Friday, 14 October 2011

Surah Hujuraat (49) [the small Apartments/Rooms] - Abdul Nasir Jangda

Surah Hujuraat (49) [the small Apartments/Rooms] - Abdul Nasir Jangda

Ayah 1-2:
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This surah is based on Islamic Character/morals/etiquettes/manners. It can be applied to a small Muslim community, just as it can be applied in an Islamic state.


9AH - when the Muslim state of Medinah had been established, and Makkah had been conquered and the different tribes had begun to accept Islam. The Muslims were safe, so Allah wanted to teach them manners by which they could act with each other.

Connection to Previous Surah:

The surahs before this surah place an emphasis on Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam)

Surah Muhammad (47) - talks about the Messenger of Allah, his characteristics. 

Surah al Fat-h (48)
- talks about the loyalty and allegiance the Muslims should have to the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam), especially during times of war.
(you honor/dignify him, you strengthen him and you respect him with the highest standard of respect  - 48:9)

- Allah mentions His pleasure for when the companions of Prophet Muhammad gave allegiance to the Prophet under the tree. ( - 48:10)
- Allah honors His Messenger by saying he is the Messenger of Allah,  (- 48: 29)

- that his dream is true - that you will surely enter Masjid al Haram and do Hajj - 48:27

- Praise of his Companions: They are harsh with the enemies, merciful/humble with each other.. Allah has promised those who believe and do good - for them is a great reward. (48:29)

Surah al Hujuraat (49) begins -

With believers and their description.

49: 1-3 - Allah describes the believers and what good they should do and He ends with, 'that they have a great reward.'

Allah then talks about how to honor and respect His Messenger.

This surah has 'Yaa ayyuha-aladheena aamanoo' - o you who believe..
5 times in a surah which is only 19 aayaat long. And once 'yaa ayuha-al-naas' (O mankind)

Lessons which we will learn from this surah:

- Our relationship with others and our manners and it's relationship to Emaan [belief].

The Structure of the Surah:

The 5 'O you who believe's:

1st - how to deal with our religion completely.
2 - how to behave with the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam)
3 - the moving and transferring of information/news/gossip in our community.
4 - how to deal with the believers face to face.
5 - how to deal with Muslims in their absence.

Allah also discusses;
- What is the collective responsibility of the Ummah during Internal Conflict?
- What is the Muslim communities responsibility in relation to the rest of the world and its communities.
- the surah started with Emaan (belief) and ends with discussing Emaan too. How it increases, and how it decreases.

Ayah 1:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

O you who believe, do not push youself forward in the presence of Allah and His Messenger. Be aware of Allah, surely Allah is constantly hearing, constantly seeing.

Hadeeth in Tafseer books:
A tribe had arrived in Medinah to accept Islam (when alot of tribes were becoming Muslim after the Conquering of Makkah.) The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) asked for advice as to who should be given responsibility to be leader. Abu Bakr said one name, and 'Umar said another name. They started to raise their voices and began to argue while the Messenger of Allah was in their presence.

Qaddam - put forward.

Grammar: tuQaddimu = 'put yourself forward'

The Grammar of the word mandates that an Object be mentioned after it. But in this ayah no object is mentioned.

So what you are not allowed to put forward before Allah and His Messenger isn't mentioned.

In other words, Allah is prohibiting us from putting anything before Allah and His Messenger (i,e, whether it is; words, ideas, actions etc.)

Furthermore, Allah has made His Messenger in an equal level of obedience to Allah Himself. This is by Him mentioning His Messenger (Muhammad, sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) next to His own Name.

'Do not push forward infront of Allah and His Messenger'

Bayna yaday - infront of

Allah does not want the believers to put themselves infront of Allah's Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam), although the believers are allowed to express their opinions. But the final decision is for the Messenger.

I.e. Consult them in the matter, and when you (O Muhammad) have made a decision, put your trust in Allah.. (Aal imran 3:159)

There are many examples from the Seerah (Prophetic life journey) to prove this.
I.e. Before the battle of Badr when the companion recommended a better camping spot, and after Hudaiybiyah Treaty when Umm Salamah recommended Allah's Messenger to sacrifice the animal and to shave his own hair, and the Companions would follow (when the Companions were confused as to what they should do.)

Wa attaqu-ullah..
'And fear Allah'

attaqu - Taqwa -  to guard / protect yourself (against evil, disobedience, Allah's anger etc.)

So Allah is teaching us that we can only fear Him and guard ourselves through;
- good actions,
- and by not placing ourselves infront of Allah and His Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam.)

Inna Allaha samee'un 'aleem
Surely Allah is constantly hearing, constantly knowing.

Allah is telling us that He is fully hearing what we say, whether we say it out loud publically, or even if we whisper it. He is listening to us.

And whatever we say, He is always knowledgable of it and will not forget.

These descriptions of Allah encourage us to have Taqwa and to always be aware.

Ayah 2:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ وَلَا تَجْهَرُوا لَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ

O you who believe, don't raise your voice above the voice of the Prophet. And do not address him, like you talk to each other. Otherwise, your deeds might be completely cancelled out without you even realising it.

This ayah deals with;
- the exact code of conduct and behaviour the believers should have for the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam)

This ayah teaches us the spirit of obedience.

I.e. When someone has one personal opinion, it cannot
take precedence or conflict with what has been commanded in the religion. Even if that person has a strong inclination to his own view.

Ayah 3-5:
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Ayah 3:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَغُضُّونَ أَصْوَاتَهُمْ عِندَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ امْتَحَنَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ ۚ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

Surely those who lower (ghuDD) their voices (when) with the Messenger of Allah, it is those whose hearts have been tested for Taqwa (guarding), it is especially for them - forgiveness and a great reward.

GhuDD - lower / lessen

So someone who lowers / lessens his voice, even though he has a strong desire / opinion to say otherwise

La-hum maGhfiratun wa ajrun 'ADheem -
Especially for them is Forgiveness and a Great Reward

This is similar to the last words of surah al Fat-h (48:29);
maGhfiratan wa ajran 'ADheema - forgiveness and a great reward.

Fiqh (Islamic Rulings)
: The Companions of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) did raise their voices in his presence during times of Adhaan (call to prayer), Talbiyyah (Labbayk in Hajj etc.)

However, Allah is praising those who lower their voices when interacting with the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam.)

An Tahbata a'maalakum - that your deeds be wasted..

HabaTa - when your deeds go bad because of another bad outside element.

Classical Arabic meaning; HabaTa =When you eat something and get a bad stomach.

So it implies; you were not bad and you did alot of good deeds, but by disrespecting the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) - something is going to ruin your deeds for you.

Similar words
Dalla - be Misguided
BaTala - be Falsified (become False)

Wa antum laa taSh'uroon -
and you won't even understand (why or how it happened.)

Surely those who lower/lessen their voices (when) with the Messenger of Allah, it is they whose hearts Allah has tested. For them is forgiveness and a great reward.

Reason for Revelation of this Ayah:

This verse was revealed because the Companions (Sahaba) did alot of good work for the religion. And they feared that if they raised their voices in the presence of the Messenger, all their good deeds would be wasted and become bad.

So Abu Bakr came to the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) and only mumbled/whispered in his speech. The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) could not understand what he meant and asked him to speak more clearly.

We learn that the Companions were afraid for their actions to be wasted, so they spoke quietly in the presence of Allah's Messenger.

Allah praised their attitude of humbleness before the Messenger, and this is why this ayah was revealed. Allah is showing us that He loves this attitude of His slaves being humble to Allah and His Messenger's commands (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam.)

So humbleness in our times is to the Islamic Rulings (Quran, Sunnah etc.) If someone tells us to do something based on Islam, we need to humble ourselves like the Companions of the Prophet did and try hard to submit to it.

(from ayah 2:
Wa laa taJharu lahu bi-il qawli ka jahri ba'Dikum li ba'Da..) -
and do not talk to him (the Messenger of Allah) like you talk to each other.

In surah al-Nur (24:63) - Allah says; لَّا تَجْعَلُوا دُعَاءَ الرَّسُولِ بَيْنَكُمْ كَدُعَاءِ بَعْضِكُم بَعْضًا -  don't call (du'a) Prophet Muhammad like you call out to each other.

How Allah addresses Prophet Muhammad (saws):

1 - Allah always calls out to His Prophet Muhammad in honorable names/titles. (i.e. Rasool, Nabi, etc.)
He never calls him as 'ya Muhammad' (O Muhammad!).

Whereas Allah always calls His other Prophets by their real names. (Ya Musa, Ya 'Eesa, Ya Nuh, Ya Adam etc.)

So if Allah calls His Messenger Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) as Prophet or Messenger, then we follow that example.

I.e. Imam Malik would always have a bath, wear really nice clean clothes, and good perfume - before teaching Hadeeth. Out of respect for the Sayings of the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam.)

iMtahana - test someone leniently and lightly, forgivingly (a nice and easy test.)

Similar word:
Balaa / iBtilaa - a very strict/firm test.
[Prophet Ibraheem - a Messenger of Allah was tested with this type from Allah. [al Baqarah 2:124]]

Allah has tested their [the believers] hearts for Taqwa (fear of Allah).

This surah has a strong emphasis on mannerisms because when alot of bedouins became Muslim, Allah had to teach them how to be civilized and have good manners.

I.e. the Companions (Sahaba) in Medinah did not ask too much questions unless it was necessary. But they said they would be happy when bedouin Muslims came - since they would bluntly ask questions and the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) would answer them.

Example: A bedouin asked the Messenger of Allah if you can have grapes in Jannah (Paradise). And the Messenger of Allah told him that you can.

We see how they asked such simple questions because of their simple life in the desert.

Ayah 4:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُنَادُونَكَ مِن وَرَاءِ الْحُجُرَاتِ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ

Surely those who call out to you from outside your apartments, most of them have no understanding.

This surah is called surah Hujuraat = small apartments/rooms.
These were rooms of the wives of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) adjacent to the Mosque.

The bedouins would enter into Medinah in the middle of the night and ask where the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) was. The believers would tell them where the house/apartments of the Prophet (saws) are.

So they would go outside the house and shout;
'Ya Muhammad, akhruj ilaynaa - O Muhammad, come outside to us.

Allah criticized their action and this ayah was revealed.

We notice that Allah is telling His Messenger that he shouldn't mind the behaviour of these bedouins because they don't know any better, because they don't have a high moral character as the main companions did.

'If they had waited until you came out to them, it would surely be better for them. And Allah is excessively forgiving, constantly merciful.'

1 - Most of these don't understand (laa ya'qiloon). Linguistically, it refers to someone who has no Understanding ('Aql).

'Laa taSh'uroon' means - No Realising.

So these bedouins didn't even have an Understanding that they are making a mistake.

2 - Allah tells that if they had waited (Sabaroo) it would be better (khayr) for them.

Allah relates Khayr (good) with Sabr (patience.)

Everything we do in life has to have Patience for good results to come up. Whether you are a Parent, teacher, one who submits to his Master (Allah) etc.

Famous Saying: 'Good things come to those who wait'.

3 - Beauty of Quran in Giving Lessons:

It's reported that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam); 'anzili al-naas manaazila hum' - deal with people according to their levels and status.'

Different people should be dealt with according to their; rank, level of understanding, abilities etc.

We see that the previous ayah about your good deeds being wasted (an tahbata a'maalakum) is speaking about the higher Emaan believers - i.e. Abu Bakr and Umar.
Allah warned them that they should not argue in the presence of Prophet Muhammad (saws).

However, when Allah spoke to the bedouins, He hinted at His Messenger to be lenient with them because they don't understand (laa ya'qiloon). And He said that He is forgiving and merciful. Why? Because their emaan (belief) is not strong enough to grasp the high moral character He expects from the believers.

So He has given them about more ease due to their lower Emaan (belief) and understanding.

These are new converts, so Allah does not want to show severety to them and distance them away from Emaan.

We see how Allah wants the best believers to rise even higher in Emaan, so they need to perfect their character with the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam.)

The Accessibility and Forebearance of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam):

1 - When the bedouins wanted to call the Prophet (saws) and speak to him, they would go directly towards his house. He is always there to talk to.

This is one of the main qualities of leadership, and the first quality of leadership which disappeared from our communities in our history.

Hadeeth 2:
Khaadimu al qawmi sayyidu hum -
- 'The server of the people is their leader'.

Once some new Muslims who had travelled to Medinah came to visit the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam). They all got off their camels and ran to meet him (saws).

Their leader however stayed behind to tie the camels and put everything safely.

When the Prophet (saws) asked them where their leader was, they explained what he was doing. So the Prophet (saws) praised his character for doing that and did not talk to them properly until their leader came too. He did this to respect the leader for his good quality of serving his people.

Forebearance of the Prophet (saws):

Being forgiving with your people.

The Prophet (saws) would spend all day serving his people, and had only a few hours to spend with his family at night. The other half of the night he would pray Tahajjud (the night prayer). Yet these bedouins would be calling out to him with bad manners, yet the Prophet (saws) did not shout at them, rather - Allah Himself had to tell -through this ayah- that these people should to wait till the Prophet (saws) himself comes out.

We also learn;
Be kind and merciful to those under you, just like the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) was. We are either fathers or mothers or in charge/authority over others. We need to learn this high level character of patience.

Watch video Surah Hujuraat Ayah 6-8 >>>

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