Nov 23, 2022 12:33 UTC

Salaam and welcome to another episode of our weekly series titled “Path towards Enlightenment” which is an endeavour to make you and us familiar with an easy and fluent explanation of God’s Final Scripture to all mankind, the holy Qur’an that was revealed to the Last and Greatest of all Messengers, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).

As you know we have started explanation of “Surah al-Mujadilah” or “The Pleader”, which is number 58 in the serial order of compilation of the holy Qur’an.

It was revealed in Medina and mentions the complaint of a woman whose husband had put her away by resorting to the pagan Arab formula, known as “zihaar”, which consists of the words: “You are to me as the back of my mother.” This was a pagan custom to imply a kind of divorce that freed the husband from any responsibility for conjugal duties as well as providing support for children, but without allowing the wife the freedom to leave the husband’s home or to contract a second marriage. The woman, who along with her husband had become a Muslim, pleaded to the Prophet against this unjust behaviour and said she also lacked the means to support her little children.

Her prayer to Allah and her plea was accepted, and this brutal and unjust custom of the pagan Arabs was abolished through revelation of this Surah, which goes on to state that those who oppose God and the Prophet, or fall to the temptations of the Satan, or lie in their oaths and make intrigues against the Prophet, will be defeated and suffer humiliation both in this world and in the Hereafter, while Hezbollah or the Party of Allah, which means those who have firm faith in God, will triumph.

We start from where we left you a fortnight ago in our last episode of this series, and here are Ayahs 12 and 13 of the said Surah:

“O’ you who have faith, when you talk secretly to the Prophet, offer a charity before your secret talk; that is better for you and purer, but if you cannot afford, then Allah is indeed All-Forgiving, All-Merciful.

“Were you apprehensive of offering charities before your secret talks? So, as you did not do it, and Allah was Merciful to you, maintain the prayer and pay the zakaat, and obey Allah and His Prophet. And Allah is well aware of what you do.”

If you might recall, in our last episode of Path towards Enlightenment while explaining the previous Ayahs of this Surah, we had said that secret talks and seemingly private counsels at public gatherings are forbidden except to provide security and safeguard one’s honour or to prevent the disclosure of some important and sensitive matters. Advice and admonishment, however, ought to be done without publicity in order to have the desired effect.

The Ayahs that we recited to you now refer to the habit of some affluent persons who in the presence of several others, used to come near to the Prophet and try to unnecessary whisper to him as if they were holding a private counsel, much to the embarrassment of the Prophet and that of others, especially the poor Muslims. Their aim was to seek privileges in vain, and besides they wasted the precious time of the Prophet. Therefore, God Almighty revealed these Ayahs as a trial for them to spend from their wealth, as a source of charitable offerings for the poor, and as an efficient means for lessening such troubles. Moreover, expending in the cause of Allah purifies the hearts of the affluent from craving worldly privileges and those of the needy from hatred and grief. This was an effective way in ending disturbances and undue requests.

From these Ayahs we learn that:

  1. Islam has dealt in various ways to remove poverty from society and recommended charity at every opportunity.
  2. Charity has two aspects: to do righteous deeds in the form of helping others and to purify the spirit of the rich from stinginess.
  3. Islamic laws are in accordance with the financial and physical abilities of every individual.

Now let us listen to Ayahs 14 and 15 of the same Surah:

“Have you not regarded those who befriend a people at whom Allah is wrathful? They neither belong to you, nor to them (the enemies), and they swear false oaths while they know.

“Allah has prepared a severe punishment for them. Evil indeed is what they used to do.”

These Ayahs refer to the secret ties of the hypocrites amongst Muslims with the enemies of Islam. These are a disclosure of the conspiracies of the hypocrites who should not be trusted and against whose designs extra cautiousness is required, even if they take oaths, since their pledges are false. It also means that the attempts by some to hold private counsels with the Prophet at public gatherings was hypocrisy and a stratagem to try to get information for passing on to the enemies of Islam. The hypocrites are opportunists and are friends of no one. Thus the All-Merciful Lord has warned the doers of such evil acts with a severe punishment.

These Ayahs teach us the following points:

  1. Hypocrites always try to exploit the situation and pretend to be friends; thus it is necessary to recognize them and prevent them from deceiving the simple-minded people.
  2. Political and economic relations with non-Muslims should not lead to acceptance of their dominance.

In conclusion of this week’s episode of Path towards Enlightenment, here Ayahs 16 and 17 of Surah Mujadilah:

“They make a shield of their oaths and bar [people] from the way of Allah; so there is a humiliating punishment for them.

“Their possessions and children will never avail them in any way against Allah. They shall be the inmates of the Fire and they shall remain in it forever.”

Hypocrites try to appear in religious garb amongst the believers. They speak of religion and God in a way, such as resorting to false oaths, in order to mislead some simple-minded people and prevent them from discovering the truth and realities of Islam.

The hypocrites are warned of a humiliating punishment from which there is no escape for them, either through their worldly possessions or their children. Because of their lack of faith and plots against the true believers, such persons shall be cast into Hell and remain their forever in torment.

These Ayahs teach us that:

  1. The stratagem of the hypocrites is to undermine Islam by claiming to be Muslim in order to prevent the proper promotion in society of God’s commandments.
  2. It is nothing but foolishness on the part of the hypocrites to think of themselves to be clever, when their end is humiliation, both in the transient life of this world and in the Hereafter.
  3. Wealth, power, and children may be of help in the world, but will be of no avail in the Hereafter.

RM/AS/SS

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