Tafseer of Sūrah al-Hujuraat (The Dwellings)
Explanation by Shaykh Abdullaah Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Ghudyaan
CLASS #1 – Delivered on November 11th, 2006

The Shaykh حفظه الله began in the Name of Allaah and after praising Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and sending the salaat and salaam upon our Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم, his family members and all his companions, he proceeded:

Introduction to the Science of Tafseer

Certainly, before we begin the tafseer of this sūrah it is imperative that we are aware that every sūrah from the Qur’aan requires an individual to explain it. It is necessary that there is an introduction or prelude to the sūrah that one wants to do the tafseer of. This is from one perspective.

From another perspective and as mentioned to you previously, an individual is required to have knowledge of certain things if he wants to be preoccupied with Tafseer of the Qur’aan. Amongst those things are knowledge of: علم اللغة – language and fiqh (understanding) of the language e.g. علم التصريف – conjugation (of verbs), inflection (of words), declension (of nouns)‏, علم الاشتقاق – etymology [1], علم النحو – grammar, علم البلاغة – eloquence and its three types. One must also have knowledge of علم القرءات – recitation, علم النزول – occasion for revelation, علم الناسخ و المنسوخ – abrogating and abrogated Aayaat, أصول الفقه – Principles of Fiqh, أصول التفسير – Principles of Tafseer as well as (knowledge of) Tawheed, Fiqh, Islaamic History, Seerah, Sunnah and its sciences.

It is necessary that an individual who wants to be involved in giving the tafseer of the Qur’aan be familiar with all these sciences.

Tafseer Sūrah al-Hujuraat – (The Dwellings) – [Madanee]

Introduction

Name: The name of the sūrah is al-Hujuraat – The Dwellings. The reason for this name is that it makes mention of the word “hujaraat” in the sūrah itself. Qur’aanic names are of two categories: Tawqifiyyah ( توقفية ) which is based on some text or Ijtihaadiyyah (اجتهادية ) which is based on ijtihaad (interpretative judgment). This sūrah is from those sūrahs whose name is tawqifiyyah i.e. it has some text upon which it is based.

In this sūrah there are no verses of abrogation or abrogated verses. There is also nothing from the problematic verses found elsewhere in the Qur’aan. It is a Madanee sūrah by the consensus of the People of Knowledge. It was revealed after the Prophet’s صلى الله عليه و سلم migration from Makkah to Madinah.

There are 18 aayaat (verses), 343 words and 1,476 letters in the sūrah. It is the 106th sūrah in order of revelation. It is the 21st sūrah in order of being revealed in Madinah. There were no sūrahs revealed after it except: sūrah at-Tahreem, sūrah al-Jumu’ah, sūrah at-Taghabun, sūrah as-Saff, sūrah al-Fath, and sūrah al-Maa’idah. This is its order regarding the Madanee sūrahs.

Aayaat 1-5

The Shaykh حفظه الله then read the aayaat to be covered in today’s lesson. They are the 1st five aayaat.

Quote:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تُقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ {1} يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ وَلَا تَجْهَرُوا لَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ {2} إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَغُضُّونَ أَصْوَاتَهُمْ عِندَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ امْتَحَنَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ لِلتَّقْوَى لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ {3} إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُنَادُونَكَ مِن وَرَاء الْحُجُرَاتِ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ {4} وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ صَبَرُوا حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ إِلَيْهِمْ لَكَانَ خَيْراً لَّهُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ {5}

[49:1] O you who believe! Make not (a decision) in advance before Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم and fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

[49:2] O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds should be rendered fruitless while you perceive not.

[49:3] Verily, those who lower their voices in the presence of Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, they are the ones whose hearts Allaah has tested for piety. For them is forgiveness and a great reward.

[49:4] Verily, those who call you from behind the dwellings, most of them have no sense.

[49:5] And if they had had patience till you could come out to them, it would have been better for them. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Relation to the Previous Sūrah (al-Fath)

Firstly, it is necessary to mention the relation of this sūrah to the one before it i.e. sūrah al-Fath, from 3 aspects:

  1. The previous sūrah (al-Fath) deals with the rulings related to struggling against the kuffar (disbelievers) and this sūrah (al-Hujuraat) deals with the ruling of struggling against those who transgress against the authority in the Islaamic society.
  2. Sūrah al-Fath concluded with the speech of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى
    وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا
    {… Allaah has promised those among them who believe …} [al-Fath 48:29] And sūrah al-Hujuraat begins with:
    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا
    {O you who believe!…} [al-Hujuraat 49:1] Reminding them (the Believers) of their sanctity with Allaah when He سبحانه و تعالى described them as being stern (against the disbelievers) and merciful (amongst themselves), necessitating that they preserve this status by their obedience to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم.
  3. These two sūrahs honour and pay tribute to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم especially in the opening aayaat of both of them. Legislating necessitates from the Believers that they are contented with what pleases the Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم and that they do not abandon anything from speech or action in honouring him صلى الله عليه و سلم.

Theme of the Sūrah

This sūrah, like sūrah al-Fath which precedes it, includes legal rulings on account of their being Madanee sūrahs. The rulings pertain to the organization of the Islaamic society based on a foundation of substantial nurturing ( تربية ) and good manners.

As a result of dealing with character and manners, the sūrah was called sūrah al-Akhlaaq ( الأخلاق ) – “the chapter of Good Manners/Character”. This name for the sūrah is ijtihaadiyyah – it is not based on textual evidence, but is deduced from what is understood from the sūrah itself.

The sūrah deals with two types of characteristics/mannerisms ( آداب ) – those that are specific and those that are general.

Specific Characteristics/Mannerisms

  • This is what concerns the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and his Ummah.
  • Allaah سبحانه و تعالى obligates obedience to Himself سبحانه و تعالى and the Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم and admonishes against transgression. Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم begins:
    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تُقَدِّمُوا
    {O you who believe! Make not (a decision) in advance …} [al-Hujuraat 49:1] This particular verse shows the importance of the Believers adhering to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.
  • It also mentions that they should not raise their voices above that of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم as Allaah سبحانه و تعالى addresses the Believers:
    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ
    {O you who believe! Raise not your voices …} [al-Hujuraat 49:2] This is because the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم should be addressed by his attribute of being a prophet and by his risaalah (message that he has brought to the people for their guidance), not by his name or his kunya.This is in order to dignify and honour him صلى الله عليه و سلم. It is from taqwa, unlike those who called him from behind the apartments of his wives – ‘Uyaynah ibn Husnin and those similar to him.
  • At the end of this sūrah there is mention of a criticism against those who say that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and his Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم are indebted to them because of their believing (i.e. their having accepted Islaam).
    يَمُنُّونَ عَلَيْكَ أَنْ أَسْلَمُوا قُل لَّا تَمُنُّوا عَلَيَّ إِسْلَامَكُم بَلِ اللَّهُ يَمُنُّ عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْ هَدَاكُمْ لِلْإِيمَانِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
    {They regard as favour to you ( O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم ) that they have embraced Islâm. Say: “Count not your Islâm as a favour to me.
    Nay, but Allaah has conferred a favour upon you that He has guided you to the Faith if you indeed are true.}
    [al-Hujuraat 49:17]

General Characteristics/Mannerisms

• This is what concerns the people as they interact with each other.
• There are general concepts that are dealt with throughout the sūrah as well.

Reason for Revelation

First aayah
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تُقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
{O you who believe! Make not (a decision) in advance before Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, and fear Allaah.
Verily, Allaah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.}
[al-Hujuraat 49:1]

  1. From Bukharee, Tirmidhee and other than them that Ibn Abi Mulaykah from Abdullaah ibn Az-Zubayr رضى الله عنه informed us that:
    “A caravan from Bani Tameem came to the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم and Abu Bakr رضى الله عنه said to appoint as the Amir Qa’qaa’ bin Ma’bad and ‘Umar رضى الله عنه said to appoint as the Amir al-Aqra’ bin Haabis. Abu Bakr said ‘you always wanted to oppose me’ and ‘Umar said ‘I did not want to oppose you’ and they disputed until their voices raised. So Allaah تعالى revealed: ‘O you who believe! Make not (a decision) in advance before Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, and fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing …’ until ‘And if they had had patience till you could come out to them, it would have been better for them. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’.”[2]

i.e. the first five aayaat were revealed due to the argument between Abu Bakr and ‘Umar رضى الله عنهما in the presence of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم over the appointment of Qa’qaa’ bin Ma’bad or al-Aqra’ bin Haabis.

  • It is narrated from Abu Mundhir from Hassan al-Basri that: “people slaughtered before the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم on day of ‘Eid. He صلى الله عليه و سلم ordered them to slaughter again. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى revealed the aayah: “O you who believe! Make not (a decision) in advance…
    It is narrated from Ibn Abi Duniya in his book of al-Adaahee with the wording: “the people slaughtered before the salaah so (the aayah) was revealed…”
  • Tabaraani narrated from Ayesha رضى الله عنها that: “Some people would fast a whole month before the Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم so Allaah revealed the aayah: “O you who believe! Make not (a decision) in advance before Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم”.

Second aayah
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ وَلا تَجْهَرُوا لَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لا تَشْعُرُونَ
{O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another,
lest your deeds should be rendered fruitless while you perceive not.}
[al-Hujuraat 49:2]

  1. Ibn Jareer narrated from Qatadah that: “People would raise their voice above the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم before the verse was revealed and Allaah سبحانه و تعالى revealed the aayah: “Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم
  2. It has been related that the aayah was revealed concerning Thaabit bin Qays bin ash-Shammas who had some deafness in his ear and he had a loud voice and when he spoke to people he would raise his voice, possibly when speaking in the presence of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and Allaah revealed the aayah.

There is nothing that prevents having more than one reason for the revelation of an aayah, in which case all are considered reasons for revelation.

Third aayah
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَغُضُّونَ أَصْوَاتَهُمْ عِندَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ امْتَحَنَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ لِلتَّقْوَى لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ
{Verily, those who lower their voices in the presence of Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, they are the ones whose hearts Allaah has tested for piety.
For them is forgiveness and a great reward.}
[al-Hujuraat 49:3]

***
Here connection was lost with the translator.
Thus, the reason for revelation of the 3rd and 4th aayaat was not translated during the class
***

Explanation of the Aayaat

Ayah 1
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تُقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
{O you who believe! Make not (a decision) in advance before Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, and fear Allaah.
Verily, Allaah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.}
[al-Hujuraat 49:1] This verse addresses those who have correct eemaan ordering that they should not precede Allaah سبحانه و تعالى or His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم with any statement or regulation before understanding or recognizing what Allaah’s Judgment is and what the Prophet’s judgement صلى الله عليه و سلم is. If they precede either Allaah or His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, perhaps the judgement will not be correct and according to the truth. They should observe what Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has commanded and what the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم has allowed and legislated, before proceeding.

In this aayah Allaah mentions that He is All-Hearing and All-Knowing. He hears every utterance that comes from us and He is knowledgeable of all the deeds that we perform.

In this is a prohibition for all Believers who go against the Qur’aan and the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. We have a statement from Ibn Abbas رضى الله عنه that says that “this aayah means that you should not say anything in opposition to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.”

According to Ad-Dahaak, “in every affair that you judge you should never go against the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.”

Abu Daawood and Tirmidhi and ibn Maajah narrated from Muadh ibn Jabal رضى الله عنه that: “The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said to him when he صلى الله عليه و سلم sent him out ‘what are you going to use when you judge?’ he said ‘the Book of Allaah’ he صلى الله عليه و سلم said ‘and if you do not find it in the Book of Allaah?’ he said ‘then in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم’, he صلى الله عليه و سلم said ‘and if you don’t find it in any of those two?’ he said: ‘then I will exert myself to find out what is correct’.” This narration says that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم hit him in his chest and said ‘All praise is due to Allaah who has given the Messenger of the Messenger of Allaah his correct understanding or directed him to that which is correct’.

This particular act of his and the Prophet’s صلى الله عليه و سلم acceptance of it was so because he placed his opinion after the Book and the Sunnah. Thus, his response was considered praiseworthy, if he did otherwise he would have been going ahead of the Book and the Sunnah, and this is doing something that is not correct.

Ayah 2
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ وَلا تَجْهَرُوا لَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لا تَشْعُرُونَ
{O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, nor speak aloud to him in talk
as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds should be rendered fruitless while you perceive not.}
[al-Hujuraat 49:2] Allaah سبحانه و تعالى addresses the Believers saying “O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم” i.e. if you speak to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم do not raise your voice above his voice because raising the voice indicates a lack of manners and showing disrespect. Lowering the voice and refraining from raising it is from glorification and good manners. It is a praiseworthy mannerism with all of the people as well.

His Speech “nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another” i.e. if they speak to him, then address him صلى الله عليه و سلم with tranquillity and respect as opposed to what He سبحانه و تعالى has prohibited from raising the voice in speech occurring between them.

Do not say ‘O Muhammad’ or ‘O Ahmad’ but say ‘O Prophet of Allaah’ and ‘O Messenger of Allaah’ without any disrespect. This is the third aspect of good manners mentioned.

And Allaah’s Speech: “lest your deeds should be rendered fruitless while you perceive not” – Allaah has prohibited them from raising their voices as was their custom. The Believers are commanded to stay away from those acts for fear of the reward of their deeds being rendered of no consequence. This may even lead to disbelief if one does not implement the commands in these aayaat, as comes in the authentic hadith from Imaam Maalik, Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasaa’ee and others from Bilaal ibn al-Haarith that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “A man speaks a word of Allaah’s Pleasure and does not think of it as any consequence but Allaah is pleased with it and allows him to enter Jannah and another says a word of displeasure to Allaah and doesn’t think of it as any worth but it takes him into the Fire a distance that is more that what is between the heavens and the earth.”
Ayah 3
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَغُضُّونَ أَصْوَاتَهُمْ عِندَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ امْتَحَنَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ لِلتَّقْوَى لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ
{Verily, those who lower their voices in the presence of Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, they are the ones whose hearts Allaah has tested for piety. For them is forgiveness and a great reward.} [al-Hujuraat 49:3] They honour the Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم and will have this reward. Here Allaah mentions “those who lower their voices in the presence of Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, they are the ones whose hearts Allaah has tested for piety” i.e. those who lower their voices during their conversations with the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم and in his sittings, Allaah has tested their hearts with taqwa like gold is tested with fire and the good of it is separated from the undesirable things which are removed. For these individuals Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has purified their hearts from all undesirable things and “For them is forgiveness and a great reward” because of their manners in lowering their voices and being obedient as in the aayah:

لِتُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَتُعَزِّرُوهُ وَتُوَقِّرُوهُ
{In order that you (O mankind) may believe in Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم,
and that you assist and honour him صلى الله عليه و سلم…}
[al-Fath 48:9] So those who believe in Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم and they honour him صلى الله عليه و سلم would receive this type of reward.
Ayah 4
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُنَادُونَكَ مِن وَرَاء الْحُجُرَاتِ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لا يَعْقِلُونَ
{Verily, those who call you from behind the dwellings, most of them have no sense.} [al-Hujuraat 49:4] Here Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions that most of those who call out to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم from behind the hujuraat from a distance, they have no understanding. Here ‘hujuraat’ refers to the chambers of the wives of Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. Most of the people of Bani Tameem were ignorant of this type of regulation, and due to their ignorance they conducted themselves in this manner as they did not know what is required of them from manners and respect.

In Allaah’s سبحانه و تعالى statement ‘most of them’ what can be understood is ‘all of them’ because the Arab may mention ‘most’ when they want to say ‘all’. Or, the intent is that in most of their conditions they do not understand.
Ayah 5
وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ صَبَرُوا حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ إِلَيْهِمْ لَكَانَ خَيْراً لَّهُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
{And if they had had patience till you could come out to them, it would have been better for them.
And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.}
[al-Hujuraat 49:5] Meaning وَ لَيْتَهُمْ لَوْ صَبَرُوا –If only! They had been patient.

Here what is intended is that if they were patient until he صلى الله عليه و سلم came out to them then it would have been better for them in this life and in the life to come i.e. honouring the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and speaking to him in a manner that is appropriate.

However, the verse points out that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى when He mentions that He is ‘Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful’ (indicates) that He would not hold these people accountable for the mistakes that they made because of their condition. In the aayah there is also an encouragement for all Believers to turn to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and seek repentance.

Regulations/benefits mentioned in these aayaat

  1. It is compulsory to obey Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم and one should not precede the Book and the Sunnah.
  2. Teaching the Bedouin and other than them high moral standards and the virtues of manners if the Bedouin has bad manners in addressing the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and calling out to the people.
  3. Qurtobi and ibn Arabee رحمهما الله say about the aayah: ‘O you who believe! Make not (a decision) in advance before Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم’ they say that this is a foundation to leave off opposing the statements of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and that it is compulsory to follow him صلى الله عليه و سلم.
    In this verse there is no evidence for those who deny qiyaas (analogical deduction) because that is not preceding Allaah سبحانه و تعالى or the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. What is intended by Qiyaas that is used by the scholars is what is called ‘Qiyaas al-‘usoolee’ which is a tool used for the deduction of law and it does not enter into the foundations or the principles of faith i.e. tawheed, eemaan, pillars of Islaam – salaah, siyaam, hajj etc. It is in no way in opposition to this verse.
  4. The aayaat command taqwa in all the affairs of the Believers and not just in a particular circumstance. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى hears the speech of everyone and is aware of all actions.
  5. It is compulsory to lower the voice in the presence of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم. By not doing this, one has not really actualised the order to lower one’s voice. It does not imply that one should whisper such that he is not heard, but rather to refrain from speaking in a way that is unbecoming.
  6. Do not call out to him صلى الله عليه و سلم in the way that you call out to one another i.e. do not say “Yaa Muhammad”. You should call him صلى الله عليه و سلم in a manner that is respectful e.g. “Yaa Rasulallaah” or “Yaa Nabeeyallaah”.
  7. Abu Bakr ibn Arabee mentions that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم should be honoured after his passing away, the same way he was honoured when he صلى الله عليه و سلم was alive. The sanctity of his words which are recited and read has the same sanctity after he passed away that they had when he صلى الله عليه و سلم was alive. This is so because Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions:
    وَإِذَا قُرِئَ الْقُرْآنُ فَاسْتَمِعُواْ لَهُ وَأَنصِتُواْ
    {So, when the Qur’ân is recited, listen to it, and be silent…} [al-A'raaf 7:204] The Qur’aan is revelation and the Sunnah is also a form of revelation which you are supposed to listen to and show respect for when it is recited.
  8. The voices should not be raised in an unacceptable manner or when inappropriate. Sometimes it becomes necessary to raise the voice e.g. in war, or arguments or intimidating the enemy – here it is not prohibited as there is a purpose.
    There is a hadith where the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said to Abbas ibn al-Muttallib on the day of Hunayn to shout and raise his voice to the people and Abbas had the loudest voice. One time he raised his voice so loudly that a pregnant lady aborted due to the strength of his voice.
  9. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentioning ‘lest your deeds should be rendered fruitless’ refers to the reduction of reward and not that the person will be considered a disbeliever or goes into a state of kufr. However, the deeds may be rendered less than they are, and an individual may not even realize this.
  10. Where Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions ‘Verily, those who lower their voices in the presence of Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, they are the ones whose hearts Allaah has tested for piety’ He has tested the hearts of the people for taqwa and eemaan just as gold is cleansed and purified from impurities which accompany it.
  11. When the Bedouins of Bani Tameem came and said that their praise is honourable and to criticize them is disgraceful, one of those amongst them who was boisterous and called out was al-Aqra’ ibn Haabis as narrated by at-Tirmidhi. They came whilst the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم was taking his midday rest and they wanted some people to be freed. This act of theirs is something that is uncharacteristic and should not be done by the Believers.
  12. If they had waited it would have been better for them in this life and the life to come. If they would have waited, they would have found that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم had set aside time for them to deal with the issues of the people.
    When Allaah سبحانه و تعالى concludes this aayah ‘And if they had had patience till you could come out to them, it would have been better for them. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful’, His mentioning ‘Allaah is Most Merciful’ is an encouragement for the Believers to seek repentance at all times.

The Shaykh حفظه الله then mentioned that we would continue with Aayaat 6-8 in the next class inshaa Allaah.

References and Notes

[1] The origin and historical development of a linguistic form as shown by determining its basic elements, earliest known use, and changes in form and meaning, tracing its transmission from one language to another, identifying its cognates in other languages, and reconstructing its ancestral form where possible. “etymology.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.

[2] Reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree Vol. 4 Kitaab at-Tafseer (#4566)
حدثنا الحسن بن محمد حدثنا حجاج عن بن جريج قال أخبرني بن أبي مليكة أن عبد الله بن الزبير أخبرهم أنه قدم ركب من بني تميم على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال أبو بكر أمر القعقاع بن معبد وقال عمر بل أمر الأقرع بن حابس فقال أبو بكر ما أردت إلى أو إلا خلافي فقال عمر ما أردت خلافك فتماريا حتى ارتفعت أصواتهما فنزل في ذلك
{ يا أيها الذين آمنوا لا تقدموا بين يدي الله ورسوله } حتى انقضت الآية

CLASS #2 – Delivered on December 2nd, 2006

The Shaykh حفظه الله began in the Name of Allaah and after praising Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and sending the salaat and salaam upon our Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم, his family members and all his companions, he proceeded:

Aayaat 6-8

The Shaykh حفظه الله then read the aayaat to be covered during the lesson. They are aayaat 6 to 8.

Quote:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْماً بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ {6} وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ فِيكُمْ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لَوْ يُطِيعُكُمْ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ لَعَنِتُّمْ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ حَبَّبَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْإِيمَانَ وَزَيَّنَهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَكَرَّهَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكُفْرَ وَالْفُسُوقَ وَالْعِصْيَانَ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الرَّاشِدُونَ {7} فَضْلاً مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَنِعْمَةً وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ {8}
[49:6] O you who believe! If a Fâsiq (liar – evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done.

[49:7] And know that among you there is the Messenger of Allâh صلى الله عليه و سلم. If he were to obey you (i.e. follow your opinions and desires) in much of the matter, you would surely be in trouble. But Allâh has endeared the Faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts, and has made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience (to Allâh and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم) hateful to you. Such are they who are the rightly guided.

[49:8] (This is) a Grace from Allâh and His Favour. And Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

Explanation of the Aayaat

1.Linguistic Meanings of words used in the aayaat:
فاسق – Faasiq means ‘going out’ or ‘departing’ from the limits of the Deen of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى or the Sharee’ah (Islaamic legislation). In the Arabic language you say: ‘the date has fasaqa if it has emerged from its skin’ (and the word used is fasaqa, the same word found in the verse). Fusūq is leaving or exiting from something and being detached from it.

بنبإ – bi Nabain this means ‘with news or any sort of information that you are presented with’.

فتبينوا – fa-tabayyinū – ordering with authentication of statements and discernment of truth from falsehood. In one narration it says fa-tathabatu – verify it least you afflict a people with ignorance and you end up being remorseful and sad as a result of this.

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ فِيكُمْ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ – ‘And know that among you there is the Messenger of Allâh صلى الله عليه و سلم’ i.e. do not speak with falsehood, verily Allaah سبحانه و تعالى will inform him صلى الله عليه و سلم of the state of affairs.

لَوْ يُطِيعُكُمْ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ – ‘If he were to obey you (i.e. follow your opinions and desires) in much of the matter’ i.e. the things that you inform him صلى الله عليه و سلم of, which are contrary to the true state of affairs.

لَعَنِتُّمْ – la’anittum- If you disobey him in a lot of issues you will find yourself in difficulties.

وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ حَبَّبَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْإِيمَانَ – ‘But Allâh has endeared the Faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts’ i.e. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has made eemaan (belief) loved to you in your heart.

زَيَّنَهُ – zayyanahu – beautified it

كَرَّهَ – karraha – He has made the following things loathsome and hateful to you. These things are: الْكُفْرَ – al-kufr – disbelief and corruption
الْفُسُوقَ –al-fusūq – deviating from obedience to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم
الْعِصْيَانَ – al-‘isyaan – transgression (all types of sins)

أُوْلَئِكَ – refers to some of those who seek to clarify the issue (Mutabayyinoon)

هُمُ الرَّاشِدُونَ – The Raashidoon are those who are firm upon their Deen. They act according to the haqq (truth) in that which is correct. They are the ones who are rightly guided.

2. Reason for Revelation:

It has been narrated from the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم that ‘He sent Waleed ibn ‘Uqbah to Bani Mustalaq to collect the zakaat. When they saw him they proceeded in his direction. He became afraid so he returned to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and informed him صلى الله عليه و سلم that they had apostated from Islaam. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم sent Khaalid ibn Waleed and ordered him to confirm this and not to delay. Khaalid set out and he came to them at night. He dispatched his scouts and when they came (back) they informed Khaalid that they (people of Bani Mustalaq) were holding fast to their Islaam and they heard their adhaan and their salaah. So when Khaalid came to them he saw that what they (the scouts) mentioned to him was correct, so he returned to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and informed him; then this ayah was revealed. In one narration the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said “Hastiness is from Shaytaan and deliberation (carefulness) is from Allaah.[1]”

This ayah is from the aayaat that the ‘Ulema say that what is taken into consideration is the general meaning of the ayah, and not (to limit oneself) to the reason (for revelation).

3. Relation to the aayaat that preceded:

After Allaah سبحانه و تعالى ordered the Believers with 2 things: (i) Obedience to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and (ii) Lowering the voices in his صلى الله عليه و سلم presence and making it compulsory to honour the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and hold him in high esteem, He سبحانه و تعالى then went on to inform of things required to protect the Islaamic community.

He commanded that it is compulsory to verify information that comes to us, in order to prevent fitnah (trouble, confusion) and trials from appearing amongst the ranks of the Believers. This is one of the very important mannerisms in the Islaamic community and it is there to prevent argumentation and confusion amongst individuals in the Ummah.

4. Meaning of the Aayaat:

The Shaykh حفظه الله then summarized the meaning of the verses generally.

  • He started by mentioning the call that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى directs to those who believe: “Oh you who believe” validate (information) about Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم if there comes to you a faasiq. Do not pay attention to lies.
  • In the ayah: “And if a faasiq (corrupt person) comes to you”faasiq refers to an individual who is not careful about what he says and what he conveys. If he is like this then he will obviously not be cautious about the types of lies that he conveys. You should not allow yourself to be deceived by this type of individual. Beware of what he has to say and do not be hasty and accept everything, out of fear that you may unknowingly afflict other individuals with some type of harm, and you may be saddened or disheartened because of what you have done.
  • Faasiq is used in the ayah without the definite article and Naba’ is also used without the definite article, as if He سبحانه و تعالى had said “any corrupt individual who comes with any type of information should be verified.” The information must not be just ‘accepted’. It must be confirmed because an individual like this has no shame in lying or doing anything corrupt. For this reason, whatever news he brings must be verified.
  • This ayah indicates that the news of a single individual is based on evidence and that the witness of a faasiq is not accepted.
  • Then Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions the presence of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم amongst them so that he صلى الله عليه و سلم may be honoured and you may ask him (questions). He سبحانه و تعالى said: “And know that among you there is the Messenger of Allâh صلى الله عليه و سلم. If he were to obey you (i.e. follow your opinions and desires) in much of the matter, you would surely be in trouble.” i.e. know, that with you is the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم so honour him and respect him and obey his commands for indeed he is the most superior one in keeping peace between you, and do not speak with falsehood and do not be hasty in judging people without verifying the authenticity of the information. If he صلى الله عليه و سلم were to comply with most of what you informed him about from news, and what you allude to from your incorrect opinions; it would increase in your falling into distress, and it would be tiring, and it is a grave offence and utter destruction. But he صلى الله عليه و سلم does not obey you in most of what you want before carefully scrutinizing the matter.
  • In the statement of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى: “If he صلى الله عليه و سلم would obey you, you would be afflicted with calamities and misfortune”. The verb used يطيعكم is in the present tense, showing that the Prophet’s صلى الله عليه و سلم position on this is continuous. When it comes to obedience it is not just in the past, nor is it that he verified news on one occasion but it was a continuous practice of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم.
  • In the statement of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى ‘much of the matter’ shows that some of the things that the people pointed out to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم were actually correct. The example given was the type of consultation by the Companions رضى الله عنهم in respect to Bani Mustalaq; the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم benefited from that.
  • His سبحانه و تعالى saying ‘But Allâh has endeared the Faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts, and has made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience (to Allâh and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم) hateful to you. Such are they who are the rightly guided’ means that regarding the Companions رضى الله عنهم, He سبحانه و تعالى made eemaan (faith) loved and dear to them and made hateful and disliked to them every expression of disbelief, fisq (exiting the limits of the Deen) and every act of disobedience. Those that have these characteristics are the Raashidoon i.e. those who are guided.
  • ‘(This is) a Grace from Allâh and His Favour.’ This refers to all that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentioned in what has preceded regarding the characteristics of the Believers. These things are a bounty and a blessing from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى that He bestows upon the Believers.
  • He is ‘Aleemun‘And Allâh is All-Knowing’ – The knowledge that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is speaking of is related to all affairs in the past, the present and the future. His Knowledge is All-Encompassing.
  • He is Hakeem‘All-Wise’. This refers to His being Wise in his statements, actions, legislations, and having all things put in their right place, quantity and perspective.

5. Ahkaam/Benefits to be derived from the Aayaat

The statement of a corrupt individual is unacceptable according to consensus. This is because conveying information is a trust and corruption or fisq destroys that trust. This is agreed upon by the People of Knowledge.

Regarding his own affairs, the word of the faasiq is not unacceptable. As for the affairs of others, Imaam Ash-Shaafiee’ رحمه الله is of the opinion that this type of individual i.e. a faasiq should not be guardian in representing a woman in marriage. Imaam Abu Haneefah and Imaam Maalik رحمهما الله say that this guardianship remains. They say if the faasiq is able to discharge the monetary rights of those under his care then he is able and trustworthy enough to deal with their marriage.

In addition, we have the case of a Haakim (Ruler), who may be in a position of authority e.g. the ruler of a country or someone other than that. If he passes rulings that are in accordance with the Qur’aan and Sunnah then they should be adhered to. If they oppose the Qur’aan and Sunnah then they should not be adhered to, based on the statement of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم where he said: “There is no obedience to any created being if that means disobedience to the Creator.”[2] What he has passed in terms of judgments in the past, they are concluded.

Regarding individuals carrying out daily transactions amongst themselves in the society; then if there are some who may not be totally upright, their activity in the society is accepted due to necessity. If we expected everyone in the society to be honest and trustworthy individuals in order to accept things from them, then the actual activities of the community would stop and this is not in the best interest of the society.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

1. Question: Why is the surah called Surah al-Hujuraat?
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله mentioned that he discussed this at the beginning of the tafseer. The reason for the naming of the surah al-Hujuraat is because Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions in the surah: “those who call out from behind the chambers (hujuraat)”. The expression ‘hujuraat’ comes in the surah so the name is tawqifiyyah i.e. based on textual evidence.

2. Question: What are the characteristics that one should adorn himself with?
Answer: A comprehensive way of dealing with this is that an individual should adorn himself with what Allaah سبحانه و تعالى commands and he should stay away from what He prohibits. What He سبحانه و تعالى commands from the obligatory and recommended affairs should be adhered to; and one should stay away from things that are haraam or disliked. It is upon an individual to learn what Allaah has commanded him to do and what He has prohibited him from doing. This is so that his deeds will be in accordance with what Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has legislated and what he leaves off would also agree with what Allaah has legislated (that it be left off). If unaware, he should ask those who know as Allaah سبحانه و تعالى teaches us:
فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ {… So ask of those who know the Scripture if you know not.} [al-Anbiyaa’ 21:7; An-Nahl 16:43]

3. Question: When the woman requests a khul’ah (divorce requested by the woman) from her husband and it is granted, does she have to be in ’iddah (waiting period) for 30 days for them to get back together or must they have another nikaah (marriage ceremony)?
Answer: The khul’ah produces separation between the wife and her husband. If the husband wants to re-approach his former wife, he must present himself as one of the people who are proposing. There are three (3) things that are required:
i. A new marriage ceremony
ii. The wife must be in agreement
iii. A new mahr (dowry) must be given.

4. Question: A sister who has not studied under a scholar but has gained knowledge from books and tapes and who has indirect access to the scholars wants to know if it is okay for her to teach in the masjid as there is no one else to teach?
Answer: What is known is that knowledge is taken from the lips of the scholars. Each branch of knowledge is taken from one who specializes in that branch e.g. to study tafseer, it is taken from one who specializes in tafseer. This is one way of acquiring knowledge.

Another way is from reading the books – but one must not depend on it unless qualified to read the books. Perhaps she may misinterpret something and then pass along the wrong interpretation to the people, who then in turn, convey it to others and this lady will carry the burden of all those who she taught in this way. The Shaykh حفظه الله advises this sister that she should not teach as she did not read the books with one who can give the correct meaning.

5. Question: A brother asks concerning the imaam from the masjid nearest his home. The imaam visits graves and seeks help from the dead. The brother asks if he may pray behind the imaam? If he is not permitted to pray behind him and there are no other masjids, may he pray at home?
Answer: An individual who visits the graves and seeks help from the dead in order to gain benefit or avert harm is committing major shirk which takes one out of the fold of Islaam. However, it is necessary to inform this individual that this is prohibited. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم taught us: “Whoever sees something wrong let him change it with his hand, if he is not able then with his tongue, and if he is not able then hate it in his heart and this is the weakest of eemaan.”[3] If the imaam does not accept the advice, and he continues in his way, then it is not allowed to pray behind him and there is no problem for the brother to pray at home and gather others in the neighbourhood to pray with him.

6. Question: A sister says that unfortunately her father doesn’t pray at all and most of her brothers don’t pray either. She would like to know if her father is still her wali (guardian)? If he doesn’t pray who can be her wali?
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله said that he would answer this question in the next class inshaa Allaah.

7. Question: Can a woman wear pants below her abayah?
Answer: She should not wear these pants below her abayah as the abayah may possibly fall down and show her ’awrah. One of rules of Shariah is to close the door that leads to harm that may occur.

8. Question: A sister has been married for about 6 months now. She realized after marriage that her husband misrepresented himself to her and her wakeel before marriage. She found out that he lied about a lot of things after they were married. He has another wife and he is not able to take care of both of their bills and interaction with her is very bad. She requests your advice.
Answer: My advice to her is that if this individual has these characteristics then he is not suitable because the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: ‘ “if a person comes to you and you are pleased with his Deen and his trustworthiness then marry him.” This individual is deprived of trustworthiness and if he is deprived of trustworthiness then it is not permissible for her to stay with him as he will (word unclear- mistreat?) her in the future.

References and Notes

[1] Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله says hadeeth Hasan in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (#3011)
التأني من الله والعجلة من الشيطان

[2] Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله says Saheeh in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (#7520)
لا طاعة لمخلوق في معصية الخالق

[3] Reported in Saheeh Muslim Vol. 1 Kitaab al-Eemaan (#49)
من رأى منكم منكرا فليغيره بيده فإن لم يستطع فبلسانه فإن لم يستطع فبقلبه وذلك أضعف الإيمان

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