Reason behind revealing Surah Al-Mumtahinah
The story of Hatib bin Abi Balta`ah is the reason behind revealing the beginning of this honorable Surah.
Hatib was among the Early Emigrants and participated in the battle of Badr. Hatib had children and wealth in Makkah, but he was not from the tribe of Quraysh. Rather, he was an ally of Uthman. When the Messenger of Allah decided to conquer Makkah, after its people broke the peace treaty between them, he ordered the Muslims to mobilize their forces to attack Makkah, and then said,
اللْهُمَّ عَمِّ عَلَيْهِمْ خَبَرَنَا
O Allah! Keep our news concealed from them.
Hatib wrote a letter and sent it to the people of Makkah, with a woman from the tribe of Quraysh, informing them of the Messenger's intent to attack them. He wanted them to be indebted to him (so that they would grant safety to his family in Makkah).
Allah the Exalted conveyed this matter to His Messenger, because He accepted the Prophet's invocation (to Him to conceal the news of the attack).
The Prophet sent someone after the woman and retrieved the letter.
This story is collected in the Two Sahihs.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Hasan bin Muhammad bin Ali said that Abdullah bin Abu Rafi` -- or Ubaydullah bin Abu Rafi` -- said that he heard Ali say,
"Allah's Messenger sent me, Zubayr and Al-Miqdad saying,
`Proceed until you reach Rawdat Khakh, where there is a lady carrying a letter. Take that letter from her.'
So we proceeded on our way, with our horses galloping, until we reached the Rawdah. There we found the lady and said to her,
`Take out the letter.'
She said, `I am not carrying a letter.'
We said, `Take out the letter, or else we will take off your clothes.'
So she took it out of her braid, and we brought the letter to Allah's Messenger.
The letter was addressed from Hatib bin Abu Balta`ah to some pagans of Makkah, telling them about what Allah's Messenger intended to do. Allah's Messenger said,
O Hatib! What is this?
`O Allah's Messenger! Do not make a hasty decision about me. I was a person not belonging to Quraysh, but I was an ally to them. All the Emigrants who were with you have kinsmen (in Makkah) who can protect their families. So I wanted to do them a favor, so they might protect my relatives, as I have no blood relation with them. I did not do this out of disbelief or to renegade from my religion, nor did I do it to choose disbelief after Islam.'
Allah's Messenger said to his Companions,
(Regarding him), he has told you the truth.
Umar said, `O Allah's Messenger! Allow me to chop off the head of this hypocrite!'
The Prophet said,
إِنَّهُ قَدْ شَهِدَ بَدْرًا، وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّ اللهَ اطَّلَعَ إِلَى أَهْلِ بَدْرٍ فَقَالَ:
اعْمَلُوا مَا شِئْتُمْ فَقَدْ غَفَرْتُ لَكُم
He attended Badr. What can I tell you, perhaps Allah looked at those who attended Badr and said,
"O the people of Badr, do what you like, for I have forgiven you.''
The Group with the exception of Ibn Majah, collected this Hadith using various chains of narration that included Sufyan bin `Uyaynah.
Al-Bukhari added in his narration in the chapter on the Prophet's battles,
"Then Allah revealed the Surah,
O you who believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies as protecting friends... ''
Al-Bukhari said in another part of his Sahih, Amr (one of the narrators of the Hadith) said,
"This Ayah, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّي وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاء (O you who believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies as protecting friends'...) was revealed about Hatib, but I do not know if the Ayah was mentioned in the Hadith (or was added as an explanation by one of the narrators).''
Al-Bukhari also said that:
Ali bin Al-Madini said that Sufyan bin `Uyaynah was asked, "Is this why this
Ayah, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّي وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاء (O you who believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies as protecting friends'...) was revealed''
"This is the narration that I collected from `Amr, I did not leave a letter out of it. I do not know if anyone else memorized the same words for it.''
The Command to have Enmity towards the Disbelievers and to abandon supporting Them
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّي وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاء تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِم بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَقَدْ كَفَرُوا بِمَا جَاءكُم مِّنَ الْحَقِّ ...
O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies as protecting friends showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth,
refers to the idolators and the disbelievers who are combatants against Allah, His Messenger and the believers. It is they whom Allah has decided should be our enemies and should be fought. Allah has forbidden the believers to take them as friends, supporters or companions.
Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,
يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَـرَى أَوْلِيَآءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ
O you who believe!
Take not the Jews and the Christians as protecting friends; they are but protecting friends of each other. And if any among you takes them (as such), then surely, he is one of them. (5:51)
This Ayah contains a stern warning and a sure threat.
Allah the Exalted said,
يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَكُمْ هُزُواً وَلَعِباً مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَالْكُفَّارَ أَوْلِيَآءَ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ
O you who believe!
Take not as protecting friends those who take your religion as a mockery and fun from among those who received the Scripture before you, nor from among the disbelievers; and have Taqwa of Allah if you indeed are true believers. (5:57)
يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَجْعَلُواْ للَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَاناً مُّبِيناً
O you who believe!
Take not for protecting friends disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves? (4:144)
لاَّ يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَىْءٍ إِلاَ أَن تَتَّقُواْ مِنْهُمْ تُقَـةً وَيُحَذِّرْكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ
Let not the believers take the disbelievers as protecting friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself (His punishment). (3:28)
This is why Allah's Messenger accepted Hatib's excuse when he said that he only wanted to have a favor on the Quraysh, because of the property and family members he left behind in Makkah.
... يُخْرِجُونَ الرَّسُولَ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ...
and have driven out the Messenger and yourselves (from your homeland),
follows His encouragement to fight against them and to avoid being their supporters. This is because they expelled the Messenger and his Companions on account of their hatred for Tawhid and worshipping Allah alone in sincerity.
This is why Allah the Exalted said,
...أَن تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ رَبِّكُمْ ...
because you believe in Allah, your Lord!
meaning, `your only fault is that you believed in Allah, Lord of all that exists.'
Allah the Exalted said in other Ayat,
وَمَا نَقَمُواْ مِنْهُمْ إِلاَّ أَن يُؤْمِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ
And they had no fault except that they believed in Allah, Almighty, Al-Hamid! (85:8)
الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُواْ مِن دِيَـرِهِم بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ إِلاَّ أَن يَقُولُواْ رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ
Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly only because they said: "Our Lord is Allah.'' (22:40)
... إِن كُنتُمْ خَرَجْتُمْ جِهَادًا فِي سَبِيلِي وَابْتِغَاء مَرْضَاتِي ...
If you have come forth to strive in My cause and to seek My good pleasure.
Allah says, `if you are as described here, then do not take the disbelievers as supporters. If you migrated in Jihad for My cause and for seeking My pleasure, then do not take My enemies and your enemies as protecting friends, after they expelled you from your homes and property in rage against you and rejection of your religion.'
... تُسِرُّونَ إِلَيْهِم بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَأَنَا أَعْلَمُ بِمَا أَخْفَيْتُمْ وَمَا أَعْلَنتُمْ ...
You show friendship to them in secret, while I am All-Aware of what you conceal and what you reveal.
Allah asks, `do you do this while I know the secrets of the hearts, the intentions and all apparent things,'
... وَمَن يَفْعَلْهُ مِنكُمْ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَاء السَّبِيلِ ﴿١﴾
إِن يَثْقَفُوكُمْ يَكُونُوا لَكُمْ أَعْدَاء وَيَبْسُطُوا إِلَيْكُمْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ وَأَلْسِنَتَهُم بِالسُّوءِ ...
And whosoever of you does that, then indeed he has gone astray from the straight path.
Should they gain the upper hand over you, they would behave to you as enemies, and stretch forth their hands and their tongues against you with evil,
meaning, `if they gain the upper hand over you, they would use every type of harm in their disposal to hurt you in words and action,'
... وَوَدُّوا لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ ﴿٢﴾
and they desire that you should disbelieve.
meaning, `they are eager that you do not earn any good. Therefore, their enmity to you is outward and inward, so how can you become supporters of this type of people?' This also encourages the enmity.
لَن تَنفَعَكُمْ أَرْحَامُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَفْصِلُ بَيْنَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ ﴿٣﴾
Neither your relatives nor your children will benefit you on the Day of Resurrection. He will judge between you. And Allah is the All-Seer of what you do.
means, `your family relations will not benefit you with Allah if Allah decided to cause harm your way. Your relations will not benefit you if you please them with what angers Allah.'
Those who agree with their family being disbelievers in order to please them will have earned loss and failure and their deeds will be rendered invalid. Their relation will not benefit them with Allah, even if their relation was with a Prophet.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that a man said,
"O Allah's Messenger! Where is my father''
In the Fire.
When the man went away, the Prophet called him back and said:
إِنَّ أَبِي وَأَبَاكَ فِي النَّار
Verily, my father and your father are in the Fire.
Muslim and Abu Dawud also collected this Hadith.
The Good Example of Ibrahim and His Followers, when They disowned Their Disbelieving People
Allah the Exalted says to His faithful servants, whom He commanded to disown the disbelievers, to be enemies with them, and to distant themselves and separate from them:
قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ ...
Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him,
meaning, his followers who believed in him,
... إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَاء مِنكُمْ ...
when they said to their people: "Verily we are free from you...''
meaning, `we disown you,'
... وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ ...
and whatever you worship besides Allah: we rejected you,
meaning, `we disbelieve in your religion and way,'
... وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاء أَبَدًا ...
and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred forever.
meaning, `Animosity and enmity have appeared between us and you from now and as long as you remain on your disbelief; we will always disown you and hate you,'
... حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ ...
until you believe in Allah alone,
meaning, `unless, and until, you worship Allah alone without partners and disbelieve in the idols and rivals that you worship besides Him.'
... إِلَّا قَوْلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ ...
except the saying of Ibrahim to his father: "Verily, I will ask forgiveness (from Allah) for you...''
means, `you have a good example in Ibrahim and his people;
as for Ibrahim's prayers to Allah for his father, it was a promise that he made for his father.' When Ibrahim became sure that his father was an enemy of Allah, he declared himself innocent of him.
Some of the believers used to invoke Allah for their parents who died as disbelievers, begging Him to forgive them. They did so claiming that Ibrahim used to invoke Allah to forgive his father.
Allah the Exalted said in reply,
مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِىِّ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَن يَسْتَغْفِرُواْ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُواْ أُوْلِى قُرْبَى مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ أَصْحَـبُ الْجَحِيمِ
وَمَا كَانَ اسْتِغْفَارُ إِبْرَهِيمَ لاًّبِيهِ إِلاَّ عَن مَّوْعِدَةٍ وَعَدَهَآ إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ أَنَّهُ عَدُوٌّ لِلَّهِ تَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُ إِنَّ إِبْرَهِيمَ لأَوَّاهٌ حَلِيمٌ
It is not for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's forgiveness for the idolators, even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief).
And Ibrahim's request for his father's forgiveness was only because of a promise he made to him .But when it became clear to him that he was an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him.
Verily, Ibrahim was Awwah and was forbearing. (9:113-114)
Allah said here,
قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَاء مِنكُمْ ...
Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people: "Verily, we are free from you...''
... إِلَّا قَوْلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ وَمَا أَمْلِكُ لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ...
... except the saying of Ibrahim to his father: "Verily, I will ask forgiveness for you, but I have no power to do anything for you before Allah.''
meaning, `You cannot follow Ibrahim's example as proof in the case mentioned here, as being allowed to ask Allah to forgive those who died on Shirk.'
This is the saying of Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Ad-Dahhak and several others.
Allah the Exalted said that Ibrahim and his companions, who parted with their people and disowned their way, said afterwards, while invoking Allah in humility and submission,
... رَّبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ ﴿٤﴾
In You we put our trust, and to You we turn in repentance, and to You is the final Return.
meaning, `we trust in You for all matters, we surrender all of our affairs to You, and to You is the final Return in the Hereafter,'
رَبَّنَا لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ...
Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the disbelievers,
"It means, `Do not punish us by their hands, nor with a punishment from You.' Or they will say, `Had these people been following the truth, the torment would not have struck them'.''
Ad-Dahhak said something similar.
"Do not give the disbelievers victory over us, thus subjecting us to trials by their hands. Surely, if You do so, they would then think that they were given victory over us because they are on the truth.''
This is the meaning that Ibn Jarir preferred.
Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas:
"Do not give them dominance over us, lest we suffer trials by their hands.''
... وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴿٥﴾
and forgive us, Our Lord! Verily, You, only You, are the Almighty, the All-Wise.
means, `cover our mistakes from being exposed to other than You, and forgive us for what (sin) is between us and You.'
أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ (Verily, You, only You, are the Almighty), `and those who seek refuge in Your majesty are never dealt with unjustly,' الْحَكِيمُ (the All-Wise), `in Your statements, actions, legislation and decrees.'
Allah the Exalted said,
لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِيهِمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ ...
Certainly, there has been in them an excellent example for you to follow -- for those who look forward to (the meeting with) Allah and the Last Day.
asserting what He has said before with the exemption mentioned, i.e., the good example that Allah mentioned before,لِمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ (for those who look forward to Allah and the Last Day), thus encouraging the believers who believe in Allah and the Return to Him.
... وَمَن يَتَوَلَّ ...
And whosoever turns away,
meaning, from what Allah has ordained,
... فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ ﴿٦﴾
verily, Allah is Al-Ghani, Al-Hamid.
Allah said in another Ayah,
إِن تَكْفُرُواْ أَنتُمْ وَمَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَنِىٌّ حَمِيدٌ
If you disbelieve, you and all on the earth together, then verily! Allah is Ghani, Hamid. (14:8)
Ali bin Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas,
"الْغَنِيُّ Ghani, is the One Who is perfectly rich.''
That is Allah. This is Allah's attribute that He alone is worthy of being described by; surely, He has no equal, none like unto Him. All praise is due to Allah, the One, the Irresistible.
الْحَمِيدُ Hamid means, the praiseworthy, in all His statements and actions, there is no (true) God except Him alone.
Perhaps Allah will make a Friendship between You and Those, whom You hold as Enemies
Allah said to His faithful servants, after ordering them to be enemies with the disbelievers,
عَسَى اللَّهُ أَن يَجْعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَ الَّذِينَ عَادَيْتُم مِّنْهُم مَّوَدَّةً ...
Perhaps Allah will make friendship between you and those, whom you hold as enemies.
meaning affection after animosity, tenderness after coldness and coming together after parting from each other,
... وَاللَّهُ قَدِيرٌ ...
And Allah has power (over all things),
Allah is able to gather opposites and bring together hearts, after feeling hostility and hardness. In this case, the hearts will come together in agreement, just as Allah said when He mentioned His favor on the Ansar,
وَاذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُم أَعْدَآءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَاناً وَكُنتُمْ عَلَى شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُمْ مِّنْهَا
And remember Allah's favor on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His grace, you became brethren and were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. (3:103)
Also the Prophet said to them,
أَلَمْ أَجِدْكُمْ ضُلَّالًا فَهَدَاكُمُ اللهُ بِي، وَكُنْتُمْ مُتَفَرِّقِينَ فَأَلَّفَكُمُ اللهُ بِي؟
Did I not find you misguided, and Allah guided you through me; and divided, and Allah united (your hearts) through me?
Allah the Exalted said,
هُوَ الَّذِى أَيَّدَكَ بِنَصْرِهِ وَبِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ
وَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ لَوْ أَنفَقْتَ مَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعاً مَّآ أَلَّفْتَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِنَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
He it is Who has supported you with His help and with the believers.
And He has united their hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah has united them. Certainly He is Almighty, All-Wise. (8:62,63)
And in the Hadith:
أَحْبِبْ حَبِيبَكَ هَوْنًا مَا، فَعَسَى أَنْ يَكُونَ بَغِيضَكَ يَوْمًا مَا،
وَأَبْغِضْ بَغِيضَكَ هَوْنًا مَا، فَعَسَى أَنْ يَكُونَ حَبِيبَكَ يَوْمًا مَا
- Love your loved one moderately, because one day, he might become your enemy.
- Hate your hated one moderately, because one day, he might become your loved one.
... وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٧﴾
And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
means, Allah forgives the disbelief of the disbelievers if they repent from it, returned to their Lord and surrendered to Him in Islam. Surely, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful to those who repent to Him from their sins, no matter what type of the sin it is.
The Permissibility of being Kind to Disbelievers who do not fight against the Religion And Allah's statement;
لَا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ ...
Allah does not forbid you with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes,
means, those who did not have a role in your expulsion. Therefore, Allah does not forbid you from being kind to the disbelievers who do not fight you because of the religion, such as women and weak disbelievers,
... أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ ...
to deal kindly, (to be gentle with them),
... وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ ...
and justly with those, (to be fair with them),
... إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ ﴿٨﴾
Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Asma' bint Abu Bakr said,
"My mother, who was an idolatress at the time, came to me during the Treaty of Peace, the Prophet conducted with the Quraysh. I came to the Prophet and said, `O Allah's Messenger! My mother came visiting, desiring something from me, should I treat her with good relations'
The Prophet said,
نَعَمْ صِلِي أُمَّك
Yes. Keep good relation with your mother.''
The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Zubayr said,
"Qutaylah came visiting her daughter, Asma' bint Abi Bakr, with some gifts, such as Dibab, cheese and clarified (cooking) butter, and she was an idolatress at that time. Asma' refused to accept her mother's gifts and did not let her enter her house. A'ishah asked the Prophet about his verdict and Allah sent down the Ayah,
لَا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ ...
Allah does not forbid you with those who fought not against you on account of religion ... until the end of the Ayah.
Allah's Messenger ordered Asma' to accept her mother's gifts and to let her enter her house.''
Allah's statement, إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ (Allah loves those who deal with equity), was duly explained in the Tafsir of Surah Al-Hujurat.
We also mentioned the authentic Hadith,
الْمُقْسِطُونَ عَلى مَنَابِرَ مِنْ نُورٍ عَنْ يَمِينِ الْعَرْشِ، الَّذِينَ يَعْدِلُونَ فِي حُكْمِهِمْ وَأَهَالِيهِمْ وَمَا وَلُوا
The just, who are fair in their decisions, families and those under their authority, will be on podiums made of light, to the right of the Throne.
The Prohibition of being Kind towards Combatant Disbelievers
إِنَّمَا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ قَاتَلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَأَخْرَجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ وَظَاهَرُوا عَلَى إِخْرَاجِكُمْ أَن تَوَلَّوْهُمْ ...
It is only as regards those who fought against you on account of religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out that Allah forbids you to befriend them.
means, `Allah forbids you from being kind and befriending with the disbelievers who are openly hostile to you, those who fought against you, expelled you and helped to expel you. Allah the Exalted forbids you from being their friends and orders you to be their enemy.'
Then Allah stresses His threat against being friends with them, by saying,
... وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ ﴿٩﴾
And whosoever will befriend them, then such are the wrongdoers.
As He said;
يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَـرَى أَوْلِيَآءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الظَّـلِمِينَ
O you who believe!
Take not the Jews and the Christians as protecting friends, they are but protecting friends of each other. And if any among you takes them (as protecting friends), then surely, he is one of them.
Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the wrongdoers. (5:51)
After Al-Hudaybiyyah, Emigrant Muslim Women may not be returned to the Disbelievers
In Surah Al-Fath, we related the story of the treaty at Al-Hudaybiyyah that was conducted between the Messenger of Allah and the disbelievers of Quraysh. In that treaty, there were these words,
"Everyman (in another narration, every person) who reverts from our side to your side should be returned to us, even if he is a follower of your religion.''
This was said by Urwah, Ad-Dahhak, Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd, Az-Zuhri, Muqatil bin Hayyan and As-Suddi.
So according to this narration, this Ayah specifies and explains the Sunnah. And this is the best case of understanding.
Yet according to another view of some of the Salaf, it abrogates it.
Allah the Exalted and Most High ordered His faithful servants to test the faith of women who emigrate to them. When they are sure that they are faithful, they should not send them back to the disbelievers, for the disbelievers are not allowed for them and they are not allowed for the disbelievers.
In the biography of Abdullah bin Abi Ahmad bin Jahsh in Al-Musnad Al-Kabir, we also mentioned that Abdullah bin Abi Ahmad said,
"Umm Kulthum bint Uqbah bin Abi Mu`ayt emigrated and her brothers, Umarah and Al-Walid, went after her. They came to Allah's Messenger and talked to him about Umm Kulthum and asked that she be returned to them. Allah abolished the part of the treaty between the Prophet and the idolators about the women particularly. So He forbade returning Muslim women to the idolators and revealed the Ayah about testing them.''
Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas, about Allah's saying:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا جَاءكُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ مُهَاجِرَاتٍ فَامْتَحِنُوهُنَّ ...
O you who believe!
When believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them;
"Their examination was asking them to testify to La ilaha illallah, and that Muhammad is Allah's servant and His Messenger.''
.... اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِإِيمَانِهِنَّ .. ِ
Allah knows best as to their faith,
Mujahid explained the Ayah,فَامْتَحِنُوهُنَّ (examine them) by saying,
"Ask them why they migrated. If they came because they were angry with their husbands, or for any other reason, and you realized that they did not embrace the faith, then send them back to their husbands.''
... فَإِنْ عَلِمْتُمُوهُنَّ مُؤْمِنَاتٍ فَلَا تَرْجِعُوهُنَّ إِلَى الْكُفَّارِ ...
then if you ascertain that they are true believers, send them not back to the disbelievers.
This Ayah indicates that faith can be recognized and affirmed.
The Believing Woman is prohibited from marrying an Idolator and the Believing Man is prohibited from marrying the Idolatress
... لَا هُنَّ حِلٌّ لَّهُمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحِلُّونَ لَهُنَّ ...
They are not lawful for the disbelievers nor are the disbelievers lawful for them.
This Ayah forbids Muslim women for idolators, which was a lawful marriage in the beginning of Islam.
Abu Al-`As bin Ar-Rabi` was married to Zaynab, the Prophet's daughter. She was a Muslim, while Abu Al-`As was still an idolator like his people. When he was captured during the battle of Badr, his wife, Zaynab sent his ransom, a necklace that belonged to the Prophet's first wife Khadijah. The Prophet became very emotional when he saw the necklace and said to the Companions,
إِنْ رَأَيْتُمْ أَنْ تُطْلِقُوا لَهَا أَسِيرَهَا فَافْعَلُوا
If you decide to set free the prisoner who belongs to her, then do so.
They did, and Allah's Messenger set him free. His ransom was that he send his wife to Allah's Messenger.
Abu Al-`As fulfilled his promise and sent Zaynab to Allah's Messenger along with Zayd bin Harithah. Zaynab remained in Al-Madinah after the battle of Badr, which took place in the second year of Hijrah, until her husband Abu Al-`As bin Ar-Rahi` embraced Islam in the eighth year after the Hijrah. She returned to their marriage without renewing the dowry.
... وَآتُوهُم مَّا أَنفَقُوا ...
But give them that which they have spent.
meaning, the husbands of the emigrant women who came from the idolators, return the dowry that they gave to their wives.
This was said by Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, Az-Zuhri and several others.
... وَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ أَن تَنكِحُوهُنَّ إِذَا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ ...
And there will be no sin on you to marry them if you have paid their due to them.
means, when you wish to marry them, then give them their dowry. That is, marry them under the condition that their `Iddah (waiting period) is finished and they have a legal guardian for their marriage etc.
... وَلَا تُمْسِكُوا بِعِصَمِ الْكَوَافِرِ ...
Likewise do not keep disbelieving women,
thus forbidding His faithful servants from marrying idolator women or remaining married to them.
In the Sahih, it is recorded that Al-Miswar and Marwan bin Al-Hakam said that
after the Messenger of Allah conducted the treaty with the Quraysh idolators at Al-Hudaybiyyah, some Muslim women emigrated to him and Allah the Exalted sent down this Ayah about them,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا جَاءكُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ مُهَاجِرَاتٍ ...
O you who believe! When believing women come to you as emigrants) until,
... وَلَا تُمْسِكُوا بِعِصَمِ الْكَوَافِرِ ...
Likewise do not keep disbelieving women,
Then Umar bin Al-Khattab divorced two of his wives, who were idolatresses, and one of them got married to Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan, while the other got married to Safwan bin Umayyah.
Ibn Thawr narrated that Ma`mar said that Az-Zuhri said,
"This Ayah was revealed to Allah's Messenger while he was in the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah, after making peace. He agreed that whoever comes from the Quraysh to his side, will be returned to Makkah. When some women came, this Ayah was revealed. Allah commanded that the dowry that was paid to these women be returned to their husbands. Allah also ordered that if some Muslim women revert to the side of the idolators, the idolators should return their dowry to their Muslim husbands.
... وَلَا تُمْسِكُوا بِعِصَمِ الْكَوَافِرِ ...
Likewise do not keep disbelieving women.''
... وَاسْأَلُوا مَا أَنفَقْتُمْ وَلْيَسْأَلُوا مَا أَنفَقُوا ...
and ask for that which you have spent and let them ask for that which they have spent.
means, ask them for what you have paid to your wives who reverted to the side of the idolators, and they are entitled to get back the dowry that they gave their wives who emigrated to the Muslims.
...ذَلِكُمْ حُكْمُ اللَّهِ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ ...
That is the judgement of Allah, He judges between you.
means, this judgement about the treaty and excluding women from its clauses, is a decision that Allah made for His creatures,
... وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ ﴿١٠﴾
And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
meaning, He knows what benefits His servants and is the Most Wise about that.
Allah the Exalted said,
وَإِن فَاتَكُمْ شَيْءٌ مِّنْ أَزْوَاجِكُمْ إِلَى الْكُفَّارِ فَعَاقَبْتُمْ فَآتُوا الَّذِينَ ذَهَبَتْ أَزْوَاجُهُم مِّثْلَ مَا أَنفَقُوا ...
And if any of your wives have gone from you to the disbelievers -- then you succeeded (gained victory) over them; then pay those whose wives have gone, the equivalent of what they had spent.
Mujahid and Qatadah explained this Ayah, by saying,
"This is about the disbelievers who did not have a treaty of peace. If a woman flees to the disbelievers and they do not give back what that her husband spent on her, then if a women comes to them (the Muslims) they are not to return to her husband anything until they pay the Muslim whose wife went to them the equivalent of what he spent.''
Ibn Jarir recorded that Az-Zuhri said,
"The believers abided by Allah's decree and paid what they owed the idolators to compensate for the dowry the idolators gave to the women (who emigrated). However, the idolators refused to accept Allah's judgement for what they owed the Muslims. Allah said to the faithful believers,
وَإِن فَاتَكُمْ شَيْءٌ مِّنْ أَزْوَاجِكُمْ إِلَى الْكُفَّارِ فَعَاقَبْتُمْ فَآتُوا الَّذِينَ ذَهَبَتْ أَزْوَاجُهُم مِّثْلَ مَا أَنفَقُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي أَنتُم بِهِ مُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿١١﴾
And if any of your wives have gone from you to the disbelievers -- then you succeeded (gained victory) over them; then pay those whose wives have gone, the equivalent of what they had spent. And have Taqwa of Allah, the One in Whom your are believers.
Therefore, if a Muslim woman reverts to the idolators, the believers should give back the dowry her Muslim husband paid her, from whatever money is left with them from the dowry of women who migrated to the Muslims. They were supposed to return this wealth to the idolator husbands of these emigrant women. If they still have anything they owed the idolators, then they should return it to them.''
The Matters the Women pledged to
Al-Bukhari recorded that A'ishah the wife of the Prophet said,
"Allah's Messenger used to examine women who migrated to his side according to this Ayah,
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا جَاءكَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ يُبَايِعْنَكَ ...
O Prophet! When believing women come to you pledging to you...
... إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿١٢﴾
Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.''
"A'ishah said, `When any believing woman agreed to these conditions, Allah's Messenger would say to her,
I have accepted your pledge.
but, by Allah, he never touched the hand of any women at all while taking the pledge from them. He only took their pledge of allegiance by saying,
قَدْ بَايَعْتُكِ عَلى ذَلِك
I have accepted your pledge.''
This is the wording of Al-Bukhari.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Umaymah bint Ruqayqah said,
"I came to Allah's Messenger with some women to give him our pledge and he took the pledge from us that is mentioned in the Qur'an, that we associate none with Allah, etc; as in the Ayah. Then he said,
فِيمَا اسْتَطَعْتُنَّ وَأَطَقْتُن
As much as you can bear to implement.
We said, `Surely, Allah and His Messenger are more merciful with us than we are with ourselves.'
We then said, `O Allah's Messenger, should you not shake hands with us'
إِنِّي لَا أُصَافِحُ النِّسَاءَ، إِنَّمَا قَوْلِي لِامْرَأَةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ كَقَوْلِي لِمِائَةِ امْرَأَة
I do not shake hands with women, for my statement to one woman is as sufficient as my statement to a hundred women.''
This Hadith has an authentic chain of narration; At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah collected it.
Al-Bukhari also recorded that Umm Atiyah said,
"The Messenger of Allah took our pledge and recited to us the Ayah,
... أَن لَّا يُشْرِكْنَ بِاللَّهِ شَيْئًا ...
...that they will not associate anything with Allah,
and forbade us to wail for the dead. Thereupon, a lady withdrew her hand saying, `But such and such lady shared with me in lamenting (over one of my relatives), so I must reward hers.'
The Prophet did not object to that, so she went there and returned to the Prophet and he accepted her pledge of allegiance.''
Muslim also collected this Hadith.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Ubadah bin As-Samit said,
"While we were with the Prophet , he said,
تُبَايِعُونِي عَلى أَنْ لَا تُشْرِكُوا بِاللهِ شَيْئًا، وَلَا تَسْرِقُوا، وَلَا تَزْنُوا، وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ
Pledge to me in that you will not associate any with Allah, nor steal, nor commit Zina, nor kill your children.
Then he recited the Ayah that begins; إِذَا جَاءكَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ يُبَايِعْنَكَ (when the believing women come to you...) and took the pledge of allegiance from the women.
He then added,
فَمَنْ وَفَى مِنْكُمْ فَأَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللهِ، وَمَنْ أَصَابَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ شَيْئًا فَعُوقِبَ بِهِ فَهُوَ كَفَّارَةٌ لَهُ، وَمَنْ أَصَابَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ شَيْئًا فَسَتَرَهُ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ فَهُوَ إِلَى اللهِ، إِنْ شَاءَ غَفَرَ لَهُ، وَإِنْ شَاءَ عَذَّبَه
Those among you who fulfill this pledge, will receive their reward from Allah.
Those who deviate from any of it and receive the legal punishment (in this life), the punishment will be expiation for that sin.
Whoever deviates from any of it and Allah screens him, then it is up to Allah to punish or forgive if He wills.
The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith.
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا جَاءكَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ يُبَايِعْنَكَ ...
O Prophet! When the believing women come to you pledging to you,
means, `if any woman comes to you to give you the pledge and she accepts these conditions, then accept the pledge from her,'
... عَلَى أَن لَّا يُشْرِكْنَ بِاللَّهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَسْرِقْنَ ...
that they will not associate anything with Allah, that they will not steal,
meaning, the property of other people.
In the case where a husband is not fulfilling his duty of spending on his wife, then she is allowed to use a part of his wealth, what is reasonable, to spend on herself. This is the case regardless of whether the husband knows about his wife's actions or not, because of the Hadith in which Hind bint `Utbah said,
"O Allah's Messenger! Abu Sufyan is a miser! He does not give me sufficient money for the living expense of our family and myself. Am I allowed to secretly take from his money without his knowledge.''
Allah's Messenger said to her,
خُذِي مِنْ مَالِهِ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ، مَا يَكْفِيكِ وَيَكْفِي بَنِيك
You may take from what is reasonable and appropriate for you and your children) This Hadith was recorded in the two Sahihs.
... وَلَا يَزْنِينَ ...
they will not commit Zina,
is similar to His other statement,
وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَآءَ سَبِيلاً
And come not near to Az-Zina. Verily, it is a Fahishah (immoral act) and an evil way. (17:32)
A Hadith collected from Samurah mentions that for the adulterers and fornicators there is a painful torment in the fire of Hell.
Imam Ahmad recorded that A'ishah said,
"Fatimah bint `Utbah came to give her pledge to Allah's Messenger, who took the pledge from her,
... أَن لَّا يُشْرِكْنَ بِاللَّهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَسْرِقْنَ وَلَا يَزْنِينَ ...
that they will not associate anything with Allah, they will not steal, that they will not commit Zina (fornication and adultery),
Fatimah bashfully placed her hand on her head in shyness. The Prophet liked what she did.
A'ishah said, `O woman! Accept the pledge, because by Allah, we all gave the pledge to the same.'
She said, `Yes then,'
and she gave her pledge to the same things mentioned in the Ayah.'''
... وَلَا يَقْتُلْنَ أَوْلَادَهُنَّ ...
that they will not kill their children,
includes killing children after they are born.
The people of Jahiliyyah used to kill their children because they feared poverty. The Ayah includes killing the fetus, just as some ignorant women do for various evil reasons.
... وَلَا يَأْتِينَ بِبُهْتَانٍ يَفْتَرِينَهُ بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِنَّ وَأَرْجُلِهِنَّ ...
and that they will not utter slander, fabricating from between their hands and their feet,
Ibn Abbas said,
"It means that they not to attribute to their husbands other than their legitimate children.''
Muqatil said similarly.
... وَلَا يَعْصِينَكَ فِي مَعْرُوفٍ ...
and that they will not disobey you in Ma`ruf (good),
means, `that they will obey you when you order them to do good and forbid them from evil.'
Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah's statement, وَلَا يَعْصِينَكَ فِي مَعْرُوفٍ (and that they will not disobey you in any Ma`ruf (good),
"This was one of the conditions which Allah imposed on the women.''
Maymun bin Mihran said,
"Allah did not order obedience to His Prophet for other than Ma`ruf, and Ma`ruf is itself obedience.''
Ibn Zayd said,
"Allah commanded that His Messenger, the best of His creation, be obeyed in that which is Ma`ruf.''
Ibn Jarir recorded that Umm Atiyah Al-Ansariyah said,
"Among the conditions included in our pledge to Allah's Messenger to good was not to wail. A woman said, `So-and-so family brought comfort to me (by wailing over my dead relative), so I will first pay them back.' So she went and paid them back in the same (wailed for their dead), and then came and gave her pledge. Only she and Umm Sulaym bint Milhan, the mother of Anas bin Malik, did so.''
Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith from the way of Hafsah bint Sirin from Umm `Atiyah Nusaybah Al-Ansariyah, may Allah be pleased with her.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Asid bin Abi Asid Al-Barrad said that one of the women who gave the pledge to Allah's Messenger said,
"Among the conditions included in the pledge that the Messenger took from us, is that we do not disobey any act of Ma`ruf (good) that he ordains. We should neither scratch our faces, pull our hair (in grief), tear our clothes nor wail.''
Then Allah exalted permitted,
... فَبَايِعْهُنَّ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُنَّ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿١٢﴾
then do thou receive their fealty, and pray to Allah for the forgiveness (of their sins): for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Just like in the beginning of the Surah, Allah the Exalted forbids taking the disbelievers as protecting friends at the end of the Surah, saying,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَوَلَّوْا قَوْمًا غَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ ...
O you who believe!
Take not as friends the people who incurred the wrath of Allah.
referring to the Jews, Christians and the rest of the disbelievers whom Allah became angry with and cursed. Those who deserved being rejected and banished by Him. (Allah says here),
`how can you become their allies, friends and companions, after Allah decided that they earn the despair of receiving any good or delights in the Hereafter'
... قَدْ يَئِسُوا مِنَ الْآخِرَةِ ..
Surely, they have despaired of the Hereafter,
... كَمَا يَئِسَ الْكُفَّارُ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ الْقُبُورِ ﴿١٣﴾
just as the disbelievers have despaired of those (buried) in graves.
This has two possible meanings.
First, the disbelievers despair of ever again meeting their relatives buried in graves, because they do not believe in Resurrection or being brought back to life. Therefore, they have no hope that they will meet them again, according to their creed.
Secondly, just as the disbelievers who are buried in graves have lost hope in receiving any kind of goodness (i.e., after seeing the punishment and knowing that Resurrection is true.
Al-A`mash reported from Abu Ad-Duha from Masruq that Ibn Mas`ud said, كَمَا يَئِسَ الْكُفَّارُ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ الْقُبُورِ (just as the disbelievers have despaired of those (buried) in graves).
"Just as the disbeliever despairs when he dies and realizes and knows his (evil) recompense.''
This is the saying of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Muqatil, Ibn Zayd, Al-Kalbi and Mansur;
Ibn Jarir preferred this explanation.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Al-Mumtahinah, all praise and thanks be to Allah.