Introduction to chapters of the Holy Quran: Surah al-Hashr, al-Mumtahinah, al-Saff, al-Jumuah, al-Munafiqun and al-Taghabun


The English translation of the introduction to chapters of the Holy Quran as given by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IVrh is being presented for the benefit of our readers. Insha-Allah, in the coming issues, we will endeavour to publish the introduction to all chapters of the Holy Quran:

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Chapter 59: Surah al-Hashr

This surah was revealed in Medina and including “Bismillah …”, it consists of 25 verses.

One hashr [banishment] is discussed at the beginning of the surah, and another great hashr at the end of it. The first hashr is declared as “Awwal-ul-Hashr” [the First Hashr], and through the punishments the Jews were given, it was as if the first hashr for them came to pass. And everyone was punished in proportion to their sins. Some were banished from their hometown; some were punished to pull down their houses with their own hands, and some others were sentenced to death. Thus, this is the First Hashr wherein punishments are mentioned. 

With regard to the hashr discussed at the end of this surah, it is said that the punishment is given to those who forget to remember Allah and then forget the good and bad of their own selves. But besides them there are those who remember Allah in all circumstances and watch as to what deeds they send ahead. They will be rewarded with magnificent rewards. 

The pinnacle of the topic of glorification as discussed in preceding surahs and in the beginning of the current one, is given at the end of this Surah. Those verses start with:

هُوَ‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬الَّذِيۡ‭ ‬لَاۤ‭ ‬اِلٰهَ‭ ‬اِلَّا‭ ‬هُوَ

[“He is Allah, and there is no God beside Him”] wherein some of the greatest names of Allah are mentioned. By saying: 

لَهُ‭ ‬الۡاَسۡمَآءُ‭ ‬الۡحُسۡنٰي

[“His are the most beautiful names”], it is being said that these are not the only names, but all “beautiful names” of Allah belong to Him. 

Chapter 60: Surah al-Mumtahinah

This surah was revealed in Medina and including “Bismillah …”, it consists of 14 verses.

In the preceding surah, the hashr [banishment] of the Jews was discussed. And in the current surah, the Muslims are being warned not to make friends with those who took Allah and the Messenger as enemies because even if they became friends superficially, their hearts were full of malice and they always hatched plans to annihilate the Muslims. 

Next, the positive example of Hazrat Abrahamas is mentioned that all his friendships as well as his enmities were for the sake of Allah. Therefore, “your kindred, parents and children will not avail you at all. You will have to establish or sever your relationships for the sake of Allah”. But along with that the Muslims have been exhorted that “those of your enemies who do not initiate your persecution, you have no right to initiate their persecution. The highest standard of justice demands that as long as they remain your friends, you too ought to treat them as friends.” 

Since this surah talks about that time period when the Muslims had been permitted to go in defensive wars against polytheists as well Jews, many issues arising as a result of wars have also been outlined as to what the right course of action would be in such situations. For instance, “If some of the wives of the disbelievers believe and emigrate, you should examine their faith well. If they believe of their own free will, then your foremost obligation is not to send them back to the disbelievers because both of them are no more lawful for conjugal relations with each other. Indeed, you should pay to their guardians what they have already spent on them.”   

Thereafter, finally, that oath of allegiance is mentioned which should also be taken from all such women who flee from the disbelievers and emigrate, and besides that, from all other believing women also when they desire to pledge their allegiance. 

Chapter 61: Surah al-Saff

This surah was revealed in Medina and including “Bismillah …”, it consists of 15 verses.

The oath of allegiance mentioned at the end of the preceding surah is not only about the responsibilities of believing women, but the believing men as well promise to keep away from such spiritual ailments by the oath of allegiance. Thus, both have been exhorted in the beginning of Surah al-Saff not to play hypocritically with regard to their oath of allegiance “lest you exhort others and yourself fail to comply with it. If you adhere to the oath of allegiance with sincerity, Allah the Almighty will join your hearts with each other in such a way that you will be able to stand against your enemy like something unbreakable.” 

In this very surah, the prophecy of Hazrat Jesusas about the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, the Chosen One, is mentioned wherein his second name, Ahmad, is taken, which is a manifestation of beauty. The description that follows with regard to Ahmad proves clearly that the Holy Prophet’ssa manifestation of beauty would be raised in the age of the latter ones. The elegant service to Islam he and his followers would be able to render at that time makes it very clear that this prophecy is related to the future. 

Since, at the end of this surah, Hazrat Jesusas and his prophecies are being discussed as he had demanded as to who would help him for the sake of Allah, it is required that in the latter days, when this announcement is repeated, all those Muslims who believed in these prophecies with all sincerity, are also bound to gather under the banner of the Messiah of Muhammadsa. They shall proclaim that they, in order to help the cause of the Holy Prophetsa in all circumstances, will be the helpers in the works of the Messiah of Muhammadsa for the cause of faith. 

Chapter 62: Surah al-Jumuah

This surah was revealed in Medina and including “Bismillah …”, it consists of 12 verses. 

This surah is a compendium of all the prophecies mentioned in the preceding surah, and every meaning of جمع [to join] has been related in it. That is, the Holy Prophetsa would be a means to join the latter ones with the earlier ones. He will also join the attributes of majesty with that of beauty. And the weekly gathering of the Muslims every Friday also finds its mention in this surah

Towards its close, a prophecy has also been made that the Muslims of the Latter Days would indulge themselves in materialism and merchandise and would abandon the Holy Prophetsa. With regard to this verse, some scholars suggest that this used to happen in the time of the Holy Prophetsa; his very loyal Companionsra, who never abandoned him in very fierce battles, would supposedly leave the Prophetsa and hasten towards the trading caravans when they got their news; this is a calumny against the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa

Certainly, this is a description of the Muslims of the Latter Days, who would have become practically unmindful of their faith and would have nothing to do with the message of the Holy Prophetsa

Chapter 63: Surah al-Munafiqun

This surah was revealed in Medina and including “Bismillah …”, it consists of 12 verses. 

This surah starts with the point that as some hypocrites of that day took oaths that you were indeed a Messenger of Allah, and Allah knew well that you were indeed His Messenger, Allah also bore witness that the hypocrites were liars. Similarly in the Latter Days, the majority of the Muslims would have the same state of affairs. They would take oaths of belief in the prophethood of the Holy Prophetsa, but Allah the Almighty would bear witness that their oaths were just lip service and they failed to fulfil genuine demands of faith. 

This surah also makes mention of the leader of the hypocrites, Abdullah bin Ubay bin Salul – who appeared on the scene within the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa – as to how, on the way back from an expedition, he behaved openly and insolently towards the Holy Prophetsa; so much so that he claimed to be the most respectable person among the people of Medina. And against that, using derogatory words for the Holy Prophetsa, he claimed that on reaching Medina, he would oust the Holy Prophetsa from Medina. What the decree of Allah the Almighty showed was totally opposite to that. Setting a magnificent example of his forgiveness, in spite of having power, the Prophetsa did not oust him from Medina. And the Prophetsa continued seeking forgiveness for him until his death, so much so that finally Allah the Almighty forbade the Prophetsa commanding him not to stand on his grave for seeking forgiveness for him in future. 

Chapter 64: Surah al-Taghabun

This surah was revealed in Medina and including “Bismillah …”, it consists of 19 verses. 

Like Surah al-Jumuah, this surah also starts with the words of:

‭ ‬يُسَبِّحُ‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬السَّمٰوٰتِ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الۡاَرۡضِ‭ ‬

[“Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth glorifies Allah”]. Mentioning the glorification of Allah the Almighty in this surah, it says that the heavens and the earth and whatever exists in them glorifies Allah; as the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa glorified Allah the Almighty the best of all. Then, [it is asked] how it was possible for such a person to be spared from the wrath of Allah, who treated the best of glorifiers with contempt.   

A prophecy has been made here with regard to the gathering in the Latter Days as mentioned in Surah al-Jumuah that that day would be the day of taghabun i.e. discrimination between good and bad. 

Regarding that era, which would be an era of making a lot of financial sacrifices for the cause of faith, glad tidings have been given to all those who make financial sacrifices that whatever they spend in the way of Allah the Almighty with sincerity, Allah would accept that and grant them magnificent reward for that.

(Translated from the original introduction of chapters as presented in the Urdu translation of the Holy Quran by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IVrh. Translated by Shahid Mahmood Ahmad, missionary in Ghana)

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