59. O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their Jalabib over their bodies. That will be better that they should be known so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 60. If the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease, and those who spread false news among the people in Al-Madinah stop not, We shall certainly let you overpower them, then they will not be able to stay in it as your neighbors but a little while. 61. Accursed, they shall be seized wherever found, and killed with a (terrible) slaughter. 62. That was the way of Allah in the case of those who passed away of old, and you will not find any change in the way of Allah.
Here Allah tells His Messenger to command the believing women -- especially his wives and daughters, because of their position of honor -- to draw their Jilbabs over their bodies, so that they will be distinct in their appearance from the women of the Jahiliyyah and from slave women. The Jilbab is a Rida', worn over the Khimar. This was the view of Ibn Mas`ud, `Ubaydah, Qatadah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, `Ata' Al-Khurasani and others. It is like the Izar used today. Al-Jawhari said: "The Jilbab is the outer wrapper. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said that Allah commanded the believing women, when they went out of their houses for some need, to cover their faces from above their heads with the Jilbab, leaving only one eye showing. Muhammad bin Sirin said, "I asked `Ubaydah As-Salmani about the Ayah:
(to draw their Jalabib over their bodies.) He covered his face and head, with just his left eye showing.''
(That will be better that they should be known so as not to be annoyed. ) means, if they do that, it will be known that they are free, and that they are not servants or whores.
(And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) means, with regard to what happened previously during the days of Jahiliyyah, when they did not have any knowledge about this.
Then Allah issues a warning to the hypocrites, those who make an outward display of faith while concealing their disbelief,
(those in whose hearts is a disease,) `Ikrimah and others said that this refers to adulterers in this instance.
(and those who spread false news among the people in Al-Madinah) means, those who say that the enemy has come and war has started, which is a lie and a fabrication. Unless they give up these actions and return to the truth,
(We shall certainly let you overpower them,) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "We will give you power over them.'' Qatadah said: "We will incite you against them.'' As-Suddi said: "We will inform you about them.''
(then they will not be able to stay in it) means, in Al-Madinah,
(but a little while. Accursed...) `this describes their state while they are in Al-Madinah for this short time before they are expelled and sent far away.'
(they shall be seized wherever found,) means, `they will be attacked, because they are so weak and so few,'
(and killed with a (terrible) slaughter.) Then Allah says:
(That was the way of Allah in the case of those who passed away of old,) meaning, this is how Allah dealt with the hypocrites when they persisted in hypocrisy and disbelief and did not give it up; He incited the believers against them and caused them to prevail over them.
(and you will not find any change in the way of Allah.) means, the way in which Allah deals with this does not alter or change.