Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER XLIX.: ENTITLED SURAT AL HUJRÁT (THE INNER APARTMENTS). Revealed at Madína. - The Quran, vol. 4
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CHAPTER XLIX.: ENTITLED SURAT AL HUJRÁT (THE INNER APARTMENTS). Revealed at Madína. - Mohammed, The Quran, vol. 4 
A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran: Comprising Sale’s Translation and preliminary Discourse, with Additional Notes and Emendations (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, and Co., 1896). 4 vols.
Part of: The Quran, 4 vols.
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ENTITLED SURAT AL HUJRÁT (THE INNER APARTMENTS).
This chapter receives its title from words contained in the fourth verse. It might have appropriately been styled the Chapter of Rebuke, inasmuch as it is made up of a variety of passages reprehending the Muslims for various offences. The faults for which the Muslims are rebuked are, too great familiarity in addressing the Prophet, rude calling to the Prophet when in retirement, false accusation, quarrelling among themselves, scornful laughing and taunting, evil speaking and use of opprobrious names, unjust suspicions, meddling, backbiting, and hypocrisy. The circumstances under which, and the parties for whose special instruction, these exhortations were originally uttered are described in the notes.
Probable Date of the Revelations.
All authorities agree that this chapter is Madínic. Vers. 1-5, referring to the envoys of the Bani Tamím, were revealed in a.h. 9 or 10. Vers. 6-8 must be referred to about the same period. Vers. 9-13 probably refer to the Quraish, and were enunciated soon after the occupation of the sacred city in a.h. 8. The remaining verses may be referred to about the year a.h. 9.
IN THE NAME OF THE MOST MERCIFUL GOD.
∥ (1) O true believers, anticipate not any matter in the sight of God and his Apostle: and fear God; for Godboth heareth and knoweth. (2) O true believers, raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet; neither speak loud unto him in discourse, as ye speak loud unto one another, lest your works become vain, and ye perceive it not. (3) Verily they who lower their voices in the presence of the Apostle of Godare those whose hearts God hath disposed unto piety: they shall obtain pardon and a great reward. (4)As to those who call unto thee from without the inner apartments, the greater part of them do not understand the respect due to thee. (5) If they wait with patience until thou come forth unto them, it will certainly be better for them: but Godis inclined to forgive, and merciful. (6) O true believers, if a wicked man come unto you with a tale, inquire strictly into the truth thereof; lest ye hurt people through ignorance, and afterwards repent of what ye have done; (7) and know that the Apostle of Godis among you: if he should obey you in many things, ye would certainly be guilty of a crime in leading him into a mistake. But God hath made the faith amiable unto you, and hath prepared the same in your hearts; and hath rendered infidelity, and iniquity, and disobedience hateful unto you. These are they who walk in the right way; (8) through mercy from God and grace: and Godis knowing and wise. (9) If two parties of the believers contend with one another, do ye endeavour to compose the matter between them: and if the one of them offer an insult unto the other, fight against that party which offered the insult, until they return unto the judgment of God; and if they do return, make peace between them with equity: and act with justice; for God loveth those who act justly. (10) Verily the true believers are brethren; wherefore reconcile your brethren; and fear God, that ye may obtain mercy. (11) O true believers, let not men laugh other men to scorn; who peradventure may be better than themselves: neither let women laugh other women to scorn; who may possibly be better than themselves. Neither defame one another; nor call one another by opprobrious appellations. An ill name it is to be charged with wickedness after having embraced the faith: and whoso repenteth not, they will be the unjust doers.
∥ (12) O true believers, carefully avoid entertaining a suspicion of another: for some suspicions are a crime. Inquire not too curiously into other men’s failings; neither let the one of you speak ill of another in his absence. Would any of you desire to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Surely ye would abhor it. And fear God; for Godis easy to be reconciled, and merciful. (13) O men, verily we have created you of a male and female; and we have distributed you into nations and tribes, that ye might know one another. Verily the most honourable of you, in the sight of God,is the most pious of you: and God is wise and knowing. (14) The Arabs of the desert say, We believe. Answer, Ye do by no means believe; but say, We have embraced Islám: for the faith hath not yet entered into your hearts. If ye obey God and his Apostle, he will not defraud you of any part of the merit of your works: for Godis inclined to forgive, and merciful. (15) Verily the true believers are those only who believe in God and his Apostle, and afterwards doubt not; and who employ their substance and their persons in the defence of God’s true religion: these are they who speak sincerely. (16) Say, Will ye inform God concerning your religion? But God knoweth whatever is in heaven and in earth! for Godis omniscient. (17) They upbraid thee that they have embraced Islám. Answer, Upbraid me not with your having embraced Islám: rather God upbraideth you, that he hath directed you to the faith; if ye speak sincerely. (18) Verily God knoweth the secrets of heaven and earth; and God beholdeth that which ye do.
[(1) ]Anticipate not, &c. “That is, do not presume to give your own decision in any case, before ye have received the judgment of God and his Apostle.”—Sale.
[(2) ]Raise not your voices, &c. “This verse is said to have been occasioned by a dispute between Abu Baqr and Omar concerning the appointment of a governor of a certain place, in which they raised their voices so high, in presence of the Apostle, that it was thought proper to forbid such indecencies for the future.”—Sale, Baidháwi, Jaláluddín
[(4) ]Those who call . . . without the inner apartments. “These, they say, were Uyayna Ibn Husain and al Akrá Ibn Hábís, who, wanting to speak with Muhammad when he was sleeping at noon in his women’s apartment, had the rudeness to call out several times, ‘Muhammad, come forth to us.’ ”—Sale, Baidháwi.
[(6) ]Lest ye hurt people, &c. “This passage was occasioned, it is said, by the following accident. Al Walíd Ibn Uqba being sent by Muhammad to collect the alms from the tribe of al Mustaliq, when he saw them come out to meet him in great numbers, grew apprehensive they designed him some mischief, because of past enmity between him and them in the time of ignorance, and immediately turned back, and told the Prophet they refused to pay their alms and attempted to kill him; upon which Muhammad was thinking to reduce them by force; but on sending Ḳhálid Ibn al Walíd to them, he found his former messenger had wronged them, and that they continued in their obedience.”—Sale, Baidháwi, Jaláluddín.
[(9) ]Two parties. “This verse is supposed to have been occasioned by a fray which happened between the tribes of al Aus and al Khazraj. Some relate that the Prophet one day riding on an ass, as he passed neat Abdullah Ibn Ubbai, the ass chanced to stale, at which Ibn Ubbai stopped his nose; and Ibn Rawáha said to him, ‘By God, the piss of his ass smells sweeter than thy musk;’ whereupon a quarrel ensued between their followers, and they came to blows, though they struck one another only with their hands and slippers, or with palm-branches.”—Sale, Baidháwi, Jaláluddín.
[(11) ]“It is said that this verse was revealed on account of Safía Bint Huyai, one of the Prophet’s wives, who came to her husband and complained that the women said to her, ‘O thou Jewess, the daughter of a Jew and of a Jewess;’ to which he answered, ‘Canst thou not say, Aaron is my father, and Moses is my uncle, and Muhammad is my husband?’ ”—Sale, Baidháwi.
[(12) ]Would any of you desire, &c. Slander is here likened to feasting upon the corpse of a dead man.
[(14) ]The Arabs of the desert. “These were certain of the tribe of Asad, who came to Madína in a year of scarcity, and having professed Muhammadism, told the Prophet that they had brought all their goods and their families, and would not oppose him, as some other tribes had done; and this they said to obtain a part of the alms, and to upbraid him with their having embraced his religion and party.”—Sale, Baidháwi.
[(16) ]Will ye inform God, &c., i.e., “will ye pretend to deceive him by saying ye are true believers?”—Sale.
[(17) ]Rather God upbraideth you, &c. “The obligation being not on God’s side, but on yours, for that he has favoured you so far as to guide ye into the true faith, if ye are sincere believers.”—Sale.