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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 49 (Al-Hujurat- The Apartments) > Section 2 (Verses 11 to 18)


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Section/Ruku 2 [Verses 11 to 18]: Respect for Muslim brotherhood:
Chapter 49: (Al-Hujurat: The Apartments)
(Revealed at Madinah: 2 sections; 18 verses)

1. Translation:

11 O you who believe, let not people laugh at people, perchance they may be better than they; nor let women (laugh) at women, perchance they may be better than they. Neither find fault with your own people, nor call one another by nick-names. Evil is a bad name after faith; and whoso turns not, these it is that are the iniquitous.
a

12 O you who believe, avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is sin; and spy not nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You abhor it! And keep your duty to Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful.

13 O mankind, surely We have created you from a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other. Surely the noblest of you with Allah is the most dutiful of you. Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.a

14 The dwellers of the desert say: We believe. Say: You believe not, but say, We submit; and faith has not yet entered into your hearts. And if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not diminish aught of your deeds. Surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.a

15 The believers are those only who believe in Allah and His Messenger, then they doubt not, and struggle hard with their wealth and their lives in the way of Allah. Such are the truthful ones.

16 Say: Would you apprise Allah of your religion? and Allah knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth. And Allah is Knower of all things.

17 They presume to lay thee under an obligation by becoming Muslims. Say: Lay me not under an obligation by your Islam; rather Allah lays you under an obligation by guiding you to the faith, if you are truthful.

18 Surely Allah knows the unseen of the heavens and the earth. And Allah is Seer of what you do.

2. Commentary:

11a. This verse and those that follow deal with some of the evils which are most rampant in civilised society, and which corrupt a society to its core. These evils mostly arise with wealth; for, living in ease, people are most concerned with seeking each other’s faults, and thus mutual hatred takes the place of brotherly love and friendly concord. [Back to verse 11]

13a. The principle of the brotherhood of man laid down here is on the broadest basis. The address here is not to believers, as in the two previous verses, but to men in general, who are told that they are all, as it were, members of one family, and their divisions into nations, tribes and families should not lead to estrangement from, but to a better knowledge of, each other. Superiority of one over another in this vast brotherhood does not depend on nationality, wealth, or rank, but on the careful observance of duty, or moral greatness. [Back to verse 13]

14a. Here the Muslims are enjoined to deal kindly and leniently, even with those who, being novices, were not yet really grounded in the faith, though they were members of the Muslim brotherhood. Faith had not yet entered into their hearts, but they were to be regarded as Muslims. The solidarity of Islam is being shattered today by narrow-minded Mullas who, on one pretext or another, issue fatwas of kufr against this or that party of Muslims. [Back to verse 14]

 

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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 49 (Al-Hujurat- The Apartments) > Section 2 (Verses 11 to 18)


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