Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER LX.: ENTITLED SURAT AL MUMTAHINA (SHE WHO IS TRIED). Revealed at Madína. - The Quran, vol. 4
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CHAPTER LX.: ENTITLED SURAT AL MUMTAHINA (SHE WHO IS TRIED). 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 MUMTAHINA (SHE WHO IS TRIED).
This chapter bears this title, says Sale, “because it directs the women who desert and come over from the infidels to the Muslims to be examined and tried whether they be sincere in their profession of the faith.” The incident which is said to have occasioned this revelation is given in the note on the first verse.
The separation of the Muslims from believers, noticed in the Introduction to chap. lviii., is here strictly enjoined. In this case the measure seems to have been a matter of policy to prevent the Quraish from tampering with the loyalty of the refugees, or to prevent their receiving information as to the intentions of the Muslims. See Muir’s Life of Mahomet, vol. iv. p. 45, note.
Probable Date of the Revelations.
According to the Muslim commentators, the first part of this chapter (vers. 1-9) was revealed in a.h. 8, when the incident occurred which is narrated in the note on the first verse. The remaining verses date from a short time after the treaty with the Quraish at Hudaibiyah (ver. 10, note), a.h. 6.
IN THE NAME OF THE MOST MERCIFUL GOD.
∥ (1) O true believers, take not my enemy and your enemy for your friends, showing kindness towards them; since they believe not in the truth which hath come unto you, having expelled the Apostle and yourselves from your native city, because ye believe in God your Lord. If ye go forth to fight in defence of my religion, and out of a desire to please me, and privately show friendship unto them, verily I well know that which ye conceal and that which ye discover: and whoever of you doth this hath already erred from the straight path. (2) If they get the better of you, they will be enemies unto you, and they will stretch forth their hands and their tongues against you with evil; and they earnestly desire that ye should become unbelievers. (3) Neither your kindred nor your children will avail you at all on the day of resurrection, which will separate you from one another: and God seeth that which ye do. (4) Ye have an excellent pattern in Abraham and those who were with him, when they said unto their people, Verily we are clear of you, and of the idols which ye worship besides God: we have renounced you; and enmity and hatred is begun between us and you for ever, until ye believe in God alone: except Abraham’s saying unto his father, Verily I will beg pardon for thee; but I cannot obtain aught of God in thy behalf. O Lord, in thee do we trust, and unto thee are we turned; and before thee shall we be assembled hereafter.(5) O Lord, suffer us not to be put to trial by the unbelievers; and forgive us, O Lord; for thou art mighty and wise. (6) Verily ye have in them an excellent example, unto him who hopeth in God and the last day: and whoso turneth back; verily Godis self-sufficient and praiseworthy.
∥ (7) Peradventure God will establish friendship between yourselves and such of them as ye now hold for enemies: for Godis powerful; and Godis inclined to forgive, and merciful. (8) As to those who have not borne arms against you on account of religion, nor turned you out of your dwellings, God forbiddeth you not to deal kindly with them, and to behave justly towards them; for God loveth those who act justly. (9) But as to those who have borne arms against you on account of religion, and have dispossessed you of your habitations, and have assisted in dispossessing you, God forbiddeth you to enter into friendship with them: and whosoever of you entereth into friendship with them, those are unjust doers. (10) O true believers, when believing women come unto you as refugees, try them: God well knoweth their faith. And if ye know them to be true believers, send them not back to the infidels: they are not lawful for the unbelievers to have in marriage; neither are the unbelievers lawful for them. But give their unbelieving husbands what they shall have expended for their dowers. Nor shall it be any crime in you if ye marry them, provided ye give them their dowries. And retain not the patronage of the unbelieving women; but demand back that which ye have expended for the dowry of such of your wives as go over to the unbelievers; and let them demand back that which they have expended for the dowry of those who come over to you. This is the judgment of God, which he establisheth among you, and Godis knowing and wise. (11) If any of your wives escape from you to the unbelievers, and ye have your turn by the coming over of any of the unbelievers’ wives to you; give unto those believers whose wives shall have gone away, out of the dowries of the latter, so much as they shall have expended for the dowers of the former: and fear God, in whom ye believe. (12) O Prophet, when believing women come unto thee, and plight their faith unto thee that they will not associate anything with God, nor steal, nor commit fornication, nor kill their children, nor come with a calumny which they have forged between their hands and their feet, nor be disobedient to thee in that which shall be reasonable: then do thou plight thy faith unto them, and ask pardon for them of God; for Godis inclined to forgive, and merciful. (13) O true believers, enter not into friendship with a people against whom God is incensed; they despair of the life to come, as the infidels despair of the resurrection of those who dwell in their graves.
[(1) ]My enemy and your enemy, &c. “This passage was revealed on account of Hátib Ibn Abi Balpáa, who, understanding that Muhammad had a design to surprise Makkah, wrote a letter to the Quraish, giving them notice of the intended expedition, and advised them to be on their guard; which letter he sent by Sarah, a maidservant belonging to the family of Háshím. The messenger had not been gone long, before Gabriel discovered the affair to the Prophet, who immediately sent after her; and having intercepted the letter, asked Hátib how he came to be guilty of such an action? To which he replied that it was not out of infidelity or a desire to return to idolatry, but merely to induce the Quraish to treat his family, which was still at Makkah, with some kindness: adding that he was well assured his intelligence would be of no service at all to the Makkans, because he was satisfied God would take vengeance on them. Whereupon Muhammad received his excuse and pardoned him; but it was thought proper to forbid any such practices for the future.”—Sale, Baidháwi.
[(4) ]An excellent pattern. The Muhájirín and others leaving Makkah with Muhammad are likened to Abraham and those leaving Chaldea with him. See Rodwell’s note in loco.
[(5) ]Suffer us not, &c., i.e., “suffer them not to prevail against us, lest they thence conclude themselves to be in the right, and endeavour to make us deny our faith by the terror of the persecution.”—Sale, Baidháwi.
[(7) ]“And this happened accordingly on the taking of Makkah, when Abu Sufián and others of the Quraish, who had till then been inveterate enemies to the Muslims, embraced the same faith, and became their friends and brethren. Some suppose the marriage of Muhammad with Omm Habíba, the daughter of Abu Sufián, which was celebrated the year before, to be here intended.”—Sale, Baidháwi.
[(8) ]Behave justly towards them. “This passage, it is said, was revealed on account of Kutaila bint Abdul Uzza, who having, whilst she was an idolatress, brought some presents to her daughter, Asma bint Abu Baqr, the latter not only refused to accept them, but even denied her admittance.”—Sale, Baidháwi.
[(10) ]Try them. “When such women sought an asylum at Madína, Muhammad obliged them to swear that they were prompted only by the desire of embracing Islamism, and that hatred of their husbands, or love of some Mussulmán, had not had any influence on their conduct.”—Savary.
[(11) ]If any of your wives, &c. “Literally, ‘anything of your wives;’ which some interpret, ‘any part of their dowry.’ ”—Sale.
[(12) ]Plight their faith unto thee. “See the Prelim. Disc., p. 81. Some are of opinion that this passage was not revealed till the day of the taking of Makkah, when, after having received the solemn submission of the men, he proceeded to receive that of the women.”—Sale, Baidháwi.
[(13) ]A people against whom God is incensed, i.e., “the infidels in general, or the Jews in particular.”—Sale.