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Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 60 (Al-Mumtahanah- The Woman Who is Examined) > Section 1 (Verses 1 to 6)



Section/Ruku 1 [Verses 1 to 6]: Friendly relations with enemies:
Chapter 60: (Al-Mumtahanah: The Woman Who is Examined)
(Revealed at Madinah: 2 sections; 13 verses)

1. Introduction:

The whole of this chapter deals with the relations between the Muslims and the non-Muslims, and in particular with the undesirability of relations with those enemies who were bent upon extirpating Islam, and who, not being satisfied with expelling the Muslims from their homes, now made war on them. It is in this connection that the Holy Prophet is enjoined to examine the women who came to him from among the idolaters for the purpose of embracing Islam, so that, if they were found to be inspired by sincere motives, they should be retained. It is this circumstance which gives its title to this chapter. It shows that, notwithstanding enmity, the Muslims were required to be fair in their dealings with the disbelievers. A clear statement was needed regarding the relations of the two communities on account of the hostilities which had sprung up between them. This gives us the clue to its connection with the last chapter.

The first section opens with an injunction against entering into friendly relations with the enemies of Islam, and the example of Abraham is quoted. The second section, however, adds that every non-Muslim is not to be regarded as an enemy. This direction, given as it was at a very late date, furnishes a basic principle in a discussion of the question of friendly relations. It is then stated that women who .ed from Makkah to escape persecution, could be given shelter if they were found, on examination, to be sincere.

The date of revelation may be placed between the treaty of Hudaibiyah and the conquest of Makkah; it was very likely the seventh year of the Hijrah.

2. Translation:

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

1 O you who believe, take not My enemy and your enemy for friends. Would you offer them love, while they deny the Truth that has come to you, driving out the Messenger and yourselves because you believe in Allah, your Lord?a If you have come forth to strive in My way and to seek My pleasure, would you love them in secret? And I know what you conceal and what you manifest. And whoever of you does this, he indeed strays from the straight path.

2 If they overcome you, they will be your enemies, and will stretch forth their hands and their tongues towards you with evil,a and they desire that you may disbelieve.

3 Your relationships and your children would not profit you, on the day of Resurrection — He will decide between you. And Allah is Seer of what you do.

4 Indeed, there is for you a good example in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people: We are clear of you and of that which you serve besides Allah. We disbelieve in you and there has arisen enmity and hatred between us and you forever until you believe in Allah alone — except Abraham’s saying to his sire: I would ask forgiveness for thee, and I control naught for thee from Allah.a Our Lord, on Thee do we rely, and to Thee do we turn, and to Thee is the eventual coming.

5 Our Lord, make us not a trial for those who disbelieve, and forgive us, our Lord. Surely Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.

6 Certainly there is for you in them a good example, for him who hopes for Allah and the Last Day. And whoever turns away, surely Allah is the Self-Sufficient, the Praised.

3. Commentary:

1a. It should be noted that the reason given for not taking the disbelievers as friends is that they are the enemies of Allah and His Messenger, who drove out the Prophet and the Muslims from their homes. Vv. 8 and 9 afford a full explanation. [Back to verse 1]

2a. That is, they would slay you with their hands and revile you with their tongues. [Back to verse 2]

4a. As shown in 6:74a, it was not Abraham’s father for whom he thus prayed, for ultimately this sire of Abraham proved to be a deadly enemy. Abraham’s example is quoted to show how loving and tender he was towards his people, yet, when it became clear to him that they were bent upon uprooting the Truth, even Abraham could not maintain relations of friendship with them. The Holy Prophet and his companions were in like manner now obliged to renounce all relationships of friendship with a people who were not only the avowed enemies of the Muslims but also in a state of continual war with them. For Abraham’s promise to ask forgiveness for his sire, see 19:47. [Back to verse 4]



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Section 2: Friendly relations with non-Muslims

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Chapter 59: Al-Hashr (The Banishment)

Chapter 61: Al-Saff (The Ranks)

Holy Quran Section > English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran by Maulana Muhammad Ali (Table of Contents) > Chapter 60 (Al-Mumtahanah- The Woman Who is Examined) > Section 1 (Verses 1 to 6)

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