An Analysis of the Meanings of the Surahs of Group six (Part 2/2)

An Analysis of the Meanings of the Surahs of Group six (Part 2/2)

Surah Mumtahinah

The surah can be divided into the following six sections:

Verses (1-3)

The surah begins with a warning sounded to the weak Muslims who had secret ties of friendship with the Idolaters of Makkah even after they had expelled the Prophet (sws) and the Muslims from their land -- their only fault being that they had accepted faith. It is pointed out that these people are not worthy of such ties as they will try all they can to make the Muslims reject faith; furthermore, if family ties at the expense of sincerity with Allah and the Prophet (sws) are established then such relationships will never be of any use to them in the Hereafter: they will stand severed in the next world.

Verses (4-7)

A few glimpses of the episode of the Prophet Abraham (sws) are depicted and the addressees are directed to learn a lesson from it. He had proclaimed total acquittal from his nation unless they professed faith in the one and only Allah. In this regard, they are told to hold steadfast to Abraham's prayer (du`a) which he had often said to persevere in the difficulties of his own Hijrah. Moreover, glad tidings are given to them that it is quite possible that these people, from which they are directed to break their ties, may accept Islam in the near future.

Verses (8-9)

An explanation of the fact that what has been asked is dissociation with those who had waged war with the Muslims and compelled them and the Prophet (sws) to leave their homes; those who have not done so, should be dealt with befittingly.

Verses (10-11)

Certain directives relating to the women who had migrated from Makkah are given: they should only be accepted after they have been examined as regards their faith. If it is proven that they have migrated only for the cause of Islam, only then should they be included in the ranks of the Muslims. It is not lawful for the Muslims to keep idolatrous women in marriage. They should liberate them and mutually exchange the dowers.

Verse (12)

The Prophet (sws) is directed to take a covenant from women who come to him for the cause of Islam and intend to lead their lives according to its directives.

Verse (13)

At the very end of the surah, Muslims are warned not to establish friendship with the Jews and the disbelievers. Both will meet the same fate: they have been shaken from their very roots.

Surah Saff

The surahcan be divided into the following four sections:

Verses (1-4)

In the introductory part of the surah, a warning is sounded to those who after pledging a covenant of sam`u taa't (to listen and obey) at the hands of the Prophet (sws) are abstaining from fighting in the way of Allah. They are informed that this attitude of breaking the covenant after pledging it is something which has always invoked the wrath of the Almighty. He is pleased by only those who, in accordance with the requisites of the covenant pledged, gather all their energy whenever the need arises to fight and fight like a solid mass of rock.

Verses (5-9)

Those who desist from fighting in the cause of Allah after they have accepted faith and pledged their obedience are similar to the Jews and they will meet a similar fate as well. They had adopted a similar attitude with their own Prophet as well: they would fervently pledge obedience but whenever they would be tested by an occasion, they would prove worthless. The Prophet (sws) Moses often sorrowfully complained about this behaviour, but they never mended their ways. The Almighty, according to His laws, therefore, took away frthem the ability to understand and remain on the right path because of their own wrong attitudes. They had adopted this improper behaviour with the Prophet Jesus (sws) as well. He had shown them some striking miracles and in very clear words gave glad tidings of the last of the Prophets. The Jews, however, as a result of their unbecoming attitude, dismissed these miracles as acts of magic and rejected his Prophethood. They persisted with this attitude and today are showing hostility to Islam on the basis of their falsehood; all their effort, of course is in vain. Islam is the glowing light of the Almighty which they can never blow to extinction. Contrary to their wishes and those of the idolaters', it will achieve its supremacy over other religions of Arabia.

Verses (10-13)

The weaker Muslims are urged to adopt the right path and refrain from their attitude of distrust and hypocrisy. They should truly profess faith in Allah and the Prophet (sws) and fight for the cause of Islam by spending as much as they can for this cause and by presenting their lives for it. This is the true path to success if they would only try to understand. If they adopt this attitude, they will attain salvation in the Hereafter and in this world also, the Almighty through His well-earned help will bless them with the conquest of Makkah they desire so much.

Verse (14)

The addressees of the surah are exhorted to follow the footsteps of the disciples of Jesus. In the beginning of the surah, Muslims were advised not to follow the Jews. Here, at the end, they are urged to follow a group among them who had remained on the right path whose correct attitude of anticipating the truth was ultimately responsible of the supremacy of the believers.

Surah Jum`ah

The surah can be divided into the following three sections:

Verses (1-4)

The Ismaelites are reminded of the fact that the sending of a Prophet towards them is the result of the prayer (du`a) of their great ancestor, the Prophet (sws) Abraham. This is a great favour the Almighty has done them to liberate them from the darkness of ignorance. Hence, they should try to value and honour this favour and not become a prey to the malicious conspiracies of the Jews.

Verses (5-8)

A refutation of the claim of the Jews that they are the chosen Ummah and no one except them can be blessed with the favour of Prophethood. A reference is made to their unworthy attitudes which had deprived them of the Almighty's Guidance and also stripped them of the position of leadership they formerly held.

Verses (9-11)

Muslims are rebuked on a certain wrong attitude they had adopted when once the Prophet (sws) was delivering the Friday address. Apparently, this may appear as a minor fault to them, but it points to a profound weakness in them: a group among them had not understood the basic reality that once a person enters the fold of Islam, he barters his life and wealth for the Almighty's forgiveness and mercy. It is against the requisites of his faith that business and trade activities should make him indifferent to Allah and His Prophet (sws). This is like following the footsteps of the Jews -- something which had been forbidden in the previous surah. The Jews had erred similarly in the matter of sabt and the Almighty had severely condemned them.

Surah Munafiqun

This surah is a supplement to Surah Jum`ah, the previous surah. It can be divided into two sections. The first one consists of eight verses, while the last three verses constitute the second section.

In the first section, the character of the hypocrites is evaluated and shown that their real ailment is their lust for worldly riches. In the second section, Muslims are warned that the love of wealth and children should not make them indifferent to the remembrance of the Almighty. If today they do not truly benefit from their wealth by not spending in the way of Allah, they will feel sorry, once their life ends and at that moment their regret will be of no use to them. In other words, in the first section the illness of hypocrisy is elaborated upon, while in the second section, Muslims are asked to guard themselves against it.

Surah Taghabun

Thesurahcan be divided into the following six sections:

Verses I (1-4)

The surahbegins with the assertion that this world has not been created without a purpose. The effort undertaken by the Almighty in the creation of man to sustain and nourish him bears witness to the fact that the Day of Reckoning is certain to come. Allah, the Lord and Creator of this world is well aware of every person's deeds. He will treat each person accordingly.

Verses (5-7)

By citing historical evidence, it is shown that nations which denied their Prophets and vainly rejected their sound arguments on the pretext that accepting a human being as a Prophet (sws) is an insult to them were all destroyed by Allah. They met a dreadful fate in this world and in the Hereafter they will encounter a grave punishment.

Verses (8-10)

The disbelievers are invited to profess faith in Allah, His Prophet (sws) and the Qur'an. They are urged to prepare for the Day which will decide the victor and the vanquished. On that day, the righteous will receive the eternal reward of paradise, while the disbelievers will have to reckon with the eternal torment of Hell.

Verses (11-13)

It is asserted that troubles and hardships which a person has to face in his life come from Allah. It is not befitting for the believers to get apprehensive about them and turn away from the obedience of Allah and His Prophet (sws). It is the requirement of their faith that they should have trust in the Almighty: He will certainly help them. If they ignore Allah and the Prophet (sws) by being overawed by their hardships, they will bear its dire consequences. The responsibility of the Prophet (sws) was only to communicate the truth; it is now their responsibility to abide by it.

Verses (14-15)

Muslims are warned that at times one's family becomes a great test for his faith. Their love sometimes negatively affects his determination to fulfil his religious obligations. A person should always remain careful in this matter. However, he should adopt the attitude of `to forgo and forget' in their regard.

Verses (16-18)

People are invited to obey Allah and His Prophet (sws) as much as they can and urged to generously spend in the way of Allah. Glad tidings of eternal success are given to those who protect themselves from the malady of miserliness. Allah will greatly honour those who will lend Him their wealth. It will be returned to them multiplied many times; He will also forgive them. He has knowledge of both the seen and the unseen: He is fully aware of all virtuous deeds however secretly they might have been done.

Surah Talaq

The surahcan be divided into the following two sections:

Verses (1-7)

An explanation of the fact that in cases of divorce it is not lawful to expel one's wife from the house by uttering the divorce sentence; it is necessary that the proper way pointed out by the Qur'an be adopted. People who, in spite of their financial difficulties, set out to observe the limits set by Allah with a view to please Him, will receive His special help and assistance. Those who do not observe the limits set by Him because of their lust for wealth only wrong their own souls.

Verses (8-12)

Muslims are warned that it is a historically proven reality that all those who had disobeyed Allah and His Prophets have always been severely punished by Him. He has done a great favour to the Muslims by sending towards them a Prophet who has led them to the light of guidance from the darkness of ignorance. If they give due regard to this favour of the Almighty, He will bless them with the eternal bliss of paradise -- otherwise they should remember that to Him belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth and He can certainly do what He intends.

Surah Tihrim

The surah can be divided into the following three sections:

Verses (1-5)

The Prophet (sws) is checked in a particular matter in which the motivating force was fairly admirable, yet since he was become an example for the whole Ummah, any virtuous deed which crosses the limits set by Allah is not permissible. The Prophet (sws) might be doing something to console and please his wives and he might be showing sympathy to their perfectly human weaknesses, yet owing to his position as a Prophet (sws) he must remain within the bounds set by Allah even in the smallest of affairs.

Similarly, the pious wives are checked in a matter in which something said by the Prophet (sws) to a particular wife was disclosed by her to another wife, though in an atmosphere of mutual trust. However, since they too are to become an example for all women of the Ummah, even a small instance which crosses the limits set by Allah cannot be tolerated from them. The higher the position and status of a person, the higher the extent of his accountability.

Verses (6-8)

After checking the Prophet (sws) and his wives, the general Muslims are urged to check and restrain their near ones. Everyone should remember that the angels who guard Hell are strict and stern. They will show no lenience to anyone. On the Day of Judgement, no excuse of a person will be acceptable, for he will be facing only what he deserves and no one will be punished for more than what he has done. Only they will triumph on that Day whose pure repentance makes them eligible for the Almighty's blessings. It will be a Day of success for the Prophet (sws) and his Companions. The Almighty will perfect their light which will lead them to paradise. Everyone else will be doomed forever.

Verses (9-12)

The Prophet (sws) is emphatically directed to tell the disbelievers and the Hypocrites sternly to change their attitude lest they should end up in the raging fire of Hell which, of course, is the worst abode. At the end, examples of the wives of the Prophet Noah (sws) and the Prophet Lot (sws) are cited to the disbelievers and those of the wife of the Pharaoh and Maryam (rta) to the Muslims; the object being to prove that only a person's deeds will be of any benefit to him in the Hereafter. If a woman has not done righteous deeds, she cannot benefit in the Hereafter even if she is the wife of a Prophet. Similarly, if a woman has lived a pious life, she will be rewarded in the Hereafter even though she is the wife of a person as rebellious as the Pharaoh.

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