O ye who believe! put not yourselves forward before Allah and His Apostle: But fear Allah: for Allah is He who hears and knows all things. 4919
O ye who believe! raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet nor speak aloud to him in talk as ye may speak aloud to one another lest your deeds become vain and ye perceive not. 4920 4921
Those that lower their voice in the presence of Allah's Apostle their hearts has Allah tested for piety: for them is Forgiveness and a great Reward. 4922
Those who shout out to thee from without the Inner Apartments most of them lack understanding. 4923
If only they had patience until thou couldst come out to them it would be best for them: but Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.
O ye who believe! if a wicked person comes to you with any news ascertain the truth lest ye harm people unwittingly and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done. 4924
And know that among you is Allah's Apostle: were he in many matters to follow your (wishes) ye would certainly fall into misfortune: but Allah has endeared the Faith to you and has made it beautiful in your hearts and He has made hateful to you unbelief wickedness and rebellion: such indeed are those who walk in righteousness 4925 4926
A grace and favor from Allah; and Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom.
If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies then make peace between them with justice and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just). 4927
The believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers: And fear Allah that ye may receive Mercy. 4928
O ye who believe! let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (Indeed) doing wrong. 4929 4930
O ye who believe! avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: and spy not on each other nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay ye would abhor it...but fear Allah: for Allah is Oft-Returning Most Merciful. 4931 4931 4932
O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). 4933
The desert Arabs say "We believe." Say "Ye have no faith; but ye (only) say `We have submitted our wills to Allah.' For not yet has Faith entered your hearts. But if ye obey Allah and His Apostle He will not belittle aught of your deeds: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful." 4934 4935
Only those are Believers who have believed in Allah and His Apostle and have never since doubted but have striven with their belongings and their persons in the Cause of Allah: Such are the sincere ones.
Say: "what! Will ye instruct Allah about your Religion?" but Allah knows all that is in the heavens and on earth: He has full knowledge of all things. 4936
They impress on thee as favor that they have embraced Islam. Say "Count not your Islam as a favor upon me: Nay Allah has conferred a favor upon you that He has guided you to the Faith if ye be true and sincere. 4937
"Verily Allah knows the secrets of the heavens and the earth: and Allah sees well all that ye do." 4938
Several shades of meaning are implied: (1) do not make yourselves conspicuous in word or deed when in the presence of Allah (e.g. in a Mosque, or at Prayers or religious assemblies): (2) do not anticipate in word or deed what your Leader (Allah's Messenger) may say or do; (3) do not be impatient, trying to hasten things before the time is ripe, of which the best Judge is Allah, Who speaks through His Messenger. Be reverent in all things, as in the presence of Allah: for He hears and sees all things. (4) Look to the Qur-an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be on him) for guidance and let nothing else take precedence of them.
It is bad manners to talk loudly before your Leader. Some ill-mannered people so raise their voices as to drown the voice of their Leader, in conversation or in Council.
Such rudeness may even destroy the value of such services as they may otherwise have been able to render, and all this without their even realising the harm they were doing to the Cause.
The essence of good manners arises from the heart. The man who really and sincerely respects his Leader has true piety in his heart, just as the man who does the opposite may undo the work of years by weakening the Leader's authority.
To shout aloud to your Leader from outside his Apartments shows disrespect both for his person, his time, and his engagements. Only ignorant fools would be guilty of such unseemly behaviour. It is more seemly for them to wait and bide their time until he is free to come out and attend to them. But, with the Messenger of Allah, much is forgiven that is due to lack of knowledge and understanding. In an earthly Court, ignorance of the Law excuseth no man. If a man behaved in that way to the General of an army or the Governor of a Province, not to speak of an earthly King, he would be laid hands on by the Guard, and could never gain the access he desires.
All tittle-tattle or reports-especially if emanating from persons you do not know-are to be tested, and the truth ascertained. If they were believed and passed on, much harm may be done, of which you may have cause afterwards to repent heartily. Scandal or slander of all kinds is here condemned.
The messenger of Allah, if he consults his friends and associates, should not be expected to follow their advice in all matters. The judgment and responsibility are his: he sees farther than the rest, and he is not swayed by personal feeling as others may be.
Fortunate indeed was the generation among whom the Prophet of Allah walked in his daily life. His example was inspiring. Their inner Faith was dear to them; it was a thing to be proud of in their innermost hearts; and they loved discipline, obedience, and righteousness. No wonder all their other disadvantages were neutralised, and they went from strength to strength. Nothing but the Grace of Allah could have brought about such a result.
Individual quarrels are easier to compose than group quarrels, or, in the modern world, national quarrels. But the collective community of Islam should be supreme over groups or nations. It would be expected to act justly and try to compose the quarrel, for peace is better than fighting. But if one party is determined to be the aggressor, the whole force of the community is brought to bear on it. The essential condition of course is that there should be perfect fairness and justice and respect for the highest principles; for Islam takes account of every just and legitimate interest without separating spiritual from temporal matters. The League of Nations failed because these essentials were absent and today the United Nations fails for the same reason.
The enforcement of the Muslim Brotherhood is the greatest social ideal of Islam. On it was based the Prophet's Sermon at his last pilgrimage, and Islam cannot be completely realised until this ideal is achieved.
Mutual ridicule ceases to be fun when there is arrogance or selfishness or malice behind it. We may laugh with people, to share in the happiness of life: we must never laugh at people in contempt or ridicule. In many things they may be better than ourselves!
Defamation may consist in speaking ill of others by the spoken or written word, or in acting in such a way as to suggest a charge against some person whom we are not in a position to judge. A cutting, biting remark or taunt of sarcasm is included in the word lamaza. An offensive nickname may amount to defamation, but in any case there is no point in using offensive nicknames, or names that suggest some real or fancied defect. They ill accord with the serious purpose which Muslims should have in life. For example, even if a man is lame, it is wrong to address him as "O lame one!" It causes him pain, and it is bad manners. So in the case of the rude remark, "the black man".
Most kinds of suspicion are baseless and to be avoided, and some are crimes in themselves: for they do cruel injustice to innocent men and women. Spying, or enquiring too curiously into other people's affairs, means either idle curiosity, and is therefore futile, or suspicion carried a stage further, which almost amounts to sin. Back-biting also is a brood of the same genus. It may be either futile but all the same mischievous, or it may be poisoned with malice, in which case it is a sin added to sin.
No one would like even to think of such an abomination as eating the flesh of his brother. But when the brother is dead, and the flesh is carrion, abomination is added to abomination. In the same way we are asked to refrain from hurting people's feelings when they are present; how much worse is it when we say things, true or false, when they are absent!
This is addressed to all mankind and not only to the Muslim brotherhood, though it is understood that in a perfected world the two would be synonymous. As it is, mankind is descended from one pair of parents. Their tribes, races, and nations are convenient labels by which we may know certain differing characteristics. Before Allah they are all one, and he gets most honour who is most righteous.
The desert Arabs were somewhat shaky in their faith. Their hearts and minds were petty, and they thought of petty things, while Islam requires the complete submission of one's being to Allah. See next verse. Some of the failings of the desert Arabs are described in xlviii. 11-15. But the reference here is said to be to the Banu Asad, who came to profess Islam in order to get charity during a famine.
'This is what ye ought to prove if your faith has any meaning, but ye only say it with your tongues.'
'You say (or perhaps even think) that you are Muslims, but where are the fruits of your Faith? Allah knows the innermost motives and secrets of your heart, and you cannot deceive Him by attaching a certain label to yourselves'. Alas! that this answer to the desert Arabs is true of so many others in our own times!
Islam in itself is a precious privilege. By accepting it we confer no favour on its preacher or on any community. If the acceptance is from the heart, it is a great favour done to those who accept, that the Light of Allah has entered their hearts and they have received guidance.
This does not mean that we should seek petty motives in newcomers into the House of Islam, That would indeed be habouring suspicions or allowing curiosity to spy out motives, which would be a crime under xlix. 12. We should be true, sincere, and devoted ourselves, and leave the case of others to Allah, from Whose eyes nothing is hidden.