Tafsîr of Sûrah Al-Hujarât: Verses 1-2



Brother Yahya Adel Ibrahîm




'Hujurât' is the plural form of the word, 'Hujrah' which literally means room. It was revealed in the ninth year after the Hijrah. [al-Baihaqî] In the year of the delegation (eight year after the Hijrah), many desert tribes began sending representatives to the Prophet of Allâh (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) to present their oath of allegiance and to accept Islâm . These representatives were often crude and coarse in their conversations with the Prophet (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam). Thus, Allâh revealed Sûrah al-Hujurat as a guide to moral behaviors and etiquettes to Muslims. Sûrah al-Hujurat constitutes a set of moral ideas and general code of behavior for the Muslims and is therefore the essential foundation of a Muslim community.



"O Believers, do not put (yourselves) forward (hasten not to decide) in Allâh and His Messenger's (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) presence but instead fear Allâh . Verily, Allâh is All-Hearing and All-Knowing."


The presence of Allâh and His Messenger: One is in the presence of Allâh , when the Qur'ân is recited and likewise one is in the presence of Allâh's Messenger (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) when his Hadîths are mentioned. Thus, the presence of Allâh and His Messenger is the Qur'ân and the Sunnah. [Ibn Kathîr vol. 4, p.315]

And forwardness in their presence would be interpreting the Qur'ân and the Sunnah by other than what has been taught by the Messenger of Allâh or giving one's own opinion precedence over the commands of Allâh (Qur'ân) and His Messenger (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) (Sunnah).

A Believers Manhaj (way): When clear proofs and evidences from the Qur'ân and the Sunnah are presented to the Believer, he submits to them giving up all his or hers mistaken concepts. Allâh says:


"The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allâh (His Words: the Qur'ân) and His Messenger (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) to judge between them, is that they say: 'We hear and we obey'. They are those who will attain success." [Sûrah an-Nûr (24): 51]


Whereas, the Manhaj of an innovator is that he makes up his own concepts and practices and then tries to make the religion comply with his ideas - by unintentionally making false interpretations of the Qur'ân and the Sunnah or claiming them to be the practices of his forefathers. He is no better then those regarding whom Allâh says:


"Then do you believe in a part of the Book and reject the rest? Then what is the recompense of those who do so among you, except disgrace in the life of this world, and on the Day of Judgement, they shall be consigned to the most grievous torment. And Allâh is not unaware of what you do." [Sûrah Al-Baqarah (2): 58]




"O you who Believe! Raise not your voices in the presence of Allâh 's Messenger (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak loud to one another, lest your deeds may be rendered fruitless, while you perceive not."


Revelation - Narrated Az-Zubayr (radhi Allâh u anhu): "When a delegation from tribe of Tamîm came to the Prophet (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam), Abu Baqr (radhi Allâh u anhu) suggested to the Prophet that al-Qa'qâ ibn Ma'bad (radhi Allâh u anhu) be sent to meet them and ?'Umar ibn Khattâb (radhi Allâh u anhu) that al-Aqra bin Qays (radhi Allâh u anhu) be sent instead. Abu Baqr was irritated by 'Umar's counter proposal so he turned to 'Umar (radhi Allâh u anhu) and said: "You only said that to contradict me" 'Umar in turn replied that he did not do it to be contrary. A quarrel aroused and both of them raised their voices to such a level that the Prophet's voice was drowned out. Allâh then revealed the verse "O you who Believe! Raise not your voices in the presence of Allâh 's Messenger (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam)..."

As explained earlier, here too the meaning derived from: 'in the presence of Allâh 's Messenger (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam)' are the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam). [as explained by Ibn Abbass (radhi Allâh u anhu) (Ibn Kathîr)]. According to the interpretation of Ibn Abbass (radhi Allâh u anhu), this verse indicates that when the Sunnah of Allâh 's Messenger (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) reaches a Muslim, he should not reject or neglect it claiming that his forefathers worked out in a different way.

NOTE: It should be noted that it was forbidden to raise one's voice in the presence of Prophet Muhammad (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam), while he was living, and it forbidden to raise one's voice at the grave of Prophet (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) in Madînah, now that he is dead.

It has been narrated that the great Caliph, 'Umar ibn Khattâb (radhi Allâh u anhu) once he heard two men raising their voice in the Prophet's Masjid, so he asked them: "Do you realize where you are?" But before they could answer, he asked them, "Where are you both from?" They replied they were from Tâif. He then said to them: "If you had said that you were from Madînah, I would have given you both severe lashes for raising your voices in the masjid of Allâh 's Messenger (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam)" [Sahîh al-Bukharî]

Cure for Disagreement and Disunity among Muslims:

The revelation of this verse helps in realizing and understanding that the cure for disputes and disagreement among the Muslims is the adherence to the Qur'ân and the Sunnah. It is emphasized in details in the verse:


"And if you disagree about anything you should refer it to Allâh and His Messenger (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam), if you believe in Allâh and the Last Day." [Sûrah an-Nisa (4): 59]


After the death of Prophet Muhammad (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam), this verse applies to the Qur'ân and the Sunnah as the basis of all decisions. It is also important that the decision be accepted completely by the heart, tongue and the limbs because Allâh says:


"By Allâh , they do not truly believe until they make you (O Muhammad (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam)) the judge in disputes between them, without finding within themselves any resistance to your decision but instead accepting them completely" [Sûrah An-Nisâ (4): 65]


Because his (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) speech was divinely guided:


"Nor does he speak of (his own) desires. It is only an inspiration that is inspired." [Sûrah an-Najm (53): 3]


Allâh then warns that one might loose all his good deeds, due to disrespect to the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) or his Sunnah, without he knowing it. Also, the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) said:


"A man may inadvertently speak a word pleasing to Allâh because of which Paradise is destined to him, and another may recklessly speak a word displeasing to Allâh because of which he will be cast in the Hellfire, further then the distance between heaven and the earth." [Sahîh al-Bukharî v.8, p.322, no.485]

He also said:


"O you who believe! Obey Allâh and obey the Messenger and make not vain your deeds." [Sûrah Muhammad (47): 33]


We Learn - Morals

Anger: The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) advised the Muslim Ummah to avoid anger and bad language. He once repeated the command: "Do not get angry" thrice. [Sahîh Bukharî v.8, p.88, no. 137] and: "The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hands the Muslims are safe." [Sahîh al-Bukharî] He (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) also said:


"The signs of a hypocrite are four and anyone who possesses one of them possesses a characteristic of Nifâq (hypocrisy) until he abandons it. When he is entrusted he betrays his trust, when he talks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he quarrels he uses foul (bad language) words" [Sahîh al-Bukharî v.1 p.32-33, no. 33, Muslim v.1, p.40, no.111, and Abu Dawûd v.3, p.1313, no.4671]

The ill feeling produced by arguments may last forever and spoil the Muslim unity. Hence, Islâm has completely prohibited this ill behavior for Muslims on the tongue of Prophet Muhammad (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam), he said:


"It is not allowed for a Muslim to cut off his relations with his Muslim brother for more than three nights by turning away from each other whenever they meet. And the best of them is the one who greets (Salâms) to the other - first." [Sahîh Bukharî v.8, pp.64-65, no.100]

Loud Voices: Raising the voice is a sign of bad character, and Islâm has abandoned such ill manners. Allâh recalls the saying of Luqman (alaihi as-salâm):


"Lower your voice, (my son) for verily, the most detestable (hateful) voice is the braying of a donkey." [Sûrah Luqmân (31): 19]


Furthermore, Allâh 's Messenger (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) referred the raising of voices as being among the signs of the Last Day and said:


"Voices will be raised loud in the masjids and the tribes will be lead by their most sinful members" [At-Tirmidhî]

And he (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) advised: "If you get angry, be quiet!" [Adâb al-Mufrad]


Source: http://www.islaam.net/main/display.php?id=831&category=50





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