Tafsîr of Sûrah Al-Hujarât: Verses 3-5



Brother Yahya Adel Ibrahîm






"Surely, those who lower their voices in the presence of Allâh 's Messenger (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) are the ones whom Allâh has tested their hearts for Taqwa (piety). Forgiveness and a great reward will be theirs."


Here, Allâh informs the believers that if they lower their voices in the presence of Allâh 's Messenger (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam), then they will be considered to have passed the test of piety, thereby, earning His forgiveness and the reward of paradise.

A Test of Taqwa (Piety)


Following the Messenger (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) - According to the Tafsîr of Ibn Abbas (radhi Allâh u anhu) in which the presence of Allâh 's Messenger is interpreted as his (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) Sunnah, then this test can only be achieved through submission to Allâh 's Messenger. Thus, if a believer has practices and ideas that contradict the Sunnah of Allâh 's Messenger (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam), then he should lower his voice by submitting to the truth.

And if he does so, then he will have passed the test of piety and proved his belief in the Messenger of Allâh , Muhammad (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam), because the second half of the testimony - "Muhammadur Rasûl-Allâh " obligates the obedience to Prophet Muhammad (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam). And Allâh says:


"Whatsoever the Messenger gives you take it and whatsoever he forbids you refrain from it." [Sûrah al-Hashr (57): 7]


Thus, this verse emphasizes the importance and obligation of following the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) and giving his Sunnah precedence over one's own desires and habits.

Choice between Good and evil


Another general explanation of this verse was given by 'Umar Ibn Khattâb (radhi Allâh u anhu), when he was asked whether a man who never desired evil nor did he do it, was better than one who desired it but did not do it. He replied:


"Surely, those who desire sin and do not commit it are the ones whom Allâh has tested their hearts for Taqwa. Forgiveness and a great reward will be theirs." [Musnad Ahmad]

Also, the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said:


"Whoever intends to do a bad deed and chooses not to do it, will have good deed recorded for him." [Sahîh al-Bukharî v.8, p.329, no: 498 and Sahîh Muslim v.1, p.75, no: 237]

Thus, this verse also refers to those who are tempted to commit acts of disobedience and choose to do the right. All such people have passed the test of Taqwa.



"Surely, most of those who call you out from behind the apartments have no sense."


Revelation- Allâh revealed this verse when a group of Bedouins called out to the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) from behind his house, as was their custom among themselves, saying: "O Muhammad (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam), verily my praise is sweet and my curse is bitter." The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) replied: "Only Allâh is like that." [Musnad Ahmad, Tirmidhî]

Manners towards the Muslim leaders and Common Muslims


The act of Bedouins, though not intentional, was disrespect to the Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam). However, the approach towards a Muslim leader should be respectful and his right to privacy must be honored. Likewise, to all Muslims, if one wants to visit a Muslim, the Islamic etiquettes instruct him to knock on the door up to three times, if there is no reply then he should leave. The Messenger of Allâh (sallAllâh u alaihi wasallam) said:


"If any of you seeks permission (to enter a house) and no permission is granted, he should return." [Sahîh al-Bukharî and Sahîh Muslim]



"And if they were patient until you came out to them, it would have been better for them but Allâh is oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."


In this verse Allâh explains the correct etiquettes of visiting a Muslim leader, while emphasizing on Patience that if the Bedouins had waited patiently until the Messenger of Allâh himself came out, then it would have been better for them.

Sabr (Patience)


Patience holds great virtues in Islâm and Allâh has emphasized Patience with great stress. He said:


".And be patient and preserving: for Allâh is with those who patiently preserve." [Sûrah al-Anfal (8): 46]


Linguistically 'Sabr' means detain, refrain and stop. In the Islamic terminology, 'Sabr' means to stop oneself from despairing and panicking. To stop one's tongue from complaining and hands from striking faces and tearing clothes at times of grief and stress.

Patience can be of two types, either by choice or without choice, for example: Patience without choice such as patiently bearing illness, cold or heat. Patience by choice would be refraining from that which Shari'ah has prohibited. Patience by choice is of higher virtue than the patience without choice.

Patience is made a condition of success and prosperity


"O you who believe! Preserve in patience and guard your territory; and fear Allâh ; that you may prosper." [Sûrah al-Imrân (3): 200]


Allâh will reward them with blessings, mercy and guidance:


".but give glad tidings to those who patiently preserve who say, when afflicted with calamity: 'To Allâh we belong and to Him is our return" They are those on whom (descend) blessings from their Lord, and Mercy and they are the ones that receive guidance." [Sûrah al-Baqarah (2): 155-7]




"Those who patiently preserve will truly receive a reward without measure!" [Sûrah az-Zumar (39): 10]


A Test for Mankind

Allâh says:


"(It is He) who created death and life to test which of you is best in deeds."


He also said:


"Be sure that We will test you with some fear, hunger, and loss of wealth, life or the fruits (of your efforts). So give glad tidings to the patient ones who say when disaster strikes them, 'Surely we belong to Allâh and surely to Him we will return" [Sûrah al-Baqarah (2): 155-6]




"He raised some of you over the other by varying degree to test you in what you were given." [ (6): 165]


However, Allâh 's test is fair towards His slaves, He said:


"Allâh does not burden a soul beyond his ability." [Sûrah al-Baqarah (2): 286]


Moreover, He promised that:


"Surely, with every difficulty comes ease." [Sûrah al-Inshirâh (94): 5-6]


Then Allâh closes the verse saying: "but Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." Giving hope and way to the sinner to repent and ask forgiveness from His Lord, since Allâh is Oft-Forgiving and Most Merciful to his slaves.


Source: http://www.islaam.net/main/display.php?id=832&category=50





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