Nov 23, 2022 12:36 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).

In our last episode of this series, we completed explanation of “Surah Mujadilah” and from this Friday onwards we embark on explanation of the next Surah, that is, “Surah Hashr”, which is number 59 in the serial order of compilation of the holy Qur’an.

It has 24 Ayahs and was revealed in Medina. Its name is derived from the second Ayah which mentions the word “Hashr”, which does not, however, denote the gathering on the Day of Resurrection, but it connotes people's gathering for migration. The Surah opens and closes with the glorification of God Almighty by all that is in the world of existence. It mainly refers to the collaboration of the Arab hypocrites with the Israelite tribes in Medina against the Muslims, and the banishment of the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadheer for its breaking of the agreement with the Prophet. The Almighty Creator says that the joint stratagems of the hypocrites and the rebellious Israelites lead to nothing but their humiliation and defeat.

As for the merits of reciting this Surah, there are many including forgiveness of sins and faults.

We now invite you to listen to Ayahs 1 and 2:

“In the Name of God, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful -- Whatever there is in the heavens and whatever there is in the earth glorifies Allah, and He is the All-mighty, the All-wise.

“It is He who expelled the faithless belonging to the People of the Book from their homes at the outset of (their) en masse banishment. You (the Muslims) did not think that they would go out (easily in view of their power), and they (the Israelites) thought their fortresses would protect them from Allah. But (the wrath of) Allah came at them from whence they did not reckon and He cast terror into their hearts, so that they demolished their houses with their hands and the hands of the faithful. Thus take lesson, O you who have insight!”

The opening Ayah says that whatever exists in the heavens and on the earth glorify the All-Wise and Almighty Creator of the universe, including angels, mankind, plants, and even inanimate things of which we are not aware, since the wondrous system of the creation of each and every particle reflects Divine Omniscience, Omnipotence, Glory, and Wisdom.

Ayah 2 refers to the three Israelite tribes of Banu Nadheer, Banu Quraydha, and Banu Qaynuqa, which centuries earlier had migrated to Arabia in anticipation of the advent of the Last and Greatest Prophet as had been foretold in their scriptures. When Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) declared his universal mission of Islam by the command of God and later following his persecution by the pagan Arabs of Mecca migrated to the city of Yathreb, which now became famous as Medinat-an-Nabi or the City of the Prophet, and simply Medina, these Jewish tribes denied his mission. They, however, made a pact of peaceful co-existence with the Prophet, but soon breached it by collaborating with the Arab hypocrites, and thought that their strong fortresses would protect them from the Muslims. On God’s commandment the Prophet ordered their expulsion from Medina. These Israelite tribes, who at first thought they would safe in their strongly fortified mansions, suddenly felt fear in their hearts and decided to leave by taking away whatever movable property they had, but demolished their homes with their own hands lest the Muslims take possession of their vacated property. Here, the Arabic word “Hashr” connotes gathering and driving out of their dwellings.

These Ayahs teach us that:

  1. God Almighty created the entire universe and thus each and every thing glorified Him in its own peculiar manner.
  2. God always assists those who sincerely beseech Him against the plots of the enemies.
  3. Those who violate agreements and breech pacts should be decisively confronted so that they do not think of deceiving Muslims again.
  4. We should not be awed by the strength of the enemies, whether hypocrites or disbelievers, and should act with full trust in God.

Now let us listen to Ayahs 3 and 4 of the same Surah:

“And if Allah had not ordained banishment for them, He would have surely punished them in this world, and in the Hereafter there is for them the punishment of the Fire.

“That is because they defied Allah and His Prophet; and whoever defies Allah, indeed Allah is severe in retribution.

The peaceful departure from Medina of the treacherous Israelite tribes was actually a torment for them for destroying, while leaving the magnificent homes they had built, and had they refused expulsion, God would have punished them with a severe affliction, although there is a greater punishment for such treasonous unrepentant communities in the Hereafter.

As Ayah 4 means to say, such is the dire fate in this world and the Hereafter of those who disobey God, defy the Prophet, turn away from the truth and justice, and immerse themselves in self-conceit and vanity.

From these Ayahs we learn that:

  1. Banishment is the minimum punishment that Islam has ordained for conspirers and seditionists.
  2. Expulsion from Medina for these three Israelite tribes was because of their breaching of pacts and their plotting against Muslims, and not for their being non-Muslims.

In conclusion of this week’s episode of Path towards Enlightenment, here is Ayah 5 of Surah Hashr:

“Whatever palm trees you cut down or left standing on their roots, it was by Allah’s Will, and in order that He may disgrace the transgressors.”

This Ayah refers to the Divine commandment to the Prophet to cut down some of the palm trees that were adjacent to the strongholds of the banished Israelite tribes, so that these would not be misused for hiding and carrying attacks on Muslims, although Islam forbids the felling of trees, setting ablaze of farms, and killing of animals even during military confrontation. This was a further form of disgrace and humiliation for the treacherous tribes.

This Ayah teaches us the following points:

  1. Those trees that are used for sedition, concealment of conspiracies, and ambushing of Muslims, can be cut.
  2. We should be alert and vigilant against the stratagems of the enemies and should not give them a chance to cause further harm.

God bless you and goodbye.