SURAH AL TAUBAH AYAH 51 To 80
(51)قُلْ هَلْ تَتَربَّصُونَ بِنَا إِلاَّ إِحْدَى الْحُسْنَيَيْنِ وَنَحْنُ نَتَرَبَّصُ بِكُمْ أَنْ يُصِيبَكُمُ اللَّهُ بِعَذَابٍ مِنْ عِنْدِهِ أَوْ بِأَيْدِينَا فَتَرَبَّصُوا إِنَّا مَعَكُمْ مُتَرَبِّصُونَ (التوبة: 52).
قُلْ أَنفِقُوا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْهًا لَنْ يُتَقَبَّلَ مِنْكُمْ إِنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ قَوْمًا فَاسِقِينَ (التوبة: 53).
وَمَا مَنَعَهُمْ أَنْ تُقْبَلَ مِنْهُمْ نَفَقَاتُهُمْ إِلاَّ أَنَّهُمْ كَفَرُوا بِاللَّهِ وَبِرَسُولِهِ وَلاَ يَأْتُونَ الصَّلاَةَ إِلاَّ وَهُمْ كُسَالَى وَلاَ يُنفِقُونَ إِلاَّ وَهُمْ كَارِهُونَ (التوبة: 54).
فَلاَ تُعْجِبْكَ أَمْوَالُهُمْ وَلاَ أَوْلاَدُهُمْ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ بِهَا فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَتَزْهَقَ أَنفُسُهُمْ وَهُمْ كَافِرُونَ (التوبة: 55).
وَيَحْلِفُونَ بِاللَّهِ إِنَّهُمْ لَمِنْكُمْ وَمَا هُمْ مِنْكُمْ وَلَكِنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ يَفْرَقُونَ (التوبة: 56).
لَوْ يَجِدُونَ مَلْجَأً أَوْ مَغَارَاتٍ أَوْ مُدَّخَلاً لَوَلَّوْا إِلَيْهِ وَهُمْ يَجْمَحُونَ (التوبة: 57).
وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَلْمِزُكَ فِي الصَّدَقَاتِ فَإِنْ أُعْطُوا مِنْهَا رَضُوا وَإِنْ لَمْ يُعْطَوْا مِنْهَا إِذَا هُمْ يَسْخَطُونَ (التوبة: 58).
وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ رَضُوا مَا آتَاهُمْ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَقَالُوا حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ سَيُؤْتِينَا اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ وَرَسُولُهُ إِنَّا إِلَى اللَّهِ رَاغِبُونَ (التوبة: 59).
إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَاِبْنِ السَّبِيلِ فَرِيضَةً مِنْ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ (التوبة: 60).
وَمِنْهُمُ الَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ النَّبِيَّ وَيَقُولُونَ هُوَ أُذُنٌ قُلْ أُذُنُ خَيْرٍ لَكُمْ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَيُؤْمِنُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ (التوبة: 61).
يَحْلِفُونَ بِاللَّهِ لَكُمْ لِيُرْضُوكُمْ وَاللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَحَقُّ أَنْ يُرْضُوهُ إِنْ كَانُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ (التوبة: 62).
أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُوا أَنَّهُ مَنْ يُحَادِدْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَأَنَّ لَهُ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدًا فِيهَا ذَلِكَ الْخِزْيُ الْعَظِيمُ (التوبة: 63).
يَحْذَرُ الْمُنَافِقُونَ أَنْ تُنَزَّلَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُورَةٌ تُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ قُلْ اسْتَهْزِئُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ مُخْرِجٌ مَا تَحْذَرُونَ (التوبة: 64).
وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ قُلْ أَبِاللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ (التوبة: 65).
لاَ تَعْتَذِرُوا قَدْ كَفَرْتُمْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ إِنْ نَعْفُ عَنْ طَائِفَةٍ مِنْكُمْ نُعَذِّبْ طَائِفَةً بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ (التوبة: 66).
الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ مِنْ بَعْضٍ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمُنْكَرِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنْ الْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَقْبِضُونَ أَيْدِيَهُمْ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَنَسِيَهُمْ إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ (التوبة: 67).
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتِ وَالْكُفَّارَ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا هِيَ حَسْبُهُمْ وَلَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُقِيمٌ (التوبة: 68).
كَالَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ كَانُوا أَشَدَّ مِنْكُمْ قُوَّةً وَأَكْثَرَ أَمْوَالاً وَأَوْلاَدًا فَاسْتَمْتَعُوا بِخَلاَقِهِمْ فَاسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِخَلاَقِكُمْ كَمَا اسْتَمْتَعَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ بِخَلاَقِهِمْ وَخُضْتُمْ كَالَّذِي خَاضُوا أُوْلَئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمْ الْخَاسِرُونَ (التوبة: 69).
أَلَمْ يَأْتِهِمْ نَبَأُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ وَعَادٍ وَثَمُودَ وَقَوْمِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَأَصْحَابِ مَدْيَنَ وَالْمُؤْتَفِكَاتِ أَتَتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُمْ بِالبَيِّنَاتِ فَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيَظْلِمَهُمْ وَلَكِنْ كَانُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ (التوبة: 70).
وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنْ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاَةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ أُوْلَئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ اللَّهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ (التوبة: 71).
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَمَسَاكِنَ طَيِّبَةً فِي جَنَّاتِ عَدْنٍ وَرِضْوَانٌ مِنْ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ (التوبة: 72).
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ جَاهِدِ الْكُفَّارَ وَالْمُنَافِقِينَ وَاغْلُظْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَمَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ (التوبة: 73).
يَحْلِفُونَ بِاللَّهِ مَا قَالُوا وَلَقَدْ قَالُوا كَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ وَكَفَرُوا بَعْدَ إِسْلاَمِهِمْ وَهَمُّوا بِمَا لَمْ يَنَالُوا وَمَا نَقَمُوا إِلاَّ أَنْ أَغْنَاهُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ فَإِنْ يَتُوبُوا يَكُنْ خَيْرًا لَهُمْ وَإِنْ يَتَوَلَّوْا يُعَذِّبْهُمُ اللَّهُ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَمَا لَهُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ مِنْ وَلِيٍّ وَلاَ نَصِيرٍ (التوبة: 74).
وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ عَاهَدَ اللَّهَ لَئِنْ آتَانَا مِنْ فَضْلِهِ لَنَصَّدَّقَنَّ وَلَنَكُونَنَّ مِنْ الصَّالِحِينَ (التوبة: 75).
فَلَمَّا آتَاهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ بَخِلُوا بِهِ وَتَوَلَّوا وَهُمْ مُعْرِضُونَ (التوبة: 76).
فَأَعْقَبَهُمْ نِفَاقًا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ إِلَى يَوْمِ يَلْقَوْنَهُ بِمَا أَخْلَفُوا اللَّهَ مَا وَعَدُوهُ وَبِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ (التوبة: 77).
أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ سِرَّهُمْ وَنَجْوَاهُمْ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ (التوبة: 78).
الَّذِينَ يَلْمِزُونَ الْمُطَّوِّعِينَ مِنْ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فِي الصَّدَقَاتِ وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يَجِدُونَ إِلاَّ جُهْدَهُمْ فَيَسْخَرُونَ مِنْهُمْ سَخِرَ اللَّهُ مِنْهُمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ (التوبة: 79).
اسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ أَوْ لاَ تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ إِنْ تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ سَبْعِينَ مَرَّةً فَلَنْ يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَفَرُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ (التوبة: 80)
[9:51] Say: “Nothing will befall us except what Allah has decreed for us; He is our Protector.” Let the believers, then, put all their trust in Allah.
51. In this passage a demarcation has been made between the attitudes of a man of the world and of a man of God. Whatever the man of the world does, he does it to please his own self.
He exults if he attains some worldly ends but feels utterly dejected if he fails to attain them. Besides, he depends entirely on his material resources for his success and feels encouraged if these are favorable, but loses heart if these are unfavorable.
In contrast to the man of the world, whatever the man of God does, he does it to please Him and trusts in Him and not in his own powers nor in material resources. Therefore he is neither exultant over his success in the cause of Allah, nor loses heart by failure, for he believes that it is the will of God that is working in both the cases. Therefore he is neither disheartened by disasters nor is filled with conceit by successes. This is because he believes that both prosperity and adversity are from Allah and are nothing but a trial from Him.
Therefore his only worry is to do his best to come out successful in His test. Besides, as there are no worldly ends before him, he does not measure his success or failure by the achievement or failure of his ends. On the other hand, the only object before him is to sacrifice his life and wealth in the Way of Allah, and he measures the success or failure of his efforts by the standard he achieves in the performance of this duty. Therefore if he is satisfied that he has done his best to perform this duty, he believes that he has come out successful by the grace of God, though he might not have been able to accomplish anything from the worldly point of view; for he believes that his Allah in whose cause he has expended his life and wealth will not let go waste the reward of his efforts. As he does not depend on the material resources only, he is neither grieved if they are unfavorable, nor
feels exultant when these are favorable. His entire trust is in God who is the controller of all the resources; therefore he goes on doing his duty even under the most unfavorable circumstances with the same courage and perseverance that is shown by the worldly people unfavorable circumstances alone. That is why Allah asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) to say to the hypocrites, “There is a basic difference between you and us in regard to the conduct of affairs. We believe that both the good and the bad are from Allah: therefore the
apparent result does not make us happy or sad. Moreover, we depend on Allah in our affairs and you depend on material resources: so we are content and happy in all circumstances.”
[9:52] Tell them: “What you await to befall upon us is nothing but one of the two good things 52 And what we await for you is that Allah visit you with chastisement from Him or chastise you at our hands. So continue waiting; we too shall wait with you.”
52. This is the answer to those who, as usual, were not taking any part in the conflict between Islam and kufr, but were very wisely watching it from a distance to see whether the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions would return victorious from Tabuk or would be totally destroyed by the powerful Roman army. They were told that either of the two results, they were awaiting, would be good for the Muslims. For it was obvious that it would be a good thing if they won victory. But even if they were killed in the Way of Allah, it would be a success from their point of view, though not in the sight of the world, as the
Muslims’ standard of measurement is different from that of the hypocrites and the like. A believer considers it his success if he sacrifices his life and wealth in the Way of Allah, irrespective of whether he succeeds in conquering some country, or in establishing a government or not. According to him the criterion of success or failure is whether he has extended or not all the powers of his body and soul, his head and his heart to elevate the word of Allah, though from the worldly point of view the result of his efforts might be nothing at all.
[9:53] Tell them: “Whether you spend your money willingly or unwillingly, it shall not find acceptance (with Allah) for you are an evil-doing folk.”
53. This Ayah is a sharp retort to those hypocrites who desired exemption froth Jihad but, at the same time, wanted to make some monetary contributions in order to avoid the exposure of their hypocrisy, They said, “Please grant us leave from military service because we are unable to do this, but we are ready to make monetary contributions towards it.” To this Allah retorted, saying, “Whatever you may contribute, it shall not be accepted.”
[9:54] Nothing prevents that their expending’s be accepted except that they disbelieve in Allah and His Messenger, and whenever they come to the Prayer they do so lazily, and whenever they spend they do so grudgingly.
[9:55] Let neither their riches nor their children excite your admiration. Allah only wants to chastise them through these things in the present life,4 and to cause them to die while they are unbelievers.
54. “Allah only intends to punish them through them in the life of the world”, because of their great love for their children and wealth as these misled them to adopt the hypocritical attitude which, in turn, degraded them in the Muslim society. Consequently, in the Islamic
system they would lose the respect, tire reputation and the prestige they enjoyed in the preislamic society. On the contrary, even the Muslim slaves and the sons of slaves, the farmers and the shepherds, who proved the sincerity of their faith would win honor in the new
system, and the big hereditary chiefs, who refrained from this because of their love of the world, would lose their fame, honor and prestige.
In order to illustrate the above, we cite an incident that happened during the caliphate of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). Once some big chiefs of the Quraish including Suhail-bin-Amr and Harith-bin-Hisham, went to see caliph Umar and took their seats near him. Soon after this some humble people from among the Muhajirin and the Ansar came there. The caliph asked those chiefs to make room for them, and seated these humble people near his own seat. This went on for some time till these chiefs reached the remotest corner in the assembly. When they came out, Harith-bin-Hisham said to his companions, “You have noticed what a humiliating treatment has been meted out to us today!” Suhail-bin-Amr replied, “It is no fault of Umar but it is our own fault. When we were invited to Islam, we turned away from it, but these humble people accepted it and made sacrifices for it.” Then both of them returned to the meeting and said, “Today we have noticed your treatment and we feel that it is all due to our own shortcomings, but tell us if there is a way for us to make atonements for our past failures”. The caliph did not give any reply but merely pointed towards the Roman territory, which meant that the only way of regaining their prestige was to expend their lives and wealth in doing Jihad there.
55. “Their souls shall pass away while they are disbelievers” because of their hypocrisy, which would not let them attain sincere faith till they die. Thus after ruining their moral and spiritual lives in this world, they would leave it in the state of unbelief, which will ruin their lives in the Hereafter in a far worse way.
[9:56] They swear by Allah that they are part of you whereas they are certainly not part of you. They are merely a people who dread you.
[9:57] If they could find any shelter or any cavern, or any retreat, they would turn around and rush headlong into it.56
56. This was the condition of the hypocrites of Al- Madinah, the majority of whom were rich and old. We find from a list of the hypocrites, cited by Ibn-Kathir in Al- Badayah-wan- Nihayah, that only one of them was young and none was poor. These people had large
properties and flourishing businesses in Al-Madinah. They were worldly wise and their wide experience had taught them expediency, but their sense of self-interest had put them into a dilemma. When Islam reached Al-Madinah and a large majority of the population
embraced it sincerely and enthusiastically, they found themselves in a very perplexing situation. They could not reject it outright for the majority of their own people, nay, their own sons and daughters, were filled with enthusiasm for Islam. If they had remained unbelievers, they would have lost their high position, their prestige and reputation and run the risk of a rebellion by the Muslims of their own household. On the other hand, if they sincerely embraced Islam, they would incur the danger of war, not only with the whole of Arabia but also with the adjoining nations and empires. Above all, self interest had so blinded them that, in resolving the dilemma, they would not consider the problem from the point of view of truth and righteousness which by themselves are worthy of every sacrifice.
Therefore they decided that the best thing for them was to profess Islam outwardly in order to make their positions, properties and businesses secure, but to adopt a hypocritical attitude towards it so that they might be able to avoid the losses and perils inherent in the
sincere acceptance of Islam.
This verse 57 depicts the dilemma of the hypocrites, as if to say, “In reality these people are not Muslims, though they swear that they are Muslims like you; they profess Islam simply because they are afraid of losses they might incur, if they reject it outright. Then they dare
not stay at Al- Madinah as non-Muslims for they would lose the high positions they enjoyed and might even have to cut off their connection with their wives and children; and if they decided to emigrate from Al-Madinah, they would have to abandon their properties and business. But they are not prepared for these sacrifices for they have no sincere attachment even to kufr. Therefore they are compelled against their beliefs by the force of circumstances to remain in Al-Madinah: they offer their Salat but regard this as forced labor: they pay the Zakat dues but as a penalty, for they are in their hearts averse to these things. To add to their calamities they are asked every now and then to make sacrifices of their lives and their wealth and to go forth for Jihad and to fight with one enemy or the other. They are so much afraid of these calamities that, in order to escape from them, they would run in frantic haste to take refuge in any hole, if they hoped that it would provide immunity against these calamities.
[9:58] (O Prophet), some of them find fault with you in the distribution of alms. If they are given something of it they are pleased, and if they are given nothing they are angry.57
57. The people referred to were the hypocrites, who felt depressed on every occasion of the distribution of the Zakat collections, for they thought that they were not being given their due share. Then they would taunt the Prophet (peace be upon him) with making unfair
distributions. This happened when the payment of Zakat was made an obligatory duty on all those Muslims whose possessions exceeded the prescribed limits. They were required to contribute from their agricultural products, animals, commercial commodities, minerals dug
out of mines and the gold and silver they possessed, at different rates, varying from 2.5% to 20%, and all these were collected and spent in a systematic way from a central place.
As a result of this so much wealth flowed into the hands of a single person, the Prophet (peace be upon him), that it had no parallel in the whole territory of Arabia. Naturally the materialists looked at these things with greedy eyes and wanted to grab as much as possible
out of this wealth. But their greed could not be satisfied, for the Prophet (peace be upon him), who had made the use of Zakat fund unlawful for his own person and for his own relatives, could not be expected to give anything out of it to anyone who did not deserve it.
It is thus obvious that they found fault with the Prophet (peace be upon him) not because he was unfair in the distribution of the Zakat collections but because he did not allow the hypocrites to grab anything from these without any right to them. They, however, very
cunningly hid their real grievance, and accused the Prophet (peace be upon him) of showing partiality and injustice in the distribution of the Zakat collection.
[9:59] Would that they were content with what Allah and His Messenger gave them,58 and were to say: “Allah suffices for us, and Allah will give us out of His bounty and so will His Messenger. It is to Allah alone that we turn with hope.”
58. That is, it would have been much better for them if they had been content with their share of the spoils which the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave them and what they earned by the grace of Allah and with the prosperity Allah had bestowed on them.
59. It would have been good for them to adopt this attitude: “Sufficient is Allah for us,” for they ought to have known that they would receive their due shares besides the Zakat collections out of the wealth that would come to the state treasury, just as they were receiving their shares previously.
60. “Indeed to Allah we are suppliants” means we give our attention to Allah and His grace and not to the world and its worthless riches and we desire to obey His will: we direct our expectations and hopes to Him and we are content with what He bestows on us.
[9:60] The alms are meant only for the poor and the needy” and those who are in charge thereof, those whose hearts are to be reconciled,“ and to free those in bondage, and to help those burdened with debt,“ and for expenditure in the Way of Allah and for the wayfarer.® This is an obligation from Allah. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
61. According to the Arabic usage, fuqara are all those people who depend on others for the necessities of life. The Arabic word fugara is a general word for all those who are needy because of some physical defects, or old age, or temporarily out of living means, and can
become self supporting if they are helped like orphans, widows, the unemployed, etc.
62. According to the Arabic usage, masakin are those indigent people who are in greater distress than the needy people usually are. The Prophet (peace be upon him) especially enjoined the Muslims to help such people as are unable to find the necessary means to satisfy their wants and are in very straitened circumstances, but are so self respecting that they would not beg for anything, nor would others judge from their outward appearance that they were deserving people. According to a tradition miskin is one who cannot make ends meet, though his appearance does not show that he needs help nor does he beg for help. In short, he is a self-respecting person who has become needy.
63. “Those employed to administer thereof” are those who collect Zakat dues, supervise the collections and keep accounts, and help in their distribution, irrespective of the fact whether or not they are needy or indigent; their remunerations shall be paid out of the Zakat funds.
In this connection it should be noted well that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had declared the Zakat funds to be unlawful for himself and for the members of his own family (Bani Hashim). Accordingly, he never received any remuneration for collecting or distributing Zakat funds. As regards the other members of Bani Hashim, they were allowed to do this service without receiving any remuneration, but otherwise it is unlawful for them.
On the contrary, the payment of the Zakat dues was obligatory on Bani Hashim if their possessions warranted this under the prescribed limits, but under no circumstances whatsoever were they allowed to accept anything out of Zakat collected from others.
There is, however, a difference of opinion as to whether they should accept anything out of the collections made from their own family or not. Imam Abu Yusuf opines that they are allowed to accept these when they are needy or poor or wayfarers, but the majority of the
jurists regard this also unlawful.
64. A portion of Zakat funds may also be given to win over to Islam those who might be engaged in anti-Islamic activities or to those in the camp of the unbelievers who might be brought to help the Muslims or to those newly converted Muslims, who might be inclined to revert to kufr if no monetary help was extended to them. It is permissible to award pensions to them or give them lump sums of money to make them helpers of Islam or submissive to it or at least to render them into harmless enemies. A portion of the spoils or other incomes may be spent on them and, if need be, also a portion of Zakat funds. In such cases, the condition of being needy or indigent or on a journey etc. is also waived; nay, they might be even rich people or chiefs who are otherwise not eligible for anything from Zakat funds.
All are agreed that during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) pensions and gifts were given under the category of winning over people, but there is a difference of opinion whether this category of expenditure was abolished or not after his death. Imam Abu Hanifah and his followers are of the opinion that it was abolished during the caliphate of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), and now it is not lawful to spend anything under this category. Imam Shafii is of the opinion that something may be given to sinful Muslims under this category from Zakat funds but not to unbelievers, while other jurists are of the opinion that expenses under this category are lawful even now, if a need arises for them.
The Hanafis base their opinion on an incident that happened after the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Uyainah bin Hisan and Aqraa bin Habis came to Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) and asked him to allot to them a certain piece of land. So he gave them a written order for this. They took it to some other highly placed companions for further confirmation and some of them endorsed this order. But when they took it to Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), he tore the paper into pieces before their very eyes, saying, it is true that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to give something to win over your hearts because Islam was weak at that time, but now Allah has made Islam so strong that it does not stand in need of people like you. At this they went to Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) and complained to him about it and taunted him, saying” Are you the caliph or mar (may Allah be pleased with him)? But he took no notice of this, nor did any of the companions differ with Umar’s (may Allah be pleased with him) opinion. The Hanafis conclude from this incident that when the number and power of Muslims increased by the grace of Allah and they no longer stood in need of any support from such people; the reason for which expenses under this category were permitted in the first instance remained no longer there. Therefore the companions unanimously abolished expenditure under this head.
Imam Shafii says that there is nothing to prove that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ever spent anything out of Zakat funds under this category. All the incidents mentioned in the traditions show that whatever he spent for the purpose of winning over hearts to Islam, was
spent out of the spoils of war and not out of Zakat funds.
In my opinion there is nothing to show that the expenses for winning over hearts have been made unlawful forever up to the Last Day. There is no doubt that the action taken by Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was absolutely right, for if and when the Islamic state does not consider it necessary to spend anything under this head, Islam does not make it obligatory to spend something for winning hearts. On the other hand, if need for this arises at any time, it is authorized to incur expenses under this category for Allah has kept a provision for this. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) and the other companions agreed only on this that there was no need to give anything for this purpose at that time because the circumstances did not warrant it. But there is no reason to conclude from this that the companions disallowed forever the expenses that were permitted by the Quran under certain circumstances for the good of Islam.
As regards the opinion of Imam Shafii, it appears to be correct in so far as it is not lawful to spend anything under this category out of Zakat funds, if these expenses can be met out of other funds. But if it is necessitated that something should be spent under this category out
of Zakat funds, there is no reason why a differentiation should be made in this regard between sinful Muslims and unbelievers. For the Quran has not allocated the share because of the faith of the prospective recipients but because Islam required to win their hearts for its own good and because this could not be achieved except by giving them a portion of wealth.
Therefore the Quran allows the Amir of the believers to spend a part of the Zakat funds to achieve this end, if, when and where the required conditions exist. The fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not spend anything from the Zakat funds on unbelievers for this
purpose does not mean that it is unlawful to do so, for he did not spend from this fund because there was enough money in other funds for this purpose. Had it been unlawful to spend anything from Zakat funds on unbelievers, he would have explicitly forbidden it.
65. A portion of Zakat funds may be spent for the ransoming of slaves in two ways. First, help may be given to a slave for the payment of the ransom money, if he enters into an agreement with his master that he will set him free, if the slave pays him a certain amount of money. The second way is that the Islamic government may itself pay the price of his freedom and set him at liberty. There is a consensus of opinion about the first way, but there is difference of opinion about the second way. Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), Said bin Jubair, Laith Thauri, Ibrahim Nakhi, Shaabi, and Muhammad bin Sirin, (Hanafis and Shafiis)
consider this as unlawful while Ibn, Abbas, Hasan Basri, Malik, Ahmad and Abu Thaur consider this as lawful expenditure from this fund.
66. Help may be given out of Zakat funds to such debtors as would be reduced to a state of poverty, if they paid off all their debts out of their own possessions, irrespective of the fact whether they are earning any money or not, whether they are indigent in the general sense or well off. According to some jurists, the only exceptions to this are those debtors who are spendthrifts or involve themselves in debts by spending money on wicked deeds. Help may be given to them only if and when they repent.
67. “For Allah’s cause” is a general term which implies all those good works which please Allah. That is why some jurists are of the opinion that Zakat funds may be spent on every kind of good work. But the fact is, and the majority of the earliest Muslim scholars have opined, that here the “Allah’s cause’ stands for Jihad in the path of Allah, that is, the struggle to eradicate the systems based on kufr and to establish the Islamic system in their stead.
Therefore the Zakat funds may be utilized to meet the expenses of the journeys the people make, or for procuring means of conveyance, equipment, weapons and other articles needed for Jihad, irrespective of the fact whether they are so well off or not as to need any help for
personal requirements. Likewise help of a temporary or permanent nature may also be given to those people who devote all of their time and energies, temporarily or permanently, for this work
It should also be noted that there has arisen a misunderstanding regarding the “cause of Allah” for the early scholars usually use for Jihad the Arabic word as (ghazwah) which is synonymous with “fight”. They, therefore, are of the opinion that Zakat fund may only be
used for the purpose of fighting. But Jihad in the Way of Allah is a much more comprehensive term than mere fighting in the Way of Allah. Jihad applies to all those efforts that are made to degrade the word of kufr and to exalt the word of Allah and to establish the Islamic system of life, whether by propagating the message of Allah in the initial stage or by fighting in the final stage of the struggle.
68. Help from Zakat funds may be given to a wayfarer on a journey even though he might be quite well off at home.
Some of the jurists are of the opinion that according to this verse only that wayfarer who does not undertake a journey for a sinful purpose may be helped out of Zakat funds. But no such condition has been laid down in the Quran or the Hadith to this effect. Besides this, we learn from the fundamental principles of Islam that the sins of a needy person would in no way prevent us from helping him. As a matter of fact, such a help may prove very useful in reforming sinful and depraved persons. For if they get a support in the time of need, it may
reasonably be expected that they would turn towards purifying their souls.
[9:61] And of them there are some who distress the Prophet, saying: “He is all ears.” Tell them: “He listens for your good.69 He believes in Allah and trusts the believers, and is a mercy for those of you who believe. A painful punishment lies in store for those who cause distress to the Messenger of Allah.”
69. This was one of the charges which the hypocrites leveled against the Prophet (peace be upon him). As he used to listen to everyone and let him say freely whatever he had to say, they would find fault with him, saying, “He is a credulous person. Everyone can approach him freely and may say whatever he pleases, and he readily believes whatever he hears” Though it was a good thing that he heard everyone, the hypocrites intentionally spread it as a vice, so that the poor and humble Muslims should be kept away from coming near the
Prophet (peace be upon him). The hypocrites did not like that these true believers should inform the Prophet (peace be upon him) about their plots, mischief and hostile talks. They resented it very much that the Prophet (peace be upon him) listened to and believed in the
talk of these humble people against such “respectable” people as themselves.
70. The answer to this charge implies two things. First, “Though the Prophet (peace be upon him) listens to everything, he attends only to that which is good and is for the welfare of the community, for he is not the one who would listen to or encourage mischievous things.”
Secondly, “It is good for yourselves that he listens patiently to every one; otherwise he would not have allowed you to put forward lame excuses for your negligence from the struggle in the Way of Allah. Had he not been forbearing, he would not have paid attentionto your false professions of faith and hypocritical expressions of good wishes for Islam, but would have taken you to task for your mischief and made it difficult for you to live at Al- Madinah. It is thus obvious that it is good for you that he listens to everyone.
71. That is, you are wrong that he listens to everyone. He puts his trust only in the true believers. Accordingly, he believed only in those things about you that were conveyed to him by good and trustworthy people, who were neither liars nor tale-bearers. Therefore, whatever they said about you was true and should have been taken as true.
[9:62] They swear by Allah to please you, while it is Allah and His Messenger whose pleasure they should seek if they truly believe.
[9:63] [9:63] Are they not aware that Hell Fire awaits whosoever opposes Allah and His Messenger, and in it he shall abide? That surely is the great humiliation
[9:64] The hypocrites are afraid lest a surah should be revealed concerning them intimating to the believers what lay hidden in their hearts.72 Tell them (O Prophet): Continue your mockery if you will. Allah will surely bring to light all that whose disclosure you dread.”
72. The hypocrites were afraid that their secret plans would be disclosed in the Quran to their great discomfort. Though they did not believe that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was a Messenger of Allah, they were convinced from their experience of the last nine years
or so that he possessed some supernatural powers by which he learned their hidden secrets, and revealed these through the Quran (which according to them was written by him).
[9:65] Should you question them what they were talking about, they would certainly say: “We were merely jesting and being playful.73 Tell them: “Was it Allah and His revelation and His Messenger that you were mocking?”
73. This refers to the hypocrites who used to make fun of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the true Muslims in their secret meetings when they were making preparations for the expedition to Tabuk. In this way, they used to discourage those Muslims who sincerely and
honestly intended to go forth for Jihad. We learn many things in this connection from the traditions. For instance, in one of their meetings, when the hypocrites were having a gossip, one of them remarked, “I say: Do you think that the Romans are no better than the Arabs?
You will see that in the near future these brave men will be bound with ropes.” Another responded to this, “What a fun it would be if after this each one of them is lashed with a hundred stripes.” Still another, ridiculing the preparations by the Prophet (peace be upon
him) for the expedition, remarked, “Look at this man, and his reparations. He intends to go forth to conquer the forts in Syria and the Roman Empire.”
[9:66] Now, make no excuses. The truth is, you have fallen into unbelief after having believed. Even if We were to forgive some of you, We will surely chastise others because they are guilty.74
74. That is, “Those foolish buffoons, who take interest in such conversations and mock even at serious things because there is nothing serious in the world for them, may be pardoned.
But there are others who mock at these serious things deliberately with evil intentions, because they consider the Messenger (peace be upon him) and the way taught by him as ridiculous in spite of their professions of faith. As their real object is to discourage the believers from making preparations for Jihad, they are criminals and not buffoons; therefore they shall not be pardoned at all.”
[9:67] The hypocrites, be they men or women, are all alike. They enjoin what is evil, and forbid what is good, and withhold their hands from doing good. They forgot Allah, so Allah also forgot them. Surely the hypocrites are wicked.
75. These are the common characteristics of all hypocrites. All of them are interested in evil and inimical to good. If someone undertakes to do an evil thing, they would dedicate all their sympathies, counsels, encouragements, contributions, good wishes, praises, and their
approvals to such a one. They would join hands to accomplish that evil thing and persuade others to take part in it and encourage others in every way. Moreover, they would show in every way their hearty pleasure if they perceived that the evil thing was progressing
satisfactorily. On the other hand, if someone undertakes to do a good thing, they are shocked to bear the very news of it for it pains their hearts; nay, they do not even like that such a thing should be undertaken at all. Then, if they see someone coming forward to help
it, they feel very uncomfortable and try their best to hinder him from it, and if he does not give it up, they would wish that he should fail in it. Then all of them have this common characteristic that they do not spend anything at all for good ends irrespective of the fact whether they be otherwise parsimonious or generous. At any rate, their wealth is either for hoarding or for evil deeds. As a matter of fact, they would spend large sums on evil works generously but would not be willing to spend a farthing for good things.
[9:68] Allah has promised Hell-Fire to the hypocrites, both men and women, and to the unbelievers. They shall abide in it: a sufficient recompense for them. Allah has cursed them, and theirs is a lasting torment.
[9:69] Your ways are like the ways of those who have gone before you. They were mightier than you in power, and more abundant in riches and children. They enjoyed their lot for a while as you have enjoyed your lot, and you also engaged in idle talk as they did. Their works have come to naught in this world, and in the Hereafter they
are surely the losers.
76. In the preceding verse, they were being mentioned in the third person, but here they are being addressed directly in the second person.
[9:70] Have they not heard the accounts of those who came before them – of the people of Noah and ‘Ad and Thamud, and the people of Abraham and the dwellers of Madyan (Midian), and the cities that were overturned?77Their Messengers came to them with Clear Signs. Then, it was not Allah Who caused them any wrong; they rather wronged themselves.78
77. Again they are being mentioned in the third person.
78. These were the people of Lot.
79. “They used to wrong themselves” for they were themselves responsible for their destruction. Allah had no enmity with them and had no desire to destroy them. As a matter of fact, they themselves adopted the way of life that led to destruction, whereas Allah had
sent His Messengers to them and afforded them the opportunities of thinking, understanding, and reforming. His Messengers admonished and warned them of the consequences of treading wrong paths, and presented very clearly before them the way that leads to success, and also the ways that lead to destruction. But when they did not benefit
from the opportunities that were offered to them to mend their ways, and persisted in treading the ways that led to destruction, they inevitably met with the end for which they were heading. And this horrible end was not due to Allah’s will to be unjust to them but
due to their own evil doings.”
[9:71] The believers, both men and women, are allies of one another. They enjoin good, forbid evil, establish Prayer, pay Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger.80 Surely Allah will show mercy to them. Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.
80. The contrast between the characteristics of the hypocrites (Ayat 67) and of the true believers (Ayat 71) clearly shows that the two are entirely different from each other, in spite of their outwardly similar profession of faith in Islam and obedience to it. The difference lies
in their morals, conducts, habits, attitudes and ways of thinking. On the one hand, are the hypocrites whose tongues are never tired of professing faith in Islam, but who are void of sincere faith, and whose conduct belies their professions. They are, as it were, like bottles
which have labels of musk, but contain cow-dung which may easily be recognized from its appearance and unpleasant odor. On the other hand, are the true believers, who are like those bottles which contain musk which may be tested in any way by its appearance, its smell and other characteristics to be the musk. Likewise, though the outward label of Islam apparently makes both of them one community of Muslims, the real characteristics of the hypocritical Muslims are so different from those of the true Muslims that they have, in fact,
become two different communities. The hypocritical Muslims, men and women, form a separate community with those who have similar characteristics. They all are neglectful of Allah, take interest in evil things and deviate from all that is good and never cooperate with
true believers. In short, they are allies to one another and practically dissociate themselves from true believers and form a group of their own. In contrast to them, the true believers, men and women, have practically become one community. All of them take interest in what
is good, and abhor what is evil. They remember Allah day and night and cannot think of life without the constant remembrance of Allah. They are very generous in spending in the Way of Allah, and obey Him and His Messenger (peace be upon him) without any mental
reservations. These common characteristics have dissociated them from the hypocrites and united them in one community and made them allies to one another.
[9:72] Allah has promised the believing men and believing women Gardens beneath which rivers flow. They shall abide in it. There are delightful dwelling places for them in the Gardens of Eternity. They shall, above all, enjoy the good pleasure of Allah.That is the great achievement.
[9:73] O Prophet 81 Strive against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be severe to them.82 Hell shall be their abode; what an evil destination!
81. From here begins the third discourse that was sent down after the expedition to Tabuk.
82. This command enunciated the change of policy towards the hypocrites. Up to this time, leniency was being shown to them for two reasons. First, the Muslims had not as yet become so powerful as to take the risk of an internal conflict in addition to the one with the external enemies. The other reason was to give enough respite to those people who were involved in doubts and suspicions so that they could get sufficient time for attaining to faith and belief.
But now the time had come for a change of policy. The whole of Arabia had been subdued and a bitter conflict with the external enemies was about to start; therefore it was required that these internal enemies should be crushed down so that they should not be able to conspire with the external enemies to stir up any internal danger to the Muslims. And now it had become possible to crush them. As regards to the second reason, these hypocrites had
been given respite for a period of nine years to observe, to consider and test the right way, and they could have availed of it, if they had any good in them. So there was no reason why any more leniency should be shown to them. Therefore, Allah enjoined the Muslims to treat the hypocrites on one and the same level with the disbelievers and start Jihad against them, and to give up the policy of leniency they had adopted towards them and adopt a fine and stern policy instead.
In this connection, it should also be noted that this verse does not enjoin the Muslims to fight with the hypocrites. It merely meant to end the policy of leniency that had hitherto been adopted towards them. This verse enjoined that they were no more to be considered a
part and parcel of the Muslim community, nor were they to be allowed to take part in the management of its affairs, nor consulted about any matter, so that they might not be able to spread the poison of hypocrisy. This changed policy required that the true believers should
expose all those, who adopted a hypocritical attitude and conduct and showed in any way that they were not sincere allies to Allah, His Messenger (peace be upon him) and the true Muslims. Each and every one of such hypocrites should be openly criticized and reproved
so that there should remain for them no more place of honor and trust in the Muslim society.
They should be socially boycotted and kept away from the consultations of the community.
Their evidence in the courts of law should be regarded as untrustworthy. The doors of offices and positions of trust should be closed against them and they should be held in contempt in the social meetings. In short, every Muslim should show by his behavior to
such a one that there was no place of honor or respect or trust for a hypocrite in the Muslim society. Besides this, if any one of them was found to be guilty of treachery, there should be no connivance at his crime, nor should he be pardoned but openly tried in a court of law
and should be duly punished.
This command was urgently needed at the time it came. It was obvious that in order to save the Muslim community from fall and degradation, it was essential to purge it of all the internal dangers to its solidarity. A community which nourishes hypocrites and traitors and allows the internal enemies to flourish with honor and security will inevitably be doomed to moral degradation and ultimate destruction. Hypocrisy is a plague and a hypocrite is the rat that carries and spreads its germs. Therefore to allow him the freedom of movement in the society is to expose the whole population to the danger of hypocrisy. Likewise, to give a place of honor and prestige to a hypocrite is to encourage many others in hypocrisy and treachery, for this shows that it is not sincerity, true faith, and its welfare that count in it.
One may flourish and prosper in it even if one verbally professes to be a Muslim and at the same time indulges in dishonesty and treachery. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has expressed the same thing in a pithy saying. He said, “Whoso honors and respects the inventor of new practices which are un-Islamic, indeed helps to demolish the very structure of Islam.”
[9:74] They swear by Allah that they said nothing blasphemous whereas they indeed blasphemed,83and fell into unbelief after believing, and also had evil designs which they could not carry into effect.84 They are spiteful against Muslims for no other reason than that Allah and His Messenger have enriched them through His county85 So, if they repent, it will be to their own good. But if they turn away, Allah will sternly punish them in this world and in the Hereafter. None in the world will be able to protect or help them.
83. We cannot say with certainty what that “word of disbelief” was which they had uttered.
There are, however, traditions that mention several things of unbelief which were uttered by the hypocrites during that time. For instance, it is related that a hypocrite, while he was talking to a young Muslim, a near relative of his, said, “If all that this man, referring to the Prophet (peace be upon him), is saying be true, then we are worse than donkeys.” Another tradition relates that when, during the expedition to Tabuk, one of the she-camels of the Prophet (peace be upon him) went astray and the Muslims were moving about in search of t, a party of the hypocrites made a good deal of fun of this, saying to one another, “Just consider the prophethood of this man. He tells news of heavens but cannot tell where his she-camel is.”
84. This is a reference to the plots which the hypocrites had made during the Tabuk expedition. On the return journey they conspired to push the Prophet (peace be upon him)down into some ravine, while he would be passing over some hill at night. The Prophet (peace be upon him) got wind of the plot and ordered that the army should take the longer route through the valley round the hills, while he himself along with Ammar bin Yasir and Huzaifah bin- Yaman would make the short route over the hill. While they were on the way, suddenly they discovered that a dozen of the hypocrites, with covered faces, were following them. At this Huzaifah (may Allah be pleased with him) turned towards them so that he may drive away their camels but they were terrified when they saw him coming towards them and took to flight lest they should be recognized.
The other plot was to declare Abdullah bin Ubayy as king at Al-Madinah as soon as they should hear some bad news about the Muslim army, because according to their expectations, the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his faithful companions could never fare well against the armies of the great Roman Empire.
85. This is an insinuation to put to shame by an indirect suggestion the hypocrites of Al-Madinah. This refereed to the prosperity of Al-Madinah and its peoples, for Al- Madinah was a small town before the migration of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to it, and its two
clans Aus and Khazraj did not hold any high position in regards to wealth or prestige. But within the short period of nine years or so, this small town became the capital of Arabia because of the residence of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and the sacrifices of the Ansar,
the true Muslims. As a result of which, the former peasants Aus and Khazraj of Al- Madinah became the great ones of the Islamic state, and wealth began to flow into this central city on account of spoils of war and increased commercial activity. The hypocrites were rebuked in
this verse that, instead of being grateful to the Prophet (peace be upon him), they showed anger and spite against him for no other reason than that he had brought forth prosperityamong them.
[9:75] Some of them made a covenant with Allah: “If Allah gives us out of His bounty, we will give alms and act righteously.”
[9:76] Then, when He gave them out of His bounty, they grew niggardly and turned their backs (upon their covenant).86
86. This is an instance of their ingratitude for which the hypocrites were rebuked in Ayat 74. They broke their covenant with Allah which enjoined them to spend money in charity, if Allah enriched them by His bounty. This shows that they were confirmed criminals and they did not care in the least for the agreements they made, and were niggardly and had no moral code to observe.
[9:77] So He caused hypocrisy to take root in their hearts and to remain therein until the Day they meet Him because they broke their promise with Allah and because they lied.
[9:78] Are they not aware that Allah knows what they conceal and what they secretly discuss, and that Allah has full knowledge even of all that is beyond the reach of perception.
[9:79] He also knows (the rich that are niggardly) who taunt the believers that voluntarily give alms, they scoff at those who have nothing to give except what they earn through their hard toil.’2 Allah scoffs at them in return. A grievous chastisement awaits them.
87. This refers to the mean conduct which the hypocrites evinced on the occasion of the appeal of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for contributions towards the Tabuk expedition.
The well-to-do hypocrites did not themselves make any contributions, but when the sincere Muslims came forward with generous contributions according to their means, they began to deride them. If a well-to-do Muslim made a handsome contribution, they would at once
accuse him to be guilty of a showoff. On the other hand, if a poor Muslim contributed a paltry sum which he could hardly spare after sacrificing some of the barest necessities of his family, or contributing the small earnings obtained by hard work, they would at once ridicule, saying, “Lo! Here is the farthing that will help conquer the forts of the Roman Empire!”
[9:80] (O Prophet), it is all the same whether or not you ask for their forgiveness. Even if you were to ask forgiveness for them seventy times, Allah shall not forgive them. That is because they disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger; and Allah does not bestow His Guidance on such evil-doing folk.
SEERRAH (SEAL OF NECTOR)PART 4 IS CONTINUE:
Aspects of Pre-Islamic Arabian Society
After the research we have made into the religious and political life of Arabia, it is appropriate to speak briefly about the social, economic and ethical conditions prevalent therein.
Social Life of the Arabs
The Arabian Society presented a social medley, with different and heterogeneous social strata. The status of the woman among the nobility recorded an advanced degree of esteem. The woman enjoyed a considerable portion of free will, and her decision would most often be enforced. She was so highly cherished that blood would
be easily shed in defense of her honor. In fact, she was the most decisive key to bloody fight or friendly peace. These privileges notwithstanding, the family system in Arabia was wholly patriarchal. The marriage contract rested completely in the hands of the woman’s legal guardian whose words with regard to her marital status could
never be questioned.
On the other hand, there were other social strata where prostitution and indecency were rampant and in full operation. Abu Da’? , on the authority of ‘Aishah [RA] reported four kinds of marriage in pre-Islamic Arabia: The first was similar to present-day marriage procedures, in which case a man gives his daughter in marriage to another man after a dowry has been agreed on. In the second, the husband would send his wife – after the menstruation period – to cohabit with another man in order to conceive. After conception her husband would, if he desired, have a sexual intercourse with her. A third kind was that a group of less than ten men would have sexual intercourse with a woman. If she conceived and gave birth to a child, she would send for these men, and nobody could abstain. They would come together to her house. She would say: ‘You know what you have done. I have given
birth to a child and it is your child’ (pointing to one of them). The man meant would have to accept. The fourth kind was that a lot of men would have sexual intercourse with a certain woman (a whore). She would not prevent anybody. Such women used to put a certain flag at their gates to invite in anyone who liked. If this whore got pregnant and gave birth to a child, she would collect those men, and a seeres would tell whose child it was. The appointed father would take the child and declare him/her his own. When Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] declared Islam in Arabia, he cancelled all these forms of sexual contacts except that of present Islamic marriage. [Abu Da’ud – The Book of marriage]
Women always accompanied men in their wars. The winners would freely have sexual intercourse with such women, but disgrace would follow the children conceived in this way all their lives.
Pre-Islam Arabs had no limited number of wives. They could marry two sisters at the name time, or even the wives of their fathers if divorced or widowed. Divorce was to a very great extent in the power of the husband. [Abu Da’ud – The Book of marriage]
The obscenity of adultery prevailed almost among all social classes except few men and women whose self-dignity prevented them from committing such an act. Free women were in much better conditions than the female slaves who constituted the greatest calamity. It seemed that the greatest majority of pre-Islam Arabs did not
feel ashamed of committing this obscenity. Abu Da’? reported: A man stood up in front of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] and said: “O Prophet of All? ! that boy is my son.
I had sexual intercourse with his mother in the pre-Islamic period.” The Prophet [pbuh] said: “No claim in Islam for pre-Islamic affairs. The child is to be attributed to the one on whose bed it was born, and stoning is the lot of a fornicator.” [Abu Da’ud – Chapter “The child is to the one on whose bed it was born]
With respect to the pre-Islam Arab’s relation with his offspring, we see that life in Arabia was paradoxical and presented a gloomy picture of contrasts. Whilst some Arabs held children dear to their hearts and cherished them greatly, others buried their female children alive because an illusory fear of poverty and shame weighed heavily on them. The practice of infanticide cannot, however, be seen as irrevocably rampant because of their dire need for male children to guard themselves against their enemies.
Another aspect of the Arabs’ life which deserves mention is the Bedouin’s deep- seated emotional attachment to his clan. Family, or perhaps tribal-pride, was one of the strongest passions with him. The doctrine of unity of blood as the principle that bound the Arabs into a social unity was formed and supported by tribal-pride. Their undisputed motto was: “Support your brother whether he is an oppressor or oppressed” in its literal meaning; they disregarded the Islamic amendment which states that supporting an oppressor brother implies deterring him from transgression.
Avarice for leadership, and keen sense of emulation often resulted in bitter tribal warfare despite decadency from one common ancestor. In this regard, the continued bloody conflicts of Aws and Khazraj, ‘Abs and Dhubyan, Bakr and Taghlib, etc. are striking examples.
Inter-tribal relationships were fragile and weak due to continual inter-tribal wars of attrition. Deep devotion to religious superstitions and some customs held in veneration, however, used to curb their impetuous tendency to quench their thirst for blood. In other cases, there were the motives of, and respect for, alliance, loyalty and dependency which could successfully bring about a spirit of rapport, and abort groundless bases of dispute. A timehonoured custom of suspending hostilities during the prohibited months (Muharram, Rajab, Dhul-Qa‘dah, and Dhul-Hijjah) functioned favorably and provided an opportunity for them to earn their living and coexist in peace.
We may sum up the social situation in Arabia by saying that the Arabs of the preIslamic period were groping about in the dark and ignorance, entangled in a mesh of superstitions paralyzing their mind and driving them to lead an animal-like life. The woman was a marketable commodity and regarded as a piece of inanimate property.
Inter-tribal relationships were fragile. Avarice for wealth and involvement in futile wars were the main objectives that governed their chiefs’ self-centered policies.
The Economic Situation
The economic situation ran in line with the social atmosphere. The Arabian ways of living would illustrate this phenomenon quite clearly. Trade was the most common means of providing their needs of life. The trade journeys could not be fulfilled unless security of caravan routes and inter-tribal peaceful co-existence were provided two
imperative exigencies unfortunately lacking in Arabia except during the prohibited months within which the Arabs held their assemblies of ‘Ukaz, Dhil-Majaz, Mijannah and others.
Industry was alien to the Arabian psychology. Most of available industries of knitting and tanning in Arabia were done by people coming from Yemen, Heerah and the borders of Syria. Inside Arabia there was some sort of farming and stock-breeding.
Almost all the Arabian women worked in yarn spinning but even this practice was continually threatened by wars. On the whole, poverty, hunger and insufficient clothing were the prevailing features in Arabia, economically.
We cannot deny that the pre-Islam Arabs had such a large bulk of evils. Admittedly, vices and evils, utterly rejected by reason, were rampant amongst the pre-Islam Arabs, but this could never screen off the surprise-provoking existence of highly praiseworthy virtues, of which we could adduce the following:
1. Hospitality: They used to emulate one another at hospitality and take utmost pride in it. Almost half of their poetry heritage was dedicated to the merits and nobility attached to entertaining one’s guest. They were generous and hospitable on the point of fault. They would sacrifice their private sustenance to a cold or hungry guest. They would not hesitate to incur heavy blood-money and relevant burdens just to stop blood-shed, and consequently merit praise and eulogy.
In the context of hospitality, there springs up their common habits of drinking wine which was regarded as a channel branching out of generosity and showing hospitality. Wine drinking was a genuine source of pride for the Arabs of the pre-Islamic period. The great poets of that era never forgot to include their suspending odes the most ornate lines pregnant with boasting and praise of drinking orgies. Even the word ‘grapes’ in Arabic is identical to generosity in both pronunciation and spelling. Gambling was also another practice of theirs closely associated with generosity since the proceeds would
always go to charity. Even the Noble Quran’? does not play down the benefits that derive from wine drinking and gambling, but also says,
“And the sin of them is greater than their benefit.” [Al-Qur’an 2:219]
2. Keeping a covenant: For the Arab, to make a promise was to run into debt. He would never grudge the death of his children or destruction of his household just to uphold the deep-rooted tradition of covenant-keeping. The literature of that period is rich in stories highlighting this merit.
3. Sense of honor and repudiation of injustice: This attribute stemmed
mainly from excess courage, keen sense of self esteem and impetuosity. The Arab was always in revolt against the least allusion to humiliation or slackness. He would never hesitate to sacrifice himself to maintain his ever alert sense of self-respect.
4. Firm will and determination: An Arab would never desist an avenue
conducive to an object of pride or a standing of honour, even if it were at the expense of his life.
5. Forbearance, perseverance and mildness: The Arab regarded these traits with great admiration, no wonder, his impetuosity and courage-based life was sadly wanting in them.
6. Pure and simple Bedouin life, still untarnished with accessories of
deceptive urban appearances, was a driving reason to his nature of
truthfulness and honesty, and detachment from intrigue and treachery.
Such priceless ethics coupled with a favorable geographical position of Arabia were in fact the factors that lay behind selecting the Arabs to undertake the burden of communicating the Message (of Islam) and leading mankind down a new course of life.
In this regard, these ethics per se, though detrimental in some areas, and in need of rectification in certain aspects, were greatly invaluable to the ultimate welfare of the human community and Islam has did it completely.
The most priceless ethics, next to covenant-keeping, were no doubt their sense of self-esteem and strong determination, two human traits indispensable in combatting evil and eliminating moral corruption on the one hand, and establishing a good and justice-orientated society, on the other.
Actually, the life of the Arabs in the pre-Islamic period was rich in other countless virtues we do not need to enumerate for the time being.
The Lineage and Family of Muhammad [pbuh] With respect to the lineage of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh], there are three versions:
The first was authenticated by biographers and genealogists and states that Muhammad’s genealogy has been traced to ‘Adnan. The second is subject to controversies and doubt, and traces his lineage beyond ‘Adnan back to Abraham. The third version, with some parts definitely incorrect, traces his lineage beyond Abraham back to Adam [AWS].
After this rapid review, now ample details are believed to be necessary. The first part: Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul-Muttalib (who was called Shaiba) bin Hashim, (named ‘Amr) bin ‘Abd Munaf (called Al-Mugheera) bin Qusai (also called Zaid) bin Kilab bin Murra bin Ka‘b bin Lo’i bin Ghalib bin Fahr (who was called Quraish and whose tribe was called after him) bin Malik bin An-Nadr (so called Qais)
bin Kinana bin Khuzaiman bin Mudrikah (who was called ‘Amir) bin Elias bin Mudar bin Nizar bin Ma‘ad bin ‘Adnan. [Ibn Hisham 1/1,2; Talqeeh Fuhoom Ahl Al-Athar, p. 5-6; Rahmat-ul-lil’alameen 2/11-14,52]
The second part: ‘Adnan bin Add bin Humaisi‘ bin Salaman bin Aws bin Buz bin Qamwal bin Obai bin ‘Awwam bin Nashid bin Haza bin Bildas bin Yadlaf bin Tabikh bin Jahim bin Nahish bin Makhi bin Aid bin ‘Abqar bin ‘Ubaid bin Ad-Da‘a bin Hamdan bin Sanbir bin Yathrabi bin Yahzin bin Yalhan bin Ar‘awi bin Aid bin Deshan bin Aisar bin Afnad bin Aiham bin Muksar bin Nahith bin Zarih bin Sami bin Mazzi bin ‘Awda
bin Aram bin Qaidar bin Ishmael son of Abraham [AWS]. [Rahmat-ul-lil’alameen 2/14-17]
The third part: beyond Abraham [AWS] , Ibn Tarih (Azar) bin Nahur bin Saru‘ bin Ra‘u bin Falikh bin Abir bin Shalikh bin Arfakhshad bin Sam bin Noah [AWS] , bin Lamik bin Mutwashlack bin Akhnukh [who was said to be Prophet Idris (Enoch) [AWS]] bin Yarid bin Mahla’il bin Qainan bin Anusha bin Shith bin Adam [AWS]. [Ibn Hisham 1/2-4; Rahmat-ul-lil’alameen 2/18; Khulasat As-Siyar p.6]
The Prophetic Family
The family of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] is called the Hashimite family after his grandfather Hashim bin ‘Abd Munaf. Let us now speak a little about Hashim and his
1. Hashim: As we have previously mentioned, he was the one responsible for giving food and water to the pilgrims. This had been his charge when the sons of ‘Abd Munaf and those of ‘Abd Ad-Dar compromised on dividing the charges between them. Hashim was wealthy and honest. He was the first to offer the pilgrims sopped bread in broth. His first name was ‘Amr but he was called Hashim because he had been in the practice of crumbling bread (for the
pilgrims). He was also the first man who started Quraish’s two journeys of summer and winter. It was reported that he went to Syria as a merchant. In Madinah, he married Salma — the daughter of ‘Amr from Bani ‘Adi bin An- Najjar. He spent some time with her in Madinah then he left for Syria again while she was pregnant. He died in Ghazza in Palestine in 497 A.D. Later, his wife gave birth to ‘Abdul-Muttalib and named him Shaiba for the white hair in his head,[Ibn Hisham 1/137; Rahmat-ul-lil’alameen 1/26,2/24] and brought him up in her father’s house in Madinah. None of his family in Makkah learned of his birth. Hashim had four sons; Asad, Abu Saifi, Nadla and ‘Abdul- Muttalib, and five daughters Ash-Shifa, Khalida, Da‘ifa, Ruqyah and
Jannah.[Ibn Hisham 1/107] 2. ‘Abdul-Muttalib: We have already known that after the death of Hashim, the charge of pilgrims’ food and water went to his brother Al-Muttalib bin ‘Abd Munaf (who was honest, generous and trustworthy). When ‘Abdul-Muttalib reached the age of boyhood, his uncle Al-Muttalib heard of him and went to Madinah to fetch him. When he saw him, tears filled his eyes and rolled down his cheeks, he embraced him and took him on his camel. The boy, however abstained from going with him to Makkah until he took his mother’s consent. Al-Muttalib asked her to send the boy with him to Makkah, but she refused. He managed to convince her saying: “Your son is going to Makkah to restore his father’s authority, and to live in the vicinity of the Sacred House.” There in Makkah, people wondered at seeing Abdul-Muttalib, and they considered him the slave of Muttalib. Al-Muttalib said: “He is my nephew, the son of my brother Hashim.” The boy was brought up in Al-Muttalib’s house, but later on
Al-Muttalib died in Bardman in Yemen so ‘Abdul-Muttalib took over and managed to maintain his people’s prestige and outdo his grandfathers in his honorable behavior which gained him Makkah’s deep love and high esteem. [Ibn Hisham 1/137,138]
When Al-Muttalib died, Nawfal usurped ‘Abdul-Muttalib of his charges, so the latter asked for help from Quraish but they abstained from extending any sort of support to either of them. Consequently, he wrote to his uncles of Bani An- Najjar (his mother’s brothers) to come to his aid. His uncle, Abu Sa‘d bin ‘Adi (his mother’s brother) marched to Makkah at the head of eighty horsemen and camped in Abtah in Makkah. ‘Abdul-Muttalib received the men and invited them to go to his house but Abu Sa‘d said: “Not before I meet Nawfal.” He found Nawfal sitting with some old men of Quraish in the shade of Al-Ka‘bah.
Abu Sa‘d drew his sword and said: “I swear by All? that if you don’t restore to my nephew what you have taken, I will kill you with this sword.” Nawfal was thus forced to give up what he had usurped, and the notables of Quraish were made to witness to his words. Abu Sa‘d then went to ‘Abdul-Muttalib’s house where he stayed for three nights, made ‘Umra and left back for Madinah. Later on, Nawfal entered into alliance with Bani ‘Abd Shams bin ‘Abd Munaf against Bani Hashim. When Khuza‘a, a tribe, saw Bani An-Najjar’s support to ‘Abdul-Muttalib they said: “He is our son as he is yours. We have more reasons to support him than you.” ‘Abd Munaf’s mother was one of them. They went into An-Nadwa House and entered into alliance with Bani
Hashim against Bani ‘Abd Shams and Nawfal. It was an alliance that was later to constitute the main reason for the conquest of Makkah. ‘Abdul-Muttalib witnessed two important events in his lifetime, namely digging Zamzam well and the Elephant raid. [Mukhtasar Seerat Ar-Rasool, p.41,42; Ibn Hisham 1/142-147] In brief, ‘Abdul-Muttalib received an order in his dream to dig Zamzam well in a particular place. He did that and found the things that Jurhum men had buried therein when they were forced to evacuate Makkah. He found the
swords, armours and the two deer of gold. The gate of Al-Ka‘bah was
stamped from the gold swords and the two deer and then the tradition of providing Zamzam water to pilgrims was established.
When the well of Zamzam gushed water forth, Quraish made a claim to partnership in the enterprise, but ‘Abdul-Muttalib refused their demands on grounds that All? had singled only him out for this honorable job. To settle the dispute, they agreed to consult Bani Sa‘d’s diviner. On their way, Allah?
showed them His Signs that confirmed ‘Abdul-Muttalib’s prerogative as regards the sacred spring. Only then did ‘Abdul-Muttalib make a solemn vow to sacrifice one of his adult children to Al-Ka‘bah if he had ten.
The second event was that of Abraha As-Sabah Al-Habashi, the Abyssinian (Ethiopian) viceroy in Yemen. He had seen that the Arabs made their pilgrimage to Al-Ka‘bah so he built a large church in San‘a in order to attract the Arab pilgrims to it to the exclusion of Makkah. A man from Kinana tribe understood this move, therefore he entered the church stealthily at night and besmeared its front wall with excrement. When Abraha knew of that, he got very angry and led a great army – of sixty thousand warriors to demolish Al-Ka‘bah. He chose the biggest elephant for himself. His army included nine or thirteen elephants. He continued marching until he reached a place called Al-Magmas. There, he mobilized his army, prepared his elephants and got ready to enter Makkah. When he reached Muhassar Valley, between Muzdalifah and Mina, the elephant knelt down and refused to go forward.
Whenever they directed it northwards, southwards or eastwards, the elephant moved quickly but when directed westwards towards Al-Ka‘bah, it knelt down.
Meanwhile, All? loosed upon them birds in flights, hurling against them stones of baked clay and made them like green blades devoured. These birds were very much like swallows and sparrows, each carrying three stones; one in its peak and two in its claws. The stones hit Abraha’s men and cut their limbs and killed them. A large number of Abraha’s soldiers were killed in this way and the others fled at random and died everywhere. Abraha himself had an infection that had his fingertips amputated. When he reached San‘a he was in a miserable state and died soon after.
The Qureshi’s on their part had fled for their lives to the hillocks and
mountain tops. When the enemy had been thus routed, they returned home safely. [Ibn Hisham 1/43-56; Tafheemul-Qur’an 6/462-469]
The Event of the Elephant took place in the month of Al-Muharram, fifty or fifty five days before the birth of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] which corresponded to late February or early March 571 A.D. It was a gift from Allah? to His Prophet and his family. It could actually be regarded as a Divine auspicious precursor of the light to come and accompany the advent of the Prophet and his family. By contrast, Jerusalem had suffered under the yoke of
the atrocities of All? ’s enemies. Here we can recall Bukhtanassar in B.C. 587 and the Romans in 70 A.D. Al-Ka‘bah, by Divine Grace, never came under the hold of the Christians – the Muslims of that time – although Makkah was populated by polytheists.
News of the Elephant Event reached the most distant corners of the then civilized world. Abyssinia (Ethiopia) maintained strong ties with the Romans, while the Persians on the other hand, were on the vigil with respect to any strategic changes that were looming on the socio-political horizon, and soon came to occupy Yemen. Incidentally, the Roman and Persian Empires stood for the powerful civilized world at that time. The Elephant Raid Event riveted the world’s attention to the sacredness of All? ’s House, and showed that this House had been chosen by All? for its holiness. It followed then if any of its people claimed Prophethood, it would be congruous with the outcome of the
Elephant Event, and would provide a justifiable explanation for the ulterior Divine Wisdom that lay behind backing polytheists against Christians in a manner that transcended the cause-and-effect formula.
‘Abdul-Muttalib had ten sons, Al-Harith, Az-Zubair, Abu Talib, ‘Abdullah, Hamzah, Abu Lahab, Ghidaq, Maqwam, Safar and Al-‘Abbas. He also had six daughters, who were Umm Al-Hakim – the only white one, Barrah, ‘Atikah, Safiya, Arwa and Omaima. [Rahmat-ul-lil’alameen 2/56,66; Talqeeh Fuhoom Ahl Al-Athar, p8,9]
3. ‘Abdullah: The father of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh]. His mother was
Fatimah, daughter of ‘Amr bin ‘A’idh bin ‘Imran bin Makhzum bin Yaqdha bin Murra. ‘Abdullah was the smartest of ‘Abdul-Muttalib’s sons, the chastest and the most loved. He was also the son whom the divination arrows pointed at to be slaughtered as a sacrifice to Al-Ka‘bah. When ‘Abdul-Muttalib had ten sons and they reached maturity, he divulged to them his secret vow in which they silently and obediently acquiesced. Their names were written on divination
arrows and given to the guardian of their most beloved goddess, Hubal. The arrows were shuffled and drawn. An arrow showed that it was ‘Abdullah to be sacrificed. ‘Abdul-Muttalib then took the boy to Al-Ka‘bah with a razor to slaughter the boy. Quraish, his uncles from Makhzum tribe and his brother Abu Talib, however, tried to dissuade him from consummating his purpose.
He then sought their advice as regards his vow. They suggested that he summon a she-diviner to judge whereabout. She ordered that the divination arrows should be drawn with respect to ‘Abdullah as well as ten camels. She added that drawing the lots should be repeated with ten more camels every time the arrow showed ‘Abdullah.
The operation was thus repeated until the number of the camels amounted to one hundred. At this point the arrow showed the camels, consequently they were all slaughtered (to the satisfaction of Hubal) instead of his son. The slaughtered camels were left for anyone to eat from, human or animal.
This incident produced a change in the amount of blood-money usually accepted in Arabia. It had been ten camels, but after this event it was increased to a hundred. Islam, later on, approved of this. Another thing closely relevant to the above issue goes to the effect that the Prophet [pbuh] once said:
“I am the offspring of the slaughtered two,” meaning Ishmael and ‘Abdullah. [Ibn Hisham 1/151-155; Rahmat-ul-lil’alameen 2/89,90]
‘Abdul-Muttalib chose Amina, daughter of Wahab bin ‘Abd Munaf bin Zahra bin Kilab, as a wife for his son, ‘Abdullah. She thus, in the light of this ancestral lineage, stood eminent in respect of nobility of position and descent. Her father was the chief of Bani Zahra to whom great honor was attributed. They were married in Makkah, and soon after ‘Abdullah was sent by his father to buy dates in Madinah where he died. In another version, ‘Abdullah went to Syria on a trade journey and died in Madinah on his way back. He was buried in the house of An-Nabigha Al-Ju‘di. He was twenty-five years old when he died. Most historians state that his death was two months before the birth of
Muhammad [pbuh] . Some others said that his death was two months after the Prophet’s birth. When Amina was informed of her husband’s death, she celebrated his memory in a most heart-touching elegy. [Ibn Hisham 1/156- 158; Fiqh As-Seerah p.45] ‘Abdullah left very little wealth five camels, a small number of goats, a she- servant, called Barakah – Umm Aiman – who would later serve as the Prophet’s
nursemaid. [Muslim 2/96; Talqeeh Fahoom Ahl-Athar p.4; Mukhtasar Seerat Ar- Rasool p. 12]
(Continued see next post)