Note Number : 5330The immediate occasion was what happened to Khaula bint Thalaba, wife of Aus son of Samit. Though in Islam, he divorced her by an old Pagan custom: the formula was known as Zihar, and consisted of the words "Thou art to me as the back of my mother". This was hold by Pagan custom to imply a divorce and freed the husband from any responsibility for conjugal duties. Such a custom was in any case degrading to a woman. It was particularly hard on Khaula, for she loved her husband and pleaded that she had little children whom she had no resources herself to support. She urged her plea to the Prophet and in prayer to Allah. Her just plea was accepted, and this iniquitous custom, based on false words, was abolished. See also n. 3670 to xxxiii. 4.
Note Number : 5331For He is a just God, and will not allow human customs or pretences to trample on the just rights of the weakest of His creatures.
Note Number : 5332See n. 5330 above.
Note Number : 5333Such words are false in fact and iniquitous, inasmuch as they are unfair to the wife and unseemly in decent society.
Note Number : 5334Cf. iv. 99 and xxii. 60. Were it not that Allah in His Mercy makes allowances for our weaknesses and the various grades of motives that actuate us, such conduct would be inexpiable. But He prescribes expiation as in the next verse, because He wishes to blot out what is wrong and give us a chance to reform by His forgiveness.
Note Number : 5335If Zihar were to be ignored as if the words were never uttered, it would mean that men may foolishly resort to it without penalty. It is therefore recognised in respect of the penalty which the man incurs, but safeguards the woman's rights. She can sue for maintenance for herself. If it was a hasty act and he repented of it, he could not claim his conjugal rights until after the performance of his penalty as provided below.
Note Number : 5336Cf. iv. 92. The penalty is: to get a slave his freedom, whether it is your own slave or you purchase his freedom from another; if that is not possible, to fast for two months consecutively (in the manner of the Ramadhan fast); if that is not possible, to feed sixty poor. See next note.
Note Number : 5337There is a great deal of learned argument among the jurists as to the precise requirements of Canon Law under the term "feeding" the indigent. For example, it is laid down that half a Sa' of wheat or a full Sa' of dates or their equivalent in money would fulfil the requirements, a Sa' being a measure corresponding roughly to about 9 lbs. of wheat in weight. Others hold that a Mudd measure equivalent to about 2 1/4 lbs. would be sufficient. This would certainly be nearer the daily ration of a man. It is better to take the spirit of the text in its plain simplicity, and say that an indigent man should be given enough to eat for two meals a day. The sixty indigent ones fed for a day would be equivalent to a single individual fed for sixty days, or two for thirty days, and so on. But there is no need to go into minutiae in such matters.
Note Number : 5338These penalties in the alternative are prescribed, that we may show our repentance and Faith and our renunciation of "iniquity and falsehood" (verse 2 above), whatever our circumstances may be.
Note Number : 5340This phrase, "Allah will tell them of their deeds (or their doings or their conduct)" occurs frequently. See v. 51, n. 762; v. 108, n. 811; vi. 60; ix. 94; etc. In this life there is a certain mist or illusion in our spiritual sight. We see things from different angles and dispute about them; we hide real motives, and pretend to virtues which we do not possess; others may attribute such virtues to us, and we may come to believe it ourselves; we conceive likes and hatreds on insufficient grounds; we forget what we should remember, and remember what we should forget. Our vision is narrow, and our values are false. On the Day of Account all this will be remedied. Not only will true values be restored, but we shall ourselves see the inwardness of things in our own lives, which we never saw before.
Note Number : 5341Secrecy is a relative and limited term among ourselves. There is nothing hidden or unknown to Allah. Usually secrecy implies fear or distrust, plotting or wrong-doing. But all is open before Allah's sight.
Note Number : 5342When the Muslim Brotherhood was acquiring strength in Madinah and the forces of disruption were being discomfited in open fight against the Messenger of Righteousness, the wicked resorted to duplicity and secret intrigues, in which the ringleaders were the disaffected Jews and the Hypocrites, whose machinations have been frequently referred to in the Qur-an. E.g. see ii. 8-16; and iv. 142-145.
Note Number : 5343The salutation of Allah was (and is) "Peace!" But the enemies, who had not the courage to fight openly often twisted the words, and by using a word like "Sam", which meant "Death!" or "Destruction!" instead of "Salam!" (Peace!), they thought they were secretly venting their spite and yet apparently using a polite form of salutation. Cf. ii. 106, and n. 107, where another similar trick is exposed.
Note Number : 5344The enemies derisively enjoyed their trick (see last note) according to their own perverted mentality. They asked blasphemously, "Why does not Allah punish us?" The answer is given: there is a Punishment, far greater than they imagine: it will come in good time: it will be the final Punishment after Judgment: it is delayed in order to give them a chance of repentance and reformation.
Note Number : 5345Ordinarily secrecy implies deeds of darkness, something which men have to hide; see the next verse. But there are good deeds which may be concerted and done in secret: e.g., charity, or the prevention of mischief, or the defeat of the dark plots of evil. The determining factor is the motive. Is the man doing some wrong or venting his spite, or trying to disobey a lawful command? Or is he doing some good, which out of modesty or self-renunciation he does not want known, or is he in a righteous cause defeating the machinations of Evil, which may involve great sacrifice of himself.?
Note Number : 5346Evil can harm no one who is good, except in so far as (1) there is some question of trial in Allah's Universal Plan, or (2) what appears to be harm may be real good. Nothing happens without Allah's will and permission. And we must always trust Him, and not our cleverness or any adventitious circumstances that draw us the least bit from the path of rectitude.
Note Number : 5347Even when a great man or a Leader comes into an Assembly, we are not to press forward without discipline, as it causes inconvenience to him and detriment to public business. Nor are we to shut out other people who have equal rights to be in the Assembly. We must spread out, for Allah's earth is spacious, and so are our opportunities.
Note Number : 5348"Rise up" here may imply: 'when the Assembly is dismissed, do not loiter about'.
Note Number : 5349Faith makes all people equal in the Kingdom of Allah, as regards the essentials of citizenship in the Kingdom. But there is leadership, and rank and degree, joined with greater or less responsibility, and that depends on true knowledge and insight.
Note Number : 5350In the Kingdom of Allah all instruction or consultation is open and free. But human nature is weak. And people want special instruction or private consultation with the Prophet from one of several motives: (1) they may have, or think they have, a special case, which they are not willing to disclose to their brethren in general; (2) they may have some sense of delicacy or dignity, which can only be satisfied by a private interview; (3) they may even be selfish enough to want to monopolise the Prophet's time. These motives are, in an ascending order, worth discouraging; and yet, considering the weakness of human nature, they cannot be reprobated to the extent of shutting out their victims from chances of improvement. It is therefore recommended that they spend something in charity for the good of their poorer brethren before they indulge in such weaknesses.
Note Number : 5351The charity is a sort of expiation for their pardonable weakness. Having made some monetary sacrifice for their poorer brethren they could face them with less shame, and the charity would direct their attention to the need for purifying their motives and conduct. At the same time, this special charity is not made obligatory, lest such persons should be shut out altogether from chances of the higher teaching on account of their pardonable foibles.
Note Number : 5352Note the plural here, Sadaqat, instead of the singular, Sadaqat in verse 12 above. While people with the foibles described in n. 5350 may be willing to spend "something" (small) in charity for a special consultation occasionally, they may be frightened of spending large sums when their needs for consultation may be numerous. What is to be done then? Are they to be shut out altogether? No. They are asked to be punctilious in the discharge of their normal duties of at least normal regular prayers and regular charity, "if Allah forgives you", i.e., if Allah's Messenger relieves them of further special contributions such as those noted in verse 12. This condition, "if Allah forgives you", provides the safeguard against the abuse of the privilege. The messenger would know in each case what is best for the individual and for the community.
Note Number : 5353Zakat, was instituted about A.H. 2.
Note Number : 5354This refers to the Hypocrites of Madinah who pretended to be in Islam but intrigued with the Jews. See references as given in n. 5342 above.
Note Number : 5355By this time the Jews of Madinah and the Jewish tribes around had become actively hostile to Islam, and were being sharply called to account for their treachery.
Note Number : 5356They knew that as Muslims their duty was to refrain from the intrigues of the enemies of Islam and to assist Islam against them.
Note Number : 5357A false man, by swearing that he is true, makes his falsehood all the more heinous. He stands in the way of other people accepting Truth. He gives a handle to the cynics and the sceptics.
Note Number : 5358They may arrogantly boast of riches of alliances and followers in man-power. But what are such worldly advantages before the Throne of the Disposer of all events? They must come to utter misery.
Note Number : 5359When Judgment is established, and before they the Truth, they may think (as now) that some oaths or excuses will save them. But they have not now-much less will they have then-any footing to stand upon. Falsehood is falsehood, and must perish. They must learn the worthlessness of their falsehood.
Note Number : 5360Man's original nature as created by Allah is good (xxx. 30, and n. 3541). It is because man, in spite of the warnings he has received, allows Evil to get the mastery over him, that man forgets Allah and the divine qualities which Allah give him. The result of the perversion is that man becomes a partisan of Evil, and as such dooms himself to perdition.
Note Number : 5361There are various degrees of humiliation in the final state in the next world. But the worst is the humiliation of being numbered among those who ignominiously attempted to resist the Irresistible.
Note Number : 5362For the meaning of Aziz, see n. 2818 to xxii. 40.
Note Number : 5363If any one believes in Allah and His goodness and justice, and in the Hereafter, in which all true values will be restored he will never love evil or wrong-doing or rebellion against Allah, even if these things are found in his nearest kith and kin.
Note Number : 5364Faith in Allah is indelibly written on the tablets of their hearts and they can never be false to Allah.
Note Number : 5365Cf. ii. 87 and 253, where it is said that Allah strengthened the Prophet Jesus with the holy spirit. Here we learn that all good and righteous men are strengthened by Allah. If anything, the phrase used here is stronger: "a spirit from Himself". Whenever any one offers his heart in faith and purity to Allah, Allah accepts it, engraves that Faith on the seeker's heart, and further fortifies him with his help which we can no more define adequately than we can define in human language the nature and attributes of Allah.
Note Number : 5366Again we have the doctrine of Allah's Good Pleasure as the highest goal of man, the spiritual heaven which he achieves by a life of purity and faith. He not only attains Allah's Good Pleasure as the crown of his felicity, but his own nature is so far transformed to the pattern of Allah's original creation that his own good pleasure is in nothing but in Allah's Good Pleasure. The mutual good pleasure shows the heights to which man can attain.
Note Number : 5367This is in antithesis to the Party of the Satan, mentioned in verse 19 above. The Party of Evil will perish, but while it has its run in the scheme of the present world, the Party of Truth and Reality may be rightly called the Party of Allah, even though all Creation is Allah's in another sense.