Tafseer of Sūrah al-Hujuraat (The Dwellings)
 
Explanation by
Shaykh Abdullaah Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Ghudyaan حفظه الله

 
CLASS #2 - Delivered on December 2nd, 2006


The Shaykh حفظه الله began in the Name of Allaah and after praising Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and sending the salaat and salaam upon our Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم, his family members and all his companions, he proceeded:


Aayaat 6-8

The Shaykh حفظه الله then read the aayaat to be covered during the lesson. They are aayaat 6 to 8.

Quote:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْماً بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ {6} وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ فِيكُمْ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لَوْ يُطِيعُكُمْ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ لَعَنِتُّمْ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ حَبَّبَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْإِيمَانَ وَزَيَّنَهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَكَرَّهَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكُفْرَ وَالْفُسُوقَ وَالْعِصْيَانَ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الرَّاشِدُونَ {7} فَضْلاً مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَنِعْمَةً وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ {8}ـ

[49:6] O you who believe! If a Fâsiq (liar – evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done.

[49:7] And know that among you there is the Messenger of Allâh صلى الله عليه و سلم. If he were to obey you (i.e. follow your opinions and desires) in much of the matter, you would surely be in trouble. But Allâh has endeared the Faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts, and has made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience (to Allâh and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم) hateful to you. Such are they who are the rightly guided.

[49:8] (This is) a Grace from Allâh and His Favour. And Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

Explanation of the Aayaat


1.Linguistic Meanings of words used in the aayaat:

فاسق – Faasiq means ‘going out’ or ‘departing’ from the limits of the Deen of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى or the Sharee’ah (Islaamic legislation). In the Arabic language you say: ‘the date has fasaqa if it has emerged from its skin’ (and the word used is fasaqa, the same word found in the verse). Fusūq is leaving or exiting from something and being detached from it.
بنبإ bi Nabain this means ‘with news or any sort of information that you are presented with’.
فتبينوا fa-tabayyinū – ordering with authentication of statements and discernment of truth from falsehood. In one narration it says fa-tathabatu – verify it least you afflict a people with ignorance and you end up being remorseful and sad as a result of this.
 وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ فِيكُمْ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ - ‘And know that among you there is the Messenger of Allâh صلى الله عليه و سلم’ i.e. do not speak with falsehood, verily Allaah سبحانه و تعالى will inform him صلى الله عليه و سلم of the state of affairs.

لَوْ يُطِيعُكُمْ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ - ‘If he were to obey you (i.e. follow your opinions and desires) in much of the matter’ i.e. the things that you inform him صلى الله عليه و سلم of, which are contrary to the true state of affairs.

لَعَنِتُّمْ la’anittum- If you disobey him in a lot of issues you will find yourself in difficulties.

وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ حَبَّبَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْإِيمَانَ ‘But Allâh has endeared the Faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts’ i.e. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has made eemaan (belief) loved to you in your heart.

زَيَّنَهُ zayyanahu - beautified it

كَرَّهَ karraha - He has made the following things loathsome and hateful to you. These things are:
الْكُفْرَ al-kufr - disbelief and corruption
الْفُسُوقَ al-fusūq – deviating from obedience to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم
الْعِصْيَانَ al-‘isyaan - transgression (all types of sins)
أُوْلَئِكَ – refers to some of those who seek to clarify the issue (Mutabayyinoon)

هُمُ الرَّاشِدُونَ – The Raashidoon are those who are firm upon their Deen. They act according to the haqq (truth) in that which is correct. They are the ones who are rightly guided.


2. Reason for Revelation:

It has been narrated from the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم that ‘He sent Waleed ibn ‘Uqbah to Bani Mustalaq to collect the zakaat. When they saw him they proceeded in his direction. He became afraid so he returned to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and informed him صلى الله عليه و سلم that they had apostated from Islaam. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم sent Khaalid ibn Waleed and ordered him to confirm this and not to delay. Khaalid set out and he came to them at night. He dispatched his scouts and when they came (back) they informed Khaalid that they (people of Bani Mustalaq) were holding fast to their Islaam and they heard their adhaan and their salaah. So when Khaalid came to them he saw that what they (the scouts) mentioned to him was correct, so he returned to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and informed him; then this ayah was revealed. In one narration the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said “Hastiness is from Shaytaan and deliberation (carefulness) is from Allaah.[1]”

This ayah is from the aayaat that the ‘Ulema say that what is taken into consideration is the general meaning of the ayah, and not (to limit oneself) to the reason (for revelation).


3. Relation to the aayaat that preceded:

After Allaah سبحانه و تعالى ordered the Believers with 2 things: (i) Obedience to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and (ii) Lowering the voices in his صلى الله عليه و سلم presence and making it compulsory to honour the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and hold him in high esteem, He سبحانه و تعالى then went on to inform of things required to protect the Islaamic community.

He commanded that it is compulsory to verify information that comes to us, in order to prevent fitnah (trouble, confusion) and trials from appearing amongst the ranks of the Believers. This is one of the very important mannerisms in the Islaamic community and it is there to prevent argumentation and confusion amongst individuals in the Ummah.


4. Meaning of the Aayaat:


The Shaykh حفظه الله then summarized the meaning of the verses generally.
  • He started by mentioning the call that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى directs to those who believe: “Oh you who believe” validate (information) about Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم if there comes to you a faasiq. Do not pay attention to lies.
  • In the ayah: “And if a faasiq (corrupt person) comes to you”faasiq refers to an individual who is not careful about what he says and what he conveys. If he is like this then he will obviously not be cautious about the types of lies that he conveys. You should not allow yourself to be deceived by this type of individual. Beware of what he has to say and do not be hasty and accept everything, out of fear that you may unknowingly afflict other individuals with some type of harm, and you may be saddened or disheartened because of what you have done.
  • Faasiq is used in the ayah without the definite article and Naba’ is also used without the definite article, as if He سبحانه و تعالى had said any corrupt individual who comes with any type of information should be verified.” The information must not be just ‘accepted’. It must be confirmed because an individual like this has no shame in lying or doing anything corrupt. For this reason, whatever news he brings must be verified.
  • This ayah indicates that the news of a single individual is based on evidence and that the witness of a faasiq is not accepted.
  • Then Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions the presence of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم amongst them so that he صلى الله عليه و سلم may be honoured and you may ask him (questions). He سبحانه و تعالى said: “And know that among you there is the Messenger of Allâh صلى الله عليه و سلم. If he were to obey you (i.e. follow your opinions and desires) in much of the matter, you would surely be in trouble.” i.e. know, that with you is the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم so honour him and respect him and obey his commands for indeed he is the most superior one in keeping peace between you, and do not speak with falsehood and do not be hasty in judging people without verifying the authenticity of the information. If he صلى الله عليه و سلم were to comply with most of what you informed him about from news, and what you allude to from your incorrect opinions; it would increase in your falling into distress, and it would be tiring, and it is a grave offence and utter destruction. But he صلى الله عليه و سلم does not obey you in most of what you want before carefully scrutinizing the matter.
  • In the statement of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى: “If he صلى الله عليه و سلم would obey you, you would be afflicted with calamities and misfortune”. The verb used يطيعكم is in the present tense, showing that the Prophet’s صلى الله عليه و سلم position on this is continuous. When it comes to obedience it is not just in the past, nor is it that he verified news on one occasion but it was a continuous practice of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم.
  • In the statement of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى ‘much of the matter’ shows that some of the things that the people pointed out to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم were actually correct. The example given was the type of consultation by the Companions رضى الله عنهم in respect to Bani Mustalaq; the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم benefited from that.
  • His سبحانه و تعالى saying ‘But Allâh has endeared the Faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts, and has made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience (to Allâh and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم) hateful to you. Such are they who are the rightly guided’ means that regarding the Companions رضى الله عنهم, He سبحانه و تعالى made eemaan (faith) loved and dear to them and made hateful and disliked to them every expression of disbelief, fisq (exiting the limits of the Deen) and every act of disobedience. Those that have these characteristics are the Raashidoon i.e. those who are guided.
  • ‘(This is) a Grace from Allâh and His Favour.’ This refers to all that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentioned in what has preceded regarding the characteristics of the Believers. These things are a bounty and a blessing from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى that He bestows upon the Believers.
  • He is ‘Aleemun‘And Allâh is All-Knowing’ – The knowledge that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is speaking of is related to all affairs in the past, the present and the future. His Knowledge is All-Encompassing.
  • He is Hakeem‘All-Wise’. This refers to His being Wise in his statements, actions, legislations, and having all things put in their right place, quantity and perspective.


5. Ahkaam/Benefits to be derived from the Aayaat

The statement of a corrupt individual is unacceptable according to consensus. This is because conveying information is a trust and corruption or fisq destroys that trust. This is agreed upon by the People of Knowledge.

Regarding his own affairs, the word of the faasiq is not unacceptable. As for the affairs of others, Imaam Ash-Shaafiee’ رحمه الله is of the opinion that this type of individual i.e. a faasiq should not be guardian in representing a woman in marriage. Imaam Abu Haneefah and Imaam Maalik رحمهما الله say that this guardianship remains. They say if the faasiq is able to discharge the monetary rights of those under his care then he is able and trustworthy enough to deal with their marriage.

In addition, we have the case of a Haakim (Ruler), who may be in a position of authority e.g. the ruler of a country or someone other than that. If he passes rulings that are in accordance with the Qur’aan and Sunnah then they should be adhered to. If they oppose the Qur’aan and Sunnah then they should not be adhered to, based on the statement of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم where he said: “There is no obedience to any created being if that means disobedience to the Creator.”[2] What he has passed in terms of judgments in the past, they are concluded.

Regarding individuals carrying out daily transactions amongst themselves in the society; then if there are some who may not be totally upright, their activity in the society is accepted due to necessity. If we expected everyone in the society to be honest and trustworthy individuals in order to accept things from them, then the actual activities of the community would stop and this is not in the best interest of the society.



QUESTIONS & ANSWERS


1. Question: Why is the surah called Surah al-Hujuraat?
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله mentioned that he discussed this at the beginning of the tafseer. The reason for the naming of the surah al-Hujuraat is because Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions in the surah: “those who call out from behind the chambers (hujuraat)”. The expression ‘hujuraat’ comes in the surah so the name is tawqifiyyah i.e. based on textual evidence.

2. Question: What are the characteristics that one should adorn himself with?
Answer: A comprehensive way of dealing with this is that an individual should adorn himself with what Allaah سبحانه و تعالى commands and he should stay away from what He prohibits. What He سبحانه و تعالى commands from the obligatory and recommended affairs should be adhered to; and one should stay away from things that are haraam or disliked. It is upon an individual to learn what Allaah has commanded him to do and what He has prohibited him from doing. This is so that his deeds will be in accordance with what Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has legislated and what he leaves off would also agree with what Allaah has legislated (that it be left off). If unaware, he should ask those who know as Allaah سبحانه و تعالى teaches us:
فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
{… So ask of those who know the Scripture if you know not.} [al-Anbiyaa’ 21:7; An-Nahl 16:43]
 
3. Question: When the woman requests a khul’ah (divorce requested by the woman) from her husband and it is granted, does she have to be in ’iddah (waiting period) for 30 days for them to get back together or must they have another nikaah (marriage ceremony)?
Answer: The khul’ah produces separation between the wife and her husband. If the husband wants to re-approach his former wife, he must present himself as one of the people who are proposing. There are three (3) things that are required:

i. A new marriage ceremony
ii. The wife must be in agreement
iii. A new mahr (dowry) must be given.

4. Question: A sister who has not studied under a scholar but has gained knowledge from books and tapes and who has indirect access to the scholars wants to know if it is okay for her to teach in the masjid as there is no one else to teach?
Answer: What is known is that knowledge is taken from the lips of the scholars. Each branch of knowledge is taken from one who specializes in that branch e.g. to study tafseer, it is taken from one who specializes in tafseer. This is one way of acquiring knowledge.

Another way is from reading the books – but one must not depend on it unless qualified to read the books. Perhaps she may misinterpret something and then pass along the wrong interpretation to the people, who then in turn, convey it to others and this lady will carry the burden of all those who she taught in this way. The Shaykh حفظه الله advises this sister that she should not teach as she did not read the books with one who can give the correct meaning.
 
5. Question: A brother asks concerning the imaam from the masjid nearest his home. The imaam visits graves and seeks help from the dead. The brother asks if he may pray behind the imaam? If he is not permitted to pray behind him and there are no other masjids, may he pray at home?
Answer: An individual who visits the graves and seeks help from the dead in order to gain benefit or avert harm is committing major shirk which takes one out of the fold of Islaam. However, it is necessary to inform this individual that this is prohibited. The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم taught us: “Whoever sees something wrong let him change it with his hand, if he is not able then with his tongue, and if he is not able then hate it in his heart and this is the weakest of eemaan.”[3] If the imaam does not accept the advice, and he continues in his way, then it is not allowed to pray behind him and there is no problem for the brother to pray at home and gather others in the neighbourhood to pray with him.

6. Question: A sister says that unfortunately her father doesn't pray at all and most of her brothers don't pray either. She would like to know if her father is still her wali (guardian)? If he doesn't pray who can be her wali?
Answer: The Shaykh حفظه الله said that he would answer this question in the next class inshaa Allaah.

7. Question: Can a woman wear pants below her abayah?
Answer: She should not wear these pants below her abayah as the abayah may possibly fall down and show her ’awrah. One of rules of Shariah is to close the door that leads to harm that may occur.

8. Question: A sister has been married for about 6 months now. She realized after marriage that her husband misrepresented himself to her and her wakeel before marriage. She found out that he lied about a lot of things after they were married. He has another wife and he is not able to take care of both of their bills and interaction with her is very bad. She requests your advice.
Answer: My advice to her is that if this individual has these characteristics then he is not suitable because the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: ‘ “if a person comes to you and you are pleased with his Deen and his trustworthiness then marry him.” This individual is deprived of trustworthiness and if he is deprived of trustworthiness then it is not permissible for her to stay with him as he will (word unclear- mistreat?) her in the future.



References and Notes

[1] Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله says hadeeth Hasan in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (#3011)
التأني من الله والعجلة من الشيطان

[2] Shaykh al-Albaani رحمه الله says Saheeh in Saheeh al-Jaami’ (#7520)
لا طاعة لمخلوق في معصية الخالق

[3] Reported in Saheeh Muslim Vol. 1 Kitaab al-Eemaan (#49)
من رأى منكم منكرا فليغيره بيده فإن لم يستطع فبلسانه فإن لم يستطع فبقلبه وذلك أضعف الإيمان