Nov 23, 2022 12:38 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 embarked on explanation of 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.

We start from where we left you last Friday, and here are Ayahs 11, 12, and 13:

“Have you not regarded the hypocrites who say to their brethren, the faithless from among the People of the Book: ‘If you are expelled, we will surely go out with you, and we will never obey anyone against you, and if you are fought against we will surely help you,’ and Allah bears witness that they are indeed liars.

“Surely, if they were expelled they would not go out with them, and if they were fought against they would not help them, and (even if) they were to help them they would surely turn their backs [to flee] and then they would not be helped.

“Indeed they have a greater awe of you in their hearts than of Allah; that is because they are a lot who do not understand.”

If you might recall, last week in our explanation of the previous Ayahs of Surah Hashr we said the boundaries of time and place are not important in religious brotherhood, and it is the duty of believers to assist their brethren-in-faith who have been displaced from homes and to help them settle in the new land. We also said that it is faith in God and removal of all negative attitudes from the hearts that makes a person deserving of Divine Mercy and Kindness; hence sins are forgiven when repentance in the Divine Court is earnest and sincere.

The Ayahs which we now recited refer to the hypocrites and disbelievers who profess unity against believers but when action is required they are too timid to come out in the field. It happened that when the Prophet ordered the Israelite tribes to leave Medina for their breech of the pact of neutrality, a group of Arab hypocrites who outwardly paid lip service to Islam but were disbelievers at heart, sent a message telling them to prepare for battle against Muslims. These hypocrites promised to fight along with the Israelites against Muslims, and in case of suffering defeat, to leave Medina in company of those being expelled. The hypocrites were led by Ibn Ubayy and Ibn Nabtal.

Here the Holy Qur’an is explicitly saying that God Almighty bears witness that the hypocrites are liars and will not keep their promise. Thus, when the Israelites had no other choice but to leave, the Arab hypocrites neither supported them nor left Medina along with them.

From these Ayahs we learn that:

  1. The faithful are brothers of each other, while the hypocrites profess brotherhood with the faithless and with the enemies of Islam.
  2. Lies, deceit, and cowardliness are among the main features of the hypocrites.
  3. A believer should not fear the deceptive and disappointing words of the hypocrites, whose main intention is to demoralize the true Muslims.
  4. Being afraid of people rather than of Allah is an explicit sign of hypocrisy.

Now we invite you to listen to Ayahs 14 and 15 of the same Surah:

“They will not fight against you together except in fortified townships or from behind walls. Their might is great amongst themselves. You suppose them to be united but their hearts are disunited. That is because they are a lot who do not apply reason.

“Just like those who tasted the evil consequences of their deeds, recently before them, and there is a painful punishment for them.”

These Ayahs mean to say the hypocrites are so afraid of the believers that in case of confrontation they hide behind walls and wage war against them from fortified places. Muslims might think the hypocrites are united amongst themselves, but the fact is that they are not, and have deep differences with each other, because of their basic ignorance of truth and realities.

True believers are cautioned against cooperation with the hypocrites since this would mean falling to deception, which entails torment in life and terrible punishment in the Hereafter. Thus, those who go astray taste the bitter consequences of their error, similar to the fate of the disbelievers and hypocrites of the past, which means favourable and unfavourable things are the consequences of our own deeds.

These Ayahs teach us the following points:

  1. If the true believers, with trust in God, stand united against the enemies, the Almighty will cast fear in the hearts of enemies making them retreat or surrender.
  2. Superficial and outward unity among the different groups of hypocrites and disbelievers will not last long, since real unity is based on Divine values.
  3. The fate of the past nations should serve as admonishment for us and for the coming generations.

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

“(The hypocrites are) like Satan when he tells mankind to disbelieve; but when he (that person) disbelieves, he says, ‘Indeed I am absolved of you. Indeed I fear Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.’

“So the fate of both is that they will be in the Fire, to remain in it (forever); and such is the requital of the wrongdoers.”  

Here the believers are reminded of yet another attribute of the hypocrites, that is, they resemble Satan who uses different designs to tempt people but does not keep his promise after people have gone astray by citing his own fears of the Almighty Creator of the universe.

Ayah 17 refers to the fate of Satan and his followers, that is, they will abide in the fires of hell forever.

These Ayahs teach us that:

  1. Hypocrisy makes a person devilish to the extent that he/she embarks on deceiving others and trying in vain to escape the misery in which they have trapped themselves.
  2. The Satan and the hypocrites break promises by citing fear of God, which is actually a pretext to try to escape the dire consequences of their own evil deeds.
  3. The ever-deceiving Satan never gives up his temptations, while the hypocrites should be considered devils in human for their deceiving of simple-minded people.