Command, and it concealed the injunction of giving something in charity. However, there is a difference of opinion as to how long the injunction remained in force. Qatadah says it remained in force for less than a day and then was abrogated. Muqatil bin Hayyan says that it remained in force for ten days; and this is the longest period of its life mentioned in any tradition.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir:
﴿أَءَشْفَقْتُمْ أَن تُقَدِّمُواْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ نَجْوَكُمْ صَدَقَـتٍ﴾
(Are you afraid of spending in charity before your private consultation) meaning, are you afraid that the order to give charity before speaking privately to the Prophet remains in effect forever

﴿فَإِذْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُواْ وَتَابَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلوةَ وَءَاتُواْ الزَّكَوةَ وَأَطِيعُواْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَاللَّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ﴾
(If then you do it not, and Allah has forgiven you, then perform Salah and give Zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah is All-Aware of what you do.) Therefore, Allah abrogated the obligation of giving this charity. It was said that none has implemented this command before except its abrogation, `Ali bin Abi Talib. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas:

﴿فَقَدِّمُواْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ نَجْوَكُمْ صَدَقَةً﴾
(spend something in charity before your private consultation.) "The Muslims kept asking Allah's Messenger questions until it became difficult on him. Allah wanted to lighten the burden from His Prophet , upon him be peace. So when He said this, many Muslims were afraid to pay this charity and stopped asking. Afterwards, Allah sent down this Ayah,

﴿أَءَشْفَقْتُمْ أَن تُقَدِّمُواْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ نَجْوَكُمْ صَدَقَـتٍ فَإِذْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُواْ وَتَابَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلوةَ وَءَاتُواْ الزَّكَوةَ﴾
(Are you afraid of spending in charity before your private consultation If then you do it not, and Allah has forgiven you, then perform Salah and give Zakah) Thus Allah made things easy and lenient for them.'' `Ikrimah and Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented on Allah's statement:

﴿فَقَدِّمُواْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ نَجْوَكُمْ صَدَقَةً﴾
(spend something in charity before your private consultation.) "This was abrogated by the next Ayah:

﴿أَءَشْفَقْتُمْ أَن تُقَدِّمُواْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ نَجْوَكُمْ صَدَقَـتٍ﴾
(Are you afraid of spending in charity before your private consultation...).'' Sa`id bin Abi `Arubah reported from Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan, "People kept questioning Allah's Messenger until they made things difficult for him. Allah provided a way to stop their behavior by this Ayah. One of them would need to speak to Allah's Prophet about a real matter, but could not do so until he gave in charity. This became hard on people and Allah sent down relief from this requirement afterwards,

﴿فَإِن لَّمْ تَجِدُواْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ﴾
(But if you find not, then verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful).'' Ma`mar reported from Qatadah that the Ayah,

﴿إِذَا نَـجَيْتُمُ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدِّمُواْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ نَجْوَكُمْ صَدَقَةً﴾
(When you (want to) consult the Messenger in private, spend something in charity before your private consultation.) was abrogated after being in effect for only one hour of a day. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Mujahid said that `Ali said, "No one except me implemented this Ayah, until it was abrogated,'' and he was reported to have said that it remained in effect for merely an hour.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., the obligatory tax (zakah) which is meant to purify a believer's possessions and income from the taint of selfishness: implying that one's inability to do more by way of charity does not constitute a sin.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Note the plural here, Sadaqat, instead of the singular, Sadaqat in verse 12 above. While people with the foibles described in n. 5350 may be willing to spend "something" (small) in charity for a special consultation occasionally, they may be frightened of spending large sums when their needs for consultation may be numerous. What is to be done then? Are they to be shut out altogether? No. They are asked to be punctilious in the discharge of their normal duties of at least normal regular prayers and regular charity, "if Allah forgives you", i.e., if Allah's Messenger relieves them of further special contributions such as those noted in verse 12. This condition, "if Allah forgives you", provides the safeguard against the abuse of the privilege. The messenger would know in each case what is best for the individual and for the community.

Zakat, was instituted about A.H. 2.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: Ie., they were overtaken by fear because they thought that they must certainly have made a mistake because of which this restriction has been imposed on them by God.

When no one made a request to meet the Prophet (sws) in private, the Hypocrites also did not dared to attempt this. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… This restriction must have been lifted when this mischief had been checked or when the feeling of abstaining from it arose in the people. This purpose cannot be achieved in a few hours. Some time must have necessarily elapsed, and for this reason there must been such time difference between the two directives as is necessary to achieve an objective. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 266)
The implication is that these directives must be strongly adhered to by the Muslims because they will help them strongly adhere to their stance in the wake of the mischief worked by the Hypocrites.

Ruku Two: Verses 14-22
اَلَمۡ تَرَ اِلَى الَّذِيۡنَ تَوَلَّوۡا قَوۡمًا غَضِبَ اللّٰهُ عَلَيۡهِمؕۡ مَّا هُمۡ مِّنۡكُمۡ وَلَا مِنۡهُمۡۙ وَيَحۡلِفُوۡنَ عَلَى الۡكَذِبِ وَهُمۡ يَعۡلَمُوۡنَ‏  
( 14 )   Have you not considered those who make allies of a people with whom Allah has become angry? They are neither of you nor of them, and they swear to untruth while they know [they are lying].
" Do you not see those who took for friends a people whom Allah is wroth with?" The allusion is to the Jews of Madinah whom the hypocrites had taken for friends.

" They neither belong to you nor you to them." That is, they are neither sincere in their connections with the believers, nor with the Jews: their relations with both are based on selfish interests.

"  They swear to a falsehood, and they do so knowingly " "A falsehood": that they have believed in and have accepted Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) as their guide and leader and are faithful to Islam and the Muslims.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Chastising the Hypocrites - Allah chastises the hypocrites for secretly aiding and supporting the disbelievers even though, in reality, they were neither with the disbelievers nor with the Muslims. Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,

﴿مُّذَبْذَبِينَ بَيْنَ ذلِكَ لاَ إِلَى هَـؤُلاءِ وَلاَ إِلَى هَـؤُلاءِ وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلاً ﴾
((They are) swaying between this and that, belonging neither to these nor to those; and he whom Allah sends astray, you will not find for him a way.)(4:143) Allah said here,

﴿أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ تَوَلَّوْاْ قَوْماً غَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم﴾
(Have you not seen those who take as friends a people upon whom is the wrath of Allah) referring to the Jews with whom the hypocrites were allies in secret. Allah said,

﴿مَّا هُم مِّنكُمْ وَلاَ مِنْهُمْ﴾
(They are neither of you nor of them,) meaning, that these hypocrites are neither with the believers, nor with their allies the Jews,

﴿وَيَحْلِفُونَ عَلَى الْكَذِبِ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ﴾
(and they swear to a lie while they know.) meaning, the hypocrites lie when they vow, knowing that they are lying, which is called the vow of Al-Ghamus. We seek refuge with Allah from their ways. When the hypocrites met the believers they said that they believed and when they went to the Messenger, they swore to him by Allah that they were believers. They knew that they were lying in their vow, and they knew that they did not declare their true creed. This is why Allah witnessed here that they lie in their vows and know that they are lying, even though their statement (about the Prophet being Allah's Prophet) is true in essence.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: For the meaning of "God's condemnation", see note on the last verse of Al-Fatihah (appended below) 
According to almost all the commentators, God's "condemnation" (ghadab, lit., "wrath") is synonymous with the evil consequences which man brings upon himself by wilfully rejecting God's guidance and acting contrary to His injunctions. Some commentators (e.g., Zamakhshari) interpret this passage as follows: "...the way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings - those who have not been condemned [by Thee], and who do not go astray": in other words, they regard the last two expressions as defining "those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings". Other commentators (e.g., Baghawi and Ibn Kathir) do not subscribe to this interpretation - which would imply the use of negative definitions - and understand the last verse of the surah in the manner rendered by me above. As regards the two categories of people following a wrong course, some of the greatest Islamic thinkers (e.g., Al-Ghazali or, in recent times, Muhammad 'Abduh) held the view that the people described as having incurred "God's condemnation" - that is, having deprived themselves of His grace - are those who have become fully cognizant of God's message and, having understood it, have rejected it; while by "those who go astray" are meant people whom the truth has either not reached at all, or to whom it has come in so garbled and corrupted a form as to make it difficult for them to recognize it as the truth (see 'Abduh in Manar I, 68 ff.).
In this particular context, the ones "who would be friends with people whom God has condemned" are the half-hearted who - while dimly perceiving the truth of God's existence and self-revelation - are nevertheless unwilling to surrender themselves to this truth for fear of estranging themselves from their God-denying environment and, thus, of losing what they regard as the material advantages of a spiritually uncommitted life: and it is this moral falsehood to which the last sentence of this verse refers. (See also the last verse of surah {60}.)

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: This refers to the Hypocrites of Madinah who pretended to be in Islam but intrigued with the Jews. See references as given in verse 8 first note above.

By this time the Jews of Madinah and the Jewish tribes around had become actively hostile to Islam, and were being sharply called to account for their treachery.

They knew that as Muslims their duty was to refrain from the intrigues of the enemies of Islam and to assist Islam against them.

اَعَدَّ اللّٰهُ لَهُمۡ عَذَابًا شَدِيۡدًا​ ؕ اِنَّهُمۡ سَآءَ مَا كَانُوۡا يَعۡمَلُوۡنَ‏ 
( 15 )   Allah has prepared for them a severe punishment. Indeed, it was evil that they were doing.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Allah the Exalted said,
( أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ عَذَاباً شَدِيداً إِنَّهُمْ سَآءَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ Allah has prepared for them a severe torment. Evil indeed is that which they used to do.) meaning, Allah has prepared a painful torment for the hypocrites on account of their evil deeds, their aid and support of the disbelievers and their deceit and betrayal of the believers. 

The statement of Allah the Exalted:

اِتَّخَذُوۡۤا اَيۡمَانَهُمۡ جُنَّةً فَصَدُّوۡا عَنۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ فَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ مُّهِيۡنٌ‏ 
( 16 )   They took their [false] oaths as a cover, so they averted [people] from the way of Allah, and for them is a humiliating punishment.
That is on the one hand, they swear oaths to their faith and fidelity to make the Muslims believe that they belong to them, and on the other, they sow doubts and suspicions against Islam and the followers of Islam and the Prophet of Islam in the hearts of the people, so that they should turn away from Islam in disgust taking their word to be a true inside picture of Islam, coming from the 'Muslims" themselves.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
( اتَّخَذْواْ أَيْمَـنَهُمْ جُنَّةً فَصَدُّواْ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ They have made their oaths a screen. Thus they hinder (others) from the path of Allah,) meaning, the hypocrites pretended to be believers and concealed disbelief under the shield of their false oaths. Many were unaware of their true stance and were thus deceived by their oaths. Because of this, some people were hindered from the Path of Allah

( فَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ so they shall have a humiliating torment.) meaning, as recompense for belittling the significance of swearing by the Mighty Name of Allah, while lying and concealing betrayal.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: A false man, by swearing that he is true, makes his falsehood all the more heinous. He stands in the way of other people accepting Truth. He gives a handle to the cynics and the sceptics.

لَنۡ تُغۡنِىَ عَنۡهُمۡ اَمۡوَالُهُمۡ وَلَاۤ اَوۡلَادُهُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰهِ شَيۡـئًـا​ ؕ اُولٰٓـئِكَ اَصۡحٰبُ النَّارِ​ ؕ هُمۡ فِيۡهَا خٰلِدُوۡنَ‏
( 17 )   Never will their wealth or their children avail them against Allah at all. Those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: They may arrogantly boast of riches of alliances and followers in man-power. But what are such worldly advantages before the Throne of the Disposer of all events? They must come to utter misery.

يَوۡمَ يَبۡعَثُهُمُ اللّٰهُ جَمِيۡعًا فَيَحۡلِفُوۡنَ لَهٗ كَمَا يَحۡلِفُوۡنَ لَـكُمۡ​ وَيَحۡسَبُوۡنَ اَنَّهُمۡ عَلٰى شَىۡءٍ​ ؕ اَلَاۤ اِنَّهُمۡ هُمُ الۡكٰذِبُوۡنَ‏  
( 18 )   On the Day Allah will resurrect them all, and they will swear to Him as they swear to you and think that they are [standing] on something. Unquestionably, it is they who are the liars.
That is, "Not being content with swearing oaths before the people in this world, they will swear false oaths also before Allah Himself in the Hereafter, for falsehood and fraud has become second nature with them, which they wilt not give up even after death." 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
( يَوْمَ يَبْعَثُهُمُ اللَّهِ جَمِيعاً On the Day when Allah will resurrect them all together;) referring to the Day of Resurrection when He will gather them all together and leave none of them out,

﴿فَيَحْلِفُونَ لَهُ كَمَا يَحْلِفُونَ لَكُمْ وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ عَلَى شَىْءٍ﴾
(then they will swear to Him as they swear to you. And they think that they have something.) meaning, they will swear to Allah the Exalted and Most Honored that they were following the guidance and the correct path, just as they used to swear to the believers in this worldly life. Verily, those who live following on a certain path will most likely die while on it. Thus, they will be resurrected upon their path. The hypocrites will think that their vows will help them with Allah, just as they helped with the people, who were obliged to treat them as they pretended to be, Muslim. This is why Allah said,

﴿وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ عَلَى شَىْءٍ﴾
(And they think that they have something) meaning, on account of swearing to their Lord (that they used to be believers). Allah rebukes this idea of theirs; 

﴿أَلاَ إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْكَـذِبُونَ﴾
(Verily, they are liars!) stressing that they are lying

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Namely, that their preference of worldly benefits to a spiritual commitment is and, therefore, morally "justified". It is to this flagrant self-deception that the next sentence refers.

The definite article al prefixed to the participial noun kadhibun indicates that the people thus characterized have reached the utmost degree of self-deception; hence my interpolation of the adjective "greatest" in consonance with Zamakhshari's interpretation of the above phrase.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: When Judgment is established, and before they the Truth, they may think (as now) that some oaths or excuses will save them. But they have not now-much less will they have then-any footing to stand upon. Falsehood is falsehood, and must perish. They must learn the worthlessness of their falsehood.

اِسۡتَحۡوَذَ عَلَيۡهِمُ الشَّيۡطٰنُ فَاَنۡسٰٮهُمۡ ذِكۡرَ اللّٰهِ​ؕ اُولٰٓـئِكَ حِزۡبُ الشَّيۡطٰنِ​ؕ اَلَاۤ اِنَّ حِزۡبَ الشَّيۡطٰنِ هُمُ الۡخٰسِرُوۡنَ‏ 
( 19 )   Satan has overcome them and made them forget the remembrance of Allah. Those are the party of Satan. Unquestionably, the party of Satan - they will be the losers.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: (Verily, they are liars!) stressing that they are lying, Allah then said;

( اسْتَحْوَذَ عَلَيْهِمُ الشَّيْطَـنُ فَأَنسَـهُمْ ذِكْرَ اللَّهِ The Shaytan has overpowered them. So he has made them forget the remembrance of Allah.) meaning, Shaytan has taken over their hearts to the point that he made them forget Allah the Exalted and Most Honored. This is what the devil does to those whom he controls. Abu Dawud recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,

«مَا مِنْ ثَلَاثَةٍ فِي قَرْيَةٍ وَلَا بَدْوٍ، لَا تُقَامُ فِيهِمُ الصَّلَاةُ إِلَّا قَدِ اسْتَحْوَذَ عَلَيْهِمُ الشَّيْطَانُ، فَعَلَيْكَ بِالْجَمَاعَةِ، فَإِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُ الذِّئْبُ الْقَاصِيَة»
(Any three in a village or desert among whom the Salah is not called for, will have the Shaytan control them. Therefore, adhere to the Jama`ah, for the wolf eats from the strayed sheep.) Za'idah added that As-Sa'ib said that Jama`ah, refers to, "Praying in congregation.'' Allah the Exalted said,

﴿أُوْلَـئِكَ حِزْبُ الشَّيْطَـنِ﴾
(They are the party of Shaytan.) referring to those who are controlled by the devil and, as a result, forgot the remembrance of Allah,

﴿أَلاَ إِنَّ حِزْبَ الشَّيْطَـنِ هُمُ الخَـسِرُونَ﴾
(Verily, it is the party of Shaytan that will be the losers!)

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: Man's original nature as created by Allah is good (xxx. 30, and n. 3541). It is because man, in spite of the warnings he has received, allows Evil to get the mastery over him, that man forgets Allah and the divine qualities which Allah give him. The result of the perversion is that man becomes a partisan of Evil, and as such dooms himself to perdition.

اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ يُحَآدُّوۡنَ اللّٰهَ وَرَسُوۡلَهٗۤ اُولٰٓـئِكَ فِى الۡاَذَلِّيۡنَ‏  
( 20 )   Indeed, the ones who oppose Allah and His Messenger - those will be among the most humbled.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: The Opponents of Allah and His Messenger are the Losers - Allah and His Messenger shall prevail Allah the Exalted asserts that the rebellious and stubborn disbelievers who defy Him and His Messenger , those who do not embrace the religion and stay away from Truth, are in one area, while the guidance is in another area,

( أُوْلَـئِكَ فِى الاٌّذَلِّينَ They will be among those most humiliated.) they are among the miserable, the cast out, banished from goodness; they are the humiliated ones in this life and the Hereafter

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: There are various degrees of humiliation in the final state in the next world. But the worst is the humiliation of being numbered among those who ignominiously attempted to resist the Irresistible.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This is a statement of the established practice of God ordained from the very beginning of time: the rift between truth and falsehood in the times of messengers of God reaches its culmination in dominance for God and His messengers, and the devils who try to fight with them with their groups are necessarily humbled and humiliated.

كَتَبَ اللّٰهُ لَاَغۡلِبَنَّ اَنَا وَرُسُلِىۡ​ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ قَوِىٌّ عَزِيۡزٌ‏  
( 21 )   Allah has written, "I will surely overcome, I and My messengers." Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.
36For explanation, see verse 173 of Surah 37As-Saaffat (reproduced herein under). 
(37:173) and that Our hosts shall triumph.
Allah’s army: implies the believers who obey Allah’s Messenger and side with him. This also includes those unseen powers by which Allah helps the followers of the truth.
This help and domination does not necessarily mean that in every age every Prophet of Allah and his followers must attain political dominance, but this dominance has many forms, one of which is political rule as well. Wherever the Prophets of Allah did not attain any such dominance, they did establish their moral superiority even in those places. The nations which did not accept their message and adopted a way contrary to their teachings were ultimately doomed to destruction. Whatever philosophies of error and misguidance the people invented and whatever corrupt and evil practices of life they enforced died out ultimately after they had their sway for some time. But the truths preached by the Prophets of Allah for thousands of years have been unalterable before as they are unalterable today. No one has been able to disprove them in any way.

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: Allah said:

( كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لاّغْلِبَنَّ أَنَاْ وَرُسُلِى (Allah has decreed: "Verily, I and My Messengers shall be the victorious.'') meaning, He has decreed, written in the First Book, and decided in the decree that He has willed -- which can never be resisted, changed or prevented -- that final victory is for Him, His Book, His Messengers and the faithful believers, in this life and the Hereafter:

( إِنَّ الْعَـقِبَةَ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ (Surely, the (good) end is for those who have Taqwa.)(11:49),

( إِنَّا لَنَنصُرُ رُسُلَنَا وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ يَقُومُ الاٌّشْهَـدُ - يَوْمَ لاَ يَنفَعُ الظَّـلِمِينَ مَعْذِرَتُهُمْ وَلَهُمُ الْلَّعْنَةُ وَلَهُمْ سُوءُ الدَّارِ Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe in the life of this world and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth, the Day when their excuses will be of no profit to the wrongdoers. Theirs will be the curse, and theirs will be the evil abode.)(40:51-52) 

Allah said here: (كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لاّغْلِبَنَّ أَنَاْ وَرُسُلِى إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌ  Allah has decreed: "Verily, I and My Messengers shall be the victorious.'' Verily, Allah is All-Powerful, Almighty.) meaning, the Almighty, All-Powerful has decreed that He shall prevail over His enemies. Indeed, this is the final judgement and a matter ordained; the final triumph and victory are for the believers in this life and the Hereafter 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: 'Aziz means Exalted in power, rank, dignity; Incomparable; Full of might and majesty; Able to enforce His Will. The last signification is the one that predominates here.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: This is the argument of the claim just made. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… It is stated that God is not a weak being: He is powerful and mighty. When He sends His messenger to His people, then that messenger is His envoy who comes to people to inform them of the directives of their real king. If people rise to obey the directives of their real master, they are granted sovereignty by Him in the land and are blessed with His favours. On the other hand, if they take to opposing God, they are regarded as rebels, and once the truth is conclusively communicated to them, the Almighty cleanses the earth of them.(Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 273)

For detail meaning of the two attributes of Allah mentioned in this verse, please vsit our links below that are part of 99 Attributes of Allah:

  • Al 'Aziz (العزيز) - The Mighty, The Eminent
  • Al-Qawiyy (القوى) - The Inexhaustible Strength 
لَا تَجِدُ قَوۡمًا يُّؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰهِ وَالۡيَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ يُوَآدُّوۡنَ مَنۡ حَآدَّ اللّٰهَ وَرَسُوۡلَهٗ وَلَوۡ كَانُوۡۤا اٰبَآءَهُمۡ اَوۡ اَبۡنَآءَهُمۡ اَوۡ اِخۡوَانَهُمۡ اَوۡ عَشِيۡرَتَهُمۡ​ؕ اُولٰٓـئِكَ كَتَبَ فِىۡ قُلُوۡبِهِمُ الۡاِيۡمَانَ وَاَيَّدَهُمۡ بِرُوۡحٍ مِّنۡهُ​ ؕ وَيُدۡخِلُهُمۡ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِىۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِهَا الۡاَنۡهٰرُ خٰلِدِيۡنَ فِيۡهَا​ ؕ رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَنۡهُمۡ وَرَضُوۡا عَنۡهُ​ ؕ اُولٰٓـئِكَ حِزۡبُ اللّٰهِ​ ؕ اَلَاۤ اِنَّ حِزۡبَ اللّٰهِ هُمُ الۡمُفۡلِحُوۡنَ‏
( 22 )   You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred. Those - He has decreed within their hearts faith and supported them with spirit from Him. And We will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him - those are the party of Allah. Unquestionably, the party of Allah - they are the successful.
Two things have been stated in this verse: first, a matter of principle, and the second, a statement of fact.
The matter of principle is that faith in the true Religion and love of the opponents of the Religion are contradictory things, which cannot conceivably co-exist in one and the same place. It is absolutely impossible that love of the Faith and love of the enemies of Allah and His Messenger should co-exist in one and the same heart, just as a person's love for himself and his love for his enemy cannot co-exist in his heart simultaneously This is as if to say: 'lf you sec a person who professes the Faith as well as keeps relations of love with the opponents of Islam, you should never be involved in the misunderstanding that he might perhaps be true in his profession in spite of his this attitude and conduct. Likewise, the people who have established relations with Islam and the opponents of Islam simultaneously, should themselves also consider their position well and see what they actually are. Are they believers or hypocrites? And what actually they want to be to they want to live as believers or as hypocrites? If they have any righteousness left in them. and any feeling that from the. moral viewpoint hypocrisy is the meanest and most abject attitude for man, they should give up their attempt to ride in two boats simultaneously. Faith wants them to be decisive. If they want to remain believers, they should sever and sacrifice all those connections that clash with their relationship with Islam; if they hold another relation dearer to themselves than the relationship with Islam, then they should better give up their false profession of Islam.
Here, Allah has not just stated the principle but has also presented the actual fact as a model before those who professed the Faith. The true believers had in actual fact severed all connections that clashed with their relationship with Allah's Religion. This had been witnessed by entire Arabia in the' battles of Badr and Uhud. The emigrants from Makkah had fought against their own tribe and closest kinsmen only for the sake of Allah and His Religion. Hadrat Abu `Ubaidah killed his father, 'Abdullah bin al-jarrah. Hadrat Mus`ab bin `Umair killed his brother, 'Ubaid bin `Umair; Hadrat Umar killed his maternal uncle, 'As bin Hisham bin Mughirah; Hadrat 'Abu Bakr became ready to fight his son 'Abdur Rahman Hadrat 'Ali, Hadrat Hamzah and Hadrat 'Ubaidah bin al-Harith killed 'Utbah, Shaibah and Walid bin `Utbah, who were their close kinsmen. About the prisoners of war captured at Badr, Hadrat 'Umar gave the opinion that they should all be put to the sword, and proposed that a relative should kill a relative. In the same battle of Badr when Hadrat Mus'ab bin 'Umair saw that an Ansari Muslim had captured his real brother, Abu 'Aziz bin `Umair, and was tying him, he shouted out to him, saying: "Tie him tight: his mother is a rich woman. She will pay you a large ransom." Abu 'Aziz said: `You are a brother and say this?' Hadrat Mus'ab replied: "Not you, but this Ansari Muslim is my brother now, who has captured you. " In the same battle of Badr Abul ' As. , the son-in-law of the Holy Prophet (upon whom he Allah's peace), was taken a prisoner and was shown no special favor any different from the other prisoners on account of his relationship with the Holy Prophet. Thus, the world was made a witness to the actual tact and shown the character of the sincere Muslims and their profound relationship with Allah and His Messenger.
Dailami has related this invocation of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) on the authority of Hadrat Mu'adh: "Alla-humma la taj al li-fajir-in (and according to another tradition, il-fasiq-in) 'alayya yadan wa la ni mata fa -yuwadda-hu qalbi fa-inni wajad-tu fima uhitu ilayya la tajidu qaum-an yu minuna billahi wal-yaum il-akhir-i yuwaaddiuaa man haadd-Allahs wa Rasulahu: "O God, let not the wicked (and according to another tradition, the sinful) do me a favor because of which I may have love for him in my heart, for in the Revelation sent down by You, I have also found this: 'You will never find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day loving those who oppose Allah and His Messenger'."

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir: The Believers do not befriend the Disbelievers - Allah the Exalted said,
( لاَّ تَجِدُ قَوْماً يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ يُوَآدُّونَ مَنْ حَآدَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَوْ كَانُواْ ءَابَآءَهُمْ أَوْ أَبْنَآءَهُمْ أَوْ إِخْوَنَهُمْ أَوْ عَشِيرَتَهُمْ You will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred.) Meaning, do not befriend the deniers, even if they are among the closest relatives. Allah said,

( لاَّ يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَىْءٍ إِلاَ أَن تَتَّقُواْ مِنْهُمْ تُقَـةً وَيُحَذِّرْكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ Let not the believers take the disbelievers as 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.) (3:28), and,

( قُلْ إِن كَانَ ءَابَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَآؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَنُكُمْ وَأَزْوَجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَلٌ اقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَـرَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَـكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَآ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُمْ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَبَّصُواْ حَتَّى يَأْتِىَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الْفَـسِقِينَ  Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His cause, then wait until Allah brings about His decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are the rebellious.) [9:24] 

Sa`id bin `Abdul-`Aziz and others said that this Ayah, ( لاَّ تَجِدُ قَوْماً يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ You will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day...) was revealed in the case of Abu `Ubaydah `Amir bin `Abdullah bin Al-Jarrah when he killed his disbelieving father, during the battle of Badr. This is why when `Umar bin Al-Khattab placed the matter of Khilafah in the consultation of six men after him, he said; "If Abu `Ubaydah were alive, I would have appointed him the Khalifah.'' 
It was also said that the Ayah, ( وَلَوْ كَانُواْ ءَابَآءَهُمْ (even though they were their fathers), was revealed in the case of Abu `Ubaydah, when he killed his father during the battle of Badr, while the Ayah,
( أَوْ أَبْنَآءَهُمْ ((or their sons) was revealed in the case of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq when he intended to kill his (disbelieving) son, `Abdur-Rahman, (during Badr), 
while the Ayah, ( أَوْ إِخْوَنَهُمْ (or their brothers) was revealed about the case of Mus`ab bin `Umayr, who killed his brother, `Ubayd bin `Umayr, during Badr, and that the Ayah,
( أَوْ عَشِيرَتَهُمْ ((or their kindred) was revealed about the case of `Umar, who killed one of his relatives during Badr, and also that this Ayah was revealed in the case of Hamzah, `Ali and Ubaydah bin Al-Harith. They killed their close relatives `Utbah, Shaybah and Al-Walid bin `Utbah that day. Allah knows best. A similar matter is when Allah's Messenger consulted with his Companions about what should be done with the captives of Badr. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq thought that they should accept ransom for them so the Muslims could use the money to strengthen themselves. He mentioned the fact that the captured were the cousins and the kindred, and that they might embrace Islam later on, by Allah's help. `Umar said, "But I have a different opinion, O Allah's Messenger! Let me kill so-and-so, my relative, and let `Ali kill `Aqil (`Ali's brother), and so-and-so kill so-and-so. Let us make it known to Allah that we have no mercy in our hearts for the idolators.'' 
Allah said, ( أُوْلَـئِكَ كَتَبَ فِى قُلُوبِهِمُ الإِيمَـنَ وَأَيَّدَهُمْ بِرُوحٍ مِّنْهُ For such He has written faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Ruh from Himself.) means, those who have the quality of not befriending those who oppose Allah and His Messenger , even if they are their fathers or brothers, are those whom Allah has decreed faith, meaning, happiness, in their hearts and made faith dear to their hearts and happiness reside therein. 

As-Suddi said that the Ayah, ( كَتَبَ فِى قُلُوبِهِمُ الإِيمَـنَ He has written faith in their hearts,) means, "He has placed faith in their hearts.'' 

Ibn `Abbas said that, ( وَأَيَّدَهُمْ بِرُوحٍ مِّنْهُ and strengthened them with Ruh from Himself.) means, "He gave them strengths.'' 

Allah's statement, ( وَيُدْخِلُهُمْ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا رَضِىَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُواْ عَنْهُ And He will admit them to Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein. Allah is well pleased with them, and they are well pleased with Him.) was explained several times before. 

Allah's statement, ( رِّضِىَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُواْ عَنْهُ Allah is well pleased with them, and they are well pleased with Him.) contains a beautiful secret. When the believers became enraged against their relatives and kindred in Allah's cause, He compensated them by being pleased with them and making them pleased with Him from what He has granted them of eternal delight, ultimate victory and encompassing favor.

Allah's statement, ( أُوْلَـئِكَ حِزْبُ اللَّهِ أَلاَ إِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ They are the party of Allah. Verily, the party of Allah will be the successful.) indicates that they are the party of Allah, meaning, His servants who are worthy of earning His honor. 

Allah's statement, ( أَلاَ إِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ Verily, the party of Allah will be the successful.) asserts their success, happiness and triumph in this life and the Hereafter, in contrast to those, who are the party of the devil,

( أَلاَ إِنَّ حِزْبَ الشَّيْطَـنِ هُمُ الخَـسِرُونَ Verily, the party of Shaytan will be the losers!) This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Mujadilah. All praise and thanks are due to Allah.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: The operative phrase of this passage is contained in the words, "anyone who contends against (man hadda) God and His Apostle": i.e., anyone who is engaged in active hostility against God's message and the person or the teachings of His Apostle. As regards relations with non-believers who are not actively hostile to Islam, the Qur'an explicitly permits and implicitly ordains in many places (e.g., in {60:8-9}) kindness and friendliness towards them.

For my rendering of ruh as "inspiration" or, occasionally, as "divine inspiration", see note [2] on 16:2 . As pointed out by Zamakhshari, the pronominal suffix in minhu may relate either to God - as in my rendering - or to the believers' faith, in which latter case the phrase could be rendered as "strengthened with inspiration [flowing] therefrom". 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: If any one believes in Allah and His goodness and justice, and in the Hereafter, in which all true values will be restored he will never love evil or wrong-doing or rebellion against Allah, even if these things are found in his nearest kith and kin.

Faith in Allah is indelibly written on the tablets of their hearts and they can never be false to Allah.

Cf. ii. 87 and 253, where it is said that Allah strengthened the Prophet Jesus with the holy spirit. Here we learn that all good and righteous men are strengthened by Allah. If anything, the phrase used here is stronger: "a spirit from Himself". Whenever any one offers his heart in faith and purity to Allah, Allah accepts it, engraves that Faith on the seeker's heart, and further fortifies him with his help which we can no more define adequately than we can define in human language the nature and attributes of Allah.

Again we have the doctrine of Allah's Good Pleasure as the highest goal of man, the spiritual heaven which he achieves by a life of purity and faith. He not only attains Allah's Good Pleasure as the crown of his felicity, but his own nature is so far transformed to the pattern of Allah's original creation that his own good pleasure is in nothing but in Allah's Good Pleasure. The mutual good pleasure shows the heights to which man can attain.

This is in antithesis to the Party of the Satan, mentioned in verse 19 above. The Party of Evil will perish, but while it has its run in the scheme of the present world, the Party of Truth and Reality may be rightly called the Party of Allah, even though all Creation is Allah's in another sense.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The implication is that true faith in the religion of truth and loving the enemies of religion are contradictory to one another. It cannot be even thought of that they can simultaneously exist in a person. No person has two hearts in his chest so that he can gather the love of such contradictory and mutually opposing things in himself.

It is this very help through whose strength a person gets ready to break all ties and relations to support and back the truth even though this is no easy an undertaking. 
Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:It was as a result of this spiritual blessing that in the battle of Uhud, Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah (rta) raised his sword against his father ‘Abdullah al-Jarrah, Abu Bakr (rta) challenged his son in the battle of Badr, Mus‘ab ibn ‘Umayr killed his brother ‘Ubayd ibn ‘Umayr, ‘Umar (rta) killed his maternal uncle ‘As ibn Hisham, and ‘Ali (rta), Hamzah (rta) and Abu ‘Ubaydah (rta) slew ‘Utbah, Shaybah and Walid ibn ‘Utbah respectively. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 8, 275)
This is a mention of the sincere people who professed faith in the Prophet (sws). Since they were deputed from God and as such were in the capacity of his army that became a means of punishment that necessarily visits the rejecters of a messenger, they are called the “Faction of God” (حِزۡبَ اللّٰہِ) in contrast to the “Faction of Satan” (حِزۡبَ الشَّیۡطٰنِ).

You may now like to listen to explanation of the sürah by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:

Please refer to our Reference Page "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, explanation and exegesis of all other chapters of the Qur'an. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Reading the Holy Quran 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 Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation and explanation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy 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 (links to Reference Pages given below):  
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Tafsir Nouman Ali Khan
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given below. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites:

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 7 | 8

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