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The Reason for Revelation

Imam Ahmad recorded that Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) the wife of the Prophet said, "I said to the Prophet, `Why is it that we are not mentioned in the Qur'an as men are' Then one day without my realizing it, he was calling from the Minbar and I was combing my hair, so I tied my hair back then I went out to my chamber in my house, and I started listening out, and he was saying from the Minbar:

« يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى يَقُولُ:
﴿ إِنَّ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ وَٱلۡمُسۡلِمَـٰتِ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنَـٰتِ

(O people! Verily Allah says: (Verily, the Muslims: men and women, the believers: men and women...)) to the end of the Ayah.'' This was also recorded by An-Nasa'i and Ibn Jarir.

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ وَٱلۡمُسۡلِمَـٰتِ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنَـٰتِ

(Verily, the Muslims: men and women, the believers: men and women...) indicates that Iman is something other than Islam, and that it is more specific, because Allah says:

﴿ قَالَتِ ٱلۡأَعۡرَابُ ءَامَنَّا‌ۖ قُل لَّمۡ تُؤۡمِنُواْ وَلَـٰكِن قُولُوٓاْ أَسۡلَمۡنَا وَلَمَّا يَدۡخُلِ ٱلۡإِيمَـٰنُ فِى قُلُوبِكُمۡ‌ۖ

(The bedouins say: "We believe.'' Say: "You believe not but you only say, `We have surrendered (in Islam),' for faith has not yet entered your hearts.'') (49:14). In the Two Sahihs, it says:

« لَا يَزْنِي الزَّانِي حِينَ يَزْنِي وَهُوَ مُؤْمِن »

(The adulterer does not commit adultery at the time when he is a believer.) For it snatches away his Iman, although that does not mean he is a disbeliever, according to the consensus of the Muslims. This indicates that Iman is more specific than Islam, as we have stated at the beginning of our commentary on Al-Bukhari.

﴿ وَٱلۡقَـٰنِتِينَ وَٱلۡقَـٰنِتَـٰتِ

(the Qanit: men and the women,) Al-Qunut means obedience during quite time.

﴿ أَمَّنۡ هُوَ قَـٰنِتٌ ءَانَآءَ ٱلَّيۡلِ سَاجِدً۬ا وَقَآٮِٕمً۬ا يَحۡذَرُ ٱلۡأَخِرَةَ وَيَرۡجُواْ رَحۡمَةَ رَبِّهِۦ‌ۗ

(Is one who is (Qanit,) prostrating himself or standing in the middle of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord...) (39:9)

﴿ وَلَهُ ۥ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۖ ڪُلٌّ۬ لَّهُ ۥ قَـٰنِتُونَ

(To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. All are Uqnuti (Qanitun) to Him.) (30:26)

﴿ يَـٰمَرۡيَمُ ٱقۡنُتِى لِرَبِّكِ وَٱسۡجُدِى وَٱرۡكَعِى مَعَ ٱلرَّٲكِعِينَ

(O Maryam! "Uqnuti to your Lord and prostrate, and bow with Ar-Raki`in (those who bow).'') (3:43)

﴿ وَقُومُواْ لِلَّهِ قَـٰنِتِينَ

(And stand before Allah Qanitin) (2: 238). So, beyond Islam there is a higher level to be reached, which is Iman, and Qunut stems from them both.

﴿ وَٱلصَّـٰدِقِينَ وَٱلصَّـٰدِقَـٰتِ

(the men and women who are truthful,) This refers to their speech, for truthfulness is a praiseworthy attribute. Some of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) were never known to have lied even once, neither during Jahiliyyah nor in Islam. Truthfulness is a sign of faith, just as lying is a sign of hypocrisy. Whoever is truthful will be saved:

« عَلَيْكُمْ بِالصِّدْقِ فَإِنَّ الصِّدْقَ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْبِرِّ، وَإِنَّ الْبِرَّ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ، وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَالْكَذِبَ، فَإِنَّ الْكَذِبَ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْفُجُورِ، وَإِنَّ الْفُجُورَ يَهْدِي إِلَى النَّارِ، وَلَا يَزَالُ الرَّجُلُ يَصْدُقُ وَيَتَحَرَّى الصِّدْقَ حَتَّى يُكْتَبَ عِنْدَ اللهِ صِدِّيقًا، وَلَا يَزَالُ الرَّجُلُ يَكْذِبُ وَيَتَحَرَّى الْكَذِبَ حَتَّى يُكْتَبَ عِنْدَ اللهِ كَذَّابًا »

(You have to be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. And beware of lying, for lying leads to immorality and immorality leads to Hell. A man will keep telling the truth and striving to do so until he will be recorded with Allah as a truthful. And a man will keep telling lies and will persist in doing so until he will be recorded with Allah as a liar.) And there are many Hadiths on this topic.

﴿ وَٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ وَٱلصَّـٰبِرَٲتِ

(the men and the women who are patient,) This is the attribute of those who are steadfast, which is patience in the face of adversity and knowing that what is decreed will inevitably come to pass. So, they face it with patience and steadfastness. Patience is the most difficult when disaster first strikes, then after that it becomes easier, and this is true steadfastness.

﴿ وَٱلۡخَـٰشِعِينَ وَٱلۡخَـٰشِعَـٰتِ

(the Khashi`: men and the women,) Khushu` means serenity and tranquility, deliberation and dignity and humility. What motivates a person to be like this is the fear of Allah and the awareness that He is constantly watching, as mentioned in the Hadith:

« اعْبُدُ اللهَ كَأَنَّكَ تَرَاهُ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ تَرَاهُ فَإِنَّهُ يَرَاك »

(Worship Allah as if you can see Him, for if you cannot see Him, He can see you.)

﴿ وَٱلۡمُتَصَدِّقِينَ وَٱلۡمُتَصَدِّقَـٰتِ

(the men and the women who give Sadaqat,) As-Sadaqah (charity) means doing good to people who are in need or who are weak and have no means of earning a living and none to financially support them. They give them from the excess of their wealth in obedience to Allah and as a good deed to His creation. It was recorded in the Two Sahihs:

« سَبْعَةٌ يُظِلُّهُمُ اللهُ فِي ظِلِّهِ يَوْمَ لَا ظِلَّ إِلَّا ظِلُّهُ فَذَكَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَرَجُلٌ تَصَدَّقَ بِصَدَقَةٍ فَأَخْفَاهَا حَتَّى لَاتَعْلَمَ شِمَالُهُ مَا تُنْفِقُ يَمِينُه »

(There are seven whom Allah will shade with His Shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His Shade -- and among them he mentioned -- ...a man who gave in charity and concealed it to the extent that his left hand did not know what his right hand was giving.) According to another Hadith:

« وَالصَّدَقَةُ تُطْفِىءُ الْخَطِيئَةَ كَمَا يُطْفِىءُ الْمَاءُ النَّار »

(Sadaqah extinguishes bad deeds just as water extinguishes fire.) There are many Hadiths which encourage charitable giving; this topic is discussed in detail elsewhere.

﴿ وَٱلصَّـٰٓٮِٕمِينَ وَٱلصَّـٰٓٮِٕمَـٰتِ

(the men and the women who fast,) According to a Hadith narrated by Ibn Majah:

« وَالصَّوْمُ زَكَاةُ الْبَدَن »

(Fasting is the Zakah of the body.) In other words, it purifies it and cleanses it of things that are bad in both physical and Shar`i terms. Sa`id bin Jubayr said: "Whoever fasts Ramadan and three days of each month, is included in the Ayah,

﴿ وَٱلصَّـٰٓٮِٕمِينَ وَٱلصَّـٰٓٮِٕمَـٰتِ

(the men and the women who fast,)'' Fasting is also one of the greatest means of overcoming one's desires, as the Messenger of Allah said:

« يَامَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمُ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ، فَإِنَّهُ أَغَضُّ لِلْبَصَرِ وَأَحْصَنُ لِلْفَرْجِ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاء »

(O young men! Whoever among you can afford to get married, let him do so, for it is most effective in lowering the gaze and protecting the chastity. And whoever cannot get married, then let him fast, for it will be a protection for him.) It is quite apt that next should be mentioned:

﴿ وَٱلۡحَـٰفِظِينَ فُرُوجَهُمۡ وَٱلۡحَـٰفِظَـٰتِ

(the men and the women who guard their chastity) i.e., they protect their private parts from forbidden and sinful things, except for that which is permitted. Allah says:

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ لِفُرُوجِهِمۡ حَـٰفِظُونَ إِلَّا عَلَىٰٓ أَزۡوَٲجِهِمۡ أَوۡ مَا مَلَكَتۡ أَيۡمَـٰنُہُمۡ فَإِنَّہُمۡ غَيۡرُ مَلُومِينَ فَمَنِ ٱبۡتَغَىٰ وَرَآءَ ذَٲلِكَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡعَادُونَ

(And those who guard their chastity. Except from their wives or the whom their right hands possess -- for they are not blameworthy. But whosoever seeks beyond that, then it is those who are trespassers.) (70:29-31)

﴿ وَٱلذَّٲڪِرِينَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرً۬ا وَٱلذَّٲڪِرَٲتِ

(and the men and the women who remember Allah much) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:

« إِذَا أَيْقَظَ الرَّجُلُ امْرَأَتَهُ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَصَلَّيَا رَكْعَتَيْنِ كُتِبَا تِلْكَ اللَّيْلَةَ مِنَ الذَّاكِرِينَ اللهَ كَثِيرًا وَالذَّاكِرَات »

(If a man wakes his wife at night and they pray two Rak`ahs, they will recorded that night as being among the men and the women who remember Allah much.) This was recorded by Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah from the Hadith of Abu Sa`id and Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with them both, from the Prophet. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "The Messenger of Allah was walking along a road in Makkah, and he came to (the mountain of) Jumdan, and said,

« هَذَا جُمْدَانُ، سِيرُوا، فَقَدْ سَبَقَ الْمُفَرِّدُون »

(This is Jumdan, go ahead, for the Mufarridun have gone ahead. (The men and the women who remember Allah much) Then he said,

« اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلْمُحَلِّقِين »

(O Allah, forgive those who shaved their hair.) They said, `And those who shortened.' He said,

« اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلْمُحَلِّقِين »

(O Allah, forgive those who shaved their hair.) They said, `And those who shortened.'

« وَالْمُقَصِّرِين »

(And those who shortened.) This was recorded by Imam Ahmad with this chain of narration. It was also recorded by Muslim, except for the last part of it.

﴿ أَعَدَّ ٱللَّهُ لَهُم مَّغۡفِرَةً۬ وَأَجۡرًا عَظِيمً۬ا

(Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward.) Here Allah tells us that for all of those mentioned in this Ayah, He has prepared for them forgiveness of their sins and a great reward, meaning, Paradise.

﴿ وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤۡمِنٍ۬ وَلَا مُؤۡمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى ٱللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ۥۤ أَمۡرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ ٱلۡخِيَرَةُ مِنۡ أَمۡرِهِمۡۗ وَمَن يَعۡصِ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥ فَقَدۡ ضَلَّ ضَلَـٰلاً۬ مُّبِينً۬ا

(36. It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error.)

The Reason for Revelation

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Barzah Al-Aslami said: "Julaybib was a man who used to enter upon women and joke with them. I said to my wife, `Do not let Julaybib enter upon you, for if he enters upon you I shall do such and such.' If any of the Ansar had a single female relative, they would not arrange a marriage for her until they found out whether the Prophet wanted to marry her or not. The Prophet said to one of the Ansar:

« زَوِّجْنِي ابْنَتَك »

(Give me your daughter for marriage.) He said, `Yes, O Messenger of Allah, it would be an honor and a blessing.' He said,

« إِنِّي لَسْتُ أُرِيدُهَا لِنَفْسِي »

(I do not want her for myself.) He said, `Then for whom, O Messenger of Allah' He said,

« لِجُلَيْبِيب »

(For Julaybib.) He said, `O Messenger of Allah, let me consult her mother.' So he went to the girl's mother and said, `The Messenger of Allah is proposing marriage for your daughter.' She said, `Yes, it would be a pleasure.' He said, `He is not proposing to marry her himself, he is proposing on behalf of Julaybib.' She said, `What! Julaybib No, by Allah, we will not marry her to him.' When he wanted to get up and go to the Messenger of Allah to tell him what the girl's mother had said, the girl asked, `Who is asking for my hand' So her mother told her, and she said, `Are you refusing to follow the command of the Messenger of Allah Follow his command, for I will not come to any harm.' So her father went to the Messenger of Allah and said, `Deal with her as you wish.' So he married her to Julaybib. Then the Messenger of Allah went out on one of his military campaigns, and after Allah had granted him victory, he said to his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them,

« هَلْ تَفْقِدُونَ مِنْ أَحَد »

(See whether there is anybody missing.) They said, `We have lost so-and-so, and so-and-so.' He said,

« انْظُرُوا هَلْ تَفْقِدُونَ مِنْ أَحَد »

(See if there is anybody missing.) They said, `No one.' He said:

« لَكِنَّنِي أَفْقِدُ جُلَيْبِيبًا »

(But I see that Julaybib is missing.) He said:

« فَاطْلُبُوهُ فِي الْقَتْلَى »

(Go and look for him among the dead.) So they looked for him, and found him beside seven of the enemy whom he had killed before he was himself killed. They said, `O Messenger of Allah, here he is, beside seven of the enemy whom he had killed before he was himself killed.' The Messenger of Allah came and stood beside him and said,

« قَتَلَ سَبْعَةً وَقَتَلُوهُ، هَذَا مِنِّي وَأَنَا مِنْه »

(He killed seven before he was himself killed. He belongs to me and I belong to him.) He said this two or three times, then the Messenger of Allah carried him in his arms and held him while his grave was dug, then he placed him in his grave. It was not mentioned that he washed him, may Allah be pleased with him.'' Thabit, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "There was no widow among the Ansar who was more sought after for marriage than that girl.'' Ishaq bin `Abdullah bin Abi Talhah asked Thabit, "Do you know how the Messenger of Allah prayed for that girl'' He told him: "He said,

« اللَّهُمَّ صُبَّ عَلَيْهَا الْخَيْرَ صَبًّا وَلَا تَجْعَلْ عَيْشَهَا كَدًّا »

(O Allah, pour blessings upon her and do not make her life hard.) And this is how it was; there was no widow among the Ansar who was more sought after for marriage than her.'' This is how it was recorded by Imam Ahmad, in full. Muslim and An-Nasa'i recorded the story of his death in Al-Fada'il. Al-Hafiz Abu `Umar bin `Abd Al-Barr mentioned in Al-Isti`ab that when the girl said in her seclusion, `Are you refusing to follow the command of the Messenger of Allah ' -- This Ayah was revealed:

﴿ وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤۡمِنٍ۬ وَلَا مُؤۡمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى ٱللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ۥۤ أَمۡرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ ٱلۡخِيَرَةُ مِنۡ أَمۡرِهِمۡۗ

(It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision.) It was narrated that Tawus asked Ibn `Abbas about praying two Rak`ahs after `Asr and he told him not to do that. Ibn `Abbas recited:

﴿ وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤۡمِنٍ۬ وَلَا مُؤۡمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى ٱللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ۥۤ أَمۡرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ ٱلۡخِيَرَةُ مِنۡ أَمۡرِهِمۡۗ

(It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision.) This Ayah is general in meaning and applies to all matters, i.e., if Allah and His Messenger decreed a matter, no one has the right to go against that, and no one has any choice or room for personal opinion in this case. Allah says: o

﴿ فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيۡنَهُمۡ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُواْ فِىٓ أَنفُسِہِمۡ حَرَجً۬ا مِّمَّا قَضَيۡتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسۡلِيمً۬ا

(But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.) (4:65) Hence the issue of going against it is addressed in such strong terms, as Allah says:

﴿ وَمَن يَعۡصِ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥ فَقَدۡ ضَلَّ ضَلَـٰلاً۬ مُّبِينً۬ا

(And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error.) This is like the Ayah:

﴿ فَلۡيَحۡذَرِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنۡ أَمۡرِهِۦۤ أَن تُصِيبَہُمۡ فِتۡنَةٌ أَوۡ يُصِيبَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

(And let those who oppose the Messenger's commandment, beware, lest some Fitnah should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them) (24:63).

﴿ وَإِذۡ تَقُولُ لِلَّذِىٓ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡهِ وَأَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِ أَمۡسِكۡ عَلَيۡكَ زَوۡجَكَ وَٱتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ وَتُخۡفِى فِى نَفۡسِكَ مَا ٱللَّهُ مُبۡدِيهِ وَتَخۡشَى ٱلنَّاسَ وَٱللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخۡشَٮٰهُۖ فَلَمَّا قَضَىٰ زَيۡدٌ۬ مِّنۡہَا وَطَرً۬ا زَوَّجۡنَـٰكَهَا لِكَىۡ لَا يَكُونَ عَلَى ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ حَرَجٌ۬ فِىٓ أَزۡوَٲجِ أَدۡعِيَآٮِٕهِمۡ إِذَا قَضَوۡاْ مِنۡہُنَّ وَطَرً۬اۚ وَكَانَ أَمۡرُ ٱللَّهِ مَفۡعُولاً۬

(37. And (remember) when you said to him on whom Allah has bestowed grace and you have done a favor: "Keep your wife to yourself, and have Taqwa of Allah.'' But you did hide in yourself that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people whereas Allah had a better right that you should fear Him. So, when Zayd had completed his aim with her, We gave her to you in marriage, so that there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them. And Allah's command must be fulfilled.)

Allah's rebuke to His Messenger and the Story of Zayd and Zaynab

Allah tells what His Prophet said to his freed slave Zayd bin Harithah, may Allah be pleased with him, who was the one on whom Allah had bestowed grace, i.e., through Islam and following the Messenger .

﴿ وَأَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِ

(and you have done a favor (to him)) means, by freeing him from slavery. And he was a great leader, held in high esteem and beloved by the Prophet. He was known as the beloved, and his son Usamah was known as the beloved son of the beloved. `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: "The Messenger of Allah never sent him on a campaign but he appointed him as its commander, and if he had lived after him he would have appointed him as his Khalifah.'' This was recorded by Imam Ahmad. The Messenger of Allah had given him in marriage to the daughter of his paternal aunt, Zaynab bint Jahsh Al-Asadiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her) whose mother was Umaymah bint `Abd Al-Muttalib. For her dowery he gave her ten Dinars, sixty Dirhams, a veil, a cloak and a shirt, fifty Mudds of food and ten Mudds of dates. This was stated by Muqatil bin Hayyan. She stayed with him for a year, more or less, then problems arose between them. Zayd complained about her to the Messenger of Allah, who told him, "Stay with your wife and have Taqwa of Allah.'' Allah says:

﴿ وَتُخۡفِى فِى نَفۡسِكَ مَا ٱللَّهُ مُبۡدِيهِ وَتَخۡشَى ٱلنَّاسَ وَٱللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخۡشَٮٰهُۖ

(But you did hide in yourself that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people whereas Allah had a better right that you should fear Him.) Ibn Jarir narrated that `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, "If Muhammad were to have concealed anything that was revealed to him of the Book of Allah, he would have concealed this Ayah:

﴿ وَتُخۡفِى فِى نَفۡسِكَ مَا ٱللَّهُ مُبۡدِيهِ وَتَخۡشَى ٱلنَّاسَ وَٱللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخۡشَٮٰهُۖ

(But you did hide in yourself that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people whereas Allah had a better right that you should fear Him.)''

﴿ فَلَمَّا قَضَىٰ زَيۡدٌ۬ مِّنۡہَا وَطَرً۬ا زَوَّجۡنَـٰكَهَا

(So, when Zayd had completed his aim with her, We gave her to you in marriage,) meaning, `when her marriage to Zayd was over and he had separated from her, We married her to you,' and the One Who was her Wali (guardian) in this marriage was Allah Himself, in the sense that He revealed to the Prophet that he should go in unto her without any Wali, contractual agreement, dowery or witnesses among mankind. Imam Ahmad recorded that Thabit said that Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "When Zaynab's `Iddah finished (may Allah be pleased with her) the Messenger of Allah said to Zayd bin Harithah,

« اذْهَبْ فَاذْكُرْهَا عَلَي »

(Go to her and tell her about me (that I want to marry her).) So, he went to her and found her kneading dough. He (Zayd) said, `When I saw her I felt such respect for her that I could not even look at her and tell her what the Messenger of Allah had said, so I turned my back to her and stepped aside, and said, `O Zaynab! Rejoice, for the Messenger of Allah has sent me to propose marriage to you on his behalf.' She said, `I will not do anything until I pray to my Lord, may He be glorified.' So she went to the place where she usually prayed. Then Qur'an was revealed and the Messenger of Allah came and entered without permission. We were there when she entered upon the Messenger of Allah, and for the wedding feast we offered bread and meat. Then the people left, and some men stayed behind conversing in the house after they had eaten. The Messenger of Allah went out and I followed him. He started to go around all the apartments of his wives, greeting them, and they said, `O Messenger of Allah, how did you find your (new) wife' I do not know whether I or someone else told him that those people had left, so he went and entered the house, and I went to enter after him, but he drew the curtain between himself and I. The ruling of Hijab was revealed and he exhorted the people as Allah had exhorted them:

﴿ لَا تَدۡخُلُواْ بُيُوتَ ٱلنَّبِىِّ إِلَّآ أَن يُؤۡذَنَ لَكُمۡ

(Enter not the Prophet's houses, unless permission is given to you).'' This was also recorded by Muslim and An-Nasa'i. Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "Zaynab bint Jahsh (may Allah be pleased with her) used to boast to the other wives of the Prophet , saying, `Your families arranged your marriages, but Allah arranged my marriage from above the seven heavens.''' In (our Tafsir of) Surat An-Nur we mentioned that Muhammad bin `Abdullah bin Jahsh said: "Zaynab and `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with them) were boasting to one another; Zaynab (may Allah be pleased with her) said, `I am the one whose marriage was revealed from above the heaven.' `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, `I am the one whose innocence was revealed from heaven.' So, Zaynab conceded that, may Allah be pleased with her.''

﴿ لِكَىۡ لَا يَكُونَ عَلَى ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ حَرَجٌ۬ فِىٓ أَزۡوَٲجِ أَدۡعِيَآٮِٕهِمۡ إِذَا قَضَوۡاْ مِنۡہُنَّ وَطَرً۬اۚ

(so that there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them.) means, `We permitted you to marry her, and We did that so that there would no longer be any difficulty for the believers with regard to their marrying the ex-wives of their adopted sons.' Before prophethood, the Messenger of Allah had adopted Zayd bin Harithah, may Allah be pleased with him, and he was known as Zayd, the son of Muhammad. Allah put a stop to this when He said:

﴿ وَمَا جَعَلَ أَدۡعِيَآءَكُمۡ أَبۡنَآءَكُمۡ‌ۚ

(nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons) until:

﴿ ٱدۡعُوهُمۡ لِأَبَآٮِٕهِمۡ هُوَ أَقۡسَطُ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ

(Call them after their fathers, that is more just with Allah) (33:4-5). Then this was confirmed and made even clearer by the marriage of the Messenger of Allah to Zaynab bint Jahsh (may Allah be pleased with her) when Zayd bin Harithah divorced her. Allah says in Ayat At-Tahrim:

﴿ وَحَلَـٰٓٮِٕلُ أَبۡنَآٮِٕڪُمُ ٱلَّذِينَ مِنۡ أَصۡلَـٰبِڪُمۡ

(the wives of your sons from your own loins) (4:23) which specifically excludes adopted sons. This custom (of adopting sons) was widespread among them.

﴿ وَكَانَ أَمۡرُ ٱللَّهِ مَفۡعُولاً۬

(And Allah's command must be fulfilled.) means, `this that has happened was decreed by Allah and was inevitable.' Allah knew that Zaynab (may Allah be pleased with her) would become one of the wives of the Prophet.

﴿ مَّا كَانَ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِىِّ مِنۡ حَرَجٍ۬ فِيمَا فَرَضَ ٱللَّهُ لَهُۖ ۥ سُنَّةَ ٱللَّهِ فِى ٱلَّذِينَ خَلَوۡاْ مِن قَبۡلُۚ وَكَانَ أَمۡرُ ٱللَّهِ قَدَرً۬ا مَّقۡدُورًا

(38. There is no blame on the Prophet in that which Allah has made legal for him. That has been Allah's way with those who have passed away of old. And the command of Allah is a decree determined.)

﴿ مَّا كَانَ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِىِّ مِنۡ حَرَجٍ۬ فِيمَا فَرَضَ ٱللَّهُ لَهُۖ ۥ

(There is no blame on the Prophet in that which Allah has made legal for him.) means, in that which has been permitted for him and which he has been commanded to do, i.e. his marrying Zaynab, may Allah be pleased with her,, who had been divorced by his adopted son Zayd bin Harithah,

﴿ سُنَّةَ ٱللَّهِ فِى ٱلَّذِينَ خَلَوۡاْ مِن قَبۡلُۚ

(That has been Allah's way with those who have passed away of old.) means this is the ruling of Allah for the Prophets who came before him. Allah would not command them to do anything for which they might be blamed. This is a refutation of those hypocrites who imagined that there was anything wrong with his marrying the ex-wife of Zayd, his freed slave and adopted son.

﴿ وَكَانَ أَمۡرُ ٱللَّهِ قَدَرً۬ا مَّقۡدُورًا

(And the command of Allah is a decree determined.) means, His command which He has decreed must inevitably come to pass; nothing can prevent it or avert it, for whatever He wills happens, and whatever He does not decree, does not happen.

﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ يُبَلِّغُونَ رِسَـٰلَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ وَيَخۡشَوۡنَهُ ۥ وَلَا يَخۡشَوۡنَ أَحَدًا إِلَّا ٱللَّهَۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ حَسِيبً۬ا مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَآ أَحَدٍ۬ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمۡ وَلَـٰكِن رَّسُولَ ٱللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عَلِيمً۬ا

(39. Those who convey the Message of Allah and fear Him, and fear none save Allah. And sufficient is Allah as a Reckoner.) (40. Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last of the Prophets. And Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything.)

Praise for Those Who convey the Message

Allah says:

﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ يُبَلِّغُونَ رِسَـٰلَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ

(Those who convey the Message of Allah) meaning, to His creation, and fulfil that with which they have been entrusted.

﴿ وَيَخۡشَوۡنَهُ ۥ

(and fear Him,) means, they fear Him and they do not fear any besides Him, so no threats on the part of anyone can prevent them from conveying the Message of Allah.

﴿ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ حَسِيبً۬ا

(And sufficient is Allah as a Reckoner.) means, sufficient is Allah as a Helper and Supporter. The leader of all people in this regard and in all regards is Muhammad the Messenger of Allah, for he undertook to convey the Message to the people of the east and of the west, to all kinds of the sons of Adam, so Allah caused his word, his religion and his law to prevail over all other religions and laws. The Prophets before him were sent only to their own peoples, but he was sent to all of mankind, Arabs and non-Arabs alike.

﴿ قُلۡ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنِّى رَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ إِلَيۡڪُمۡ جَمِيعًا

(Say: "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah'') (7:158). Then his Ummah inherited the task of conveying from him, and the greatest of those who undertook this task after him were his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) who conveyed from him as he had commanded them, describing all his words, deeds and circumstances, night and day, when he was settled and when he was traveling, in private and in public, may Allah be pleased with them. Thereafter each generation inherited from their predecessors until our own time, so those who are guided, follow their example and their way. We ask Allah, the Most Generous Bestower, to make us among their heirs.

The Messenger is not the Father of any Man

Allah states:

﴿ مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَآ أَحَدٍ۬ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمۡ

(Muhammad is not the father of any of your men,) After this it was not permitted to say Zayd bin Muhammad, i.e., he was not his father even though he had adopted him. No male child of the Prophet lived until puberty. Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) bore him Al-Qasim, At-Tayyib and At-Tahir, but they died in childhood. Mariyah Al-Qibtiyyah bore him Ibrahim, but he also died in infancy. He also had four daughters from Khadijah: Zaynab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with them all. Three of them died during his lifetime, Fatimah lived long enough to be bereaved of him, then she died six months later.

He is the Last of the Prophets
﴿ وَلَـٰكِن رَّسُولَ ٱللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عَلِيمً۬ا

(but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last of the Prophets. And Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything.) This is like the Ayah:

﴿ ٱللَّهُ أَعۡلَمُ حَيۡثُ يَجۡعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ ۥ‌ۗ

(Allah knows best with whom to place His Message) (6:124). This Ayah clearly states that there will be no Prophet after him. If there will be no Prophet after him then there will surely be no Messenger after him either, because the status of a Messenger is higher than that of a Prophet, for every Messenger is a Prophet but the reverse is not the case. This was reported in many Mutawatir Hadiths narrated from the Messenger of Allah via a group of his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them. Imam Ahmad recorded a narration from Ubayy bin Ka`b, from his father that the Prophet said:

« مَثَلِي فِي النَّبِيِّينَ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ بَنَى دَارًا فَأَحْسَنَهَا وَأَكْمَلَهَا، وَتَرَكَ فِيهَا مَوْضِعَ لَبِنَةٍ لَمْ يَضَعْهَا، فَجَعَلَ النَّاسُ يَطُوفُونَ بِالْبُنْيَانِ وَيَعْجَبُونَ مِنْهُ وَيَقُولُونَ: لَوْ تَمَّ مَوْضِعُ هَذِهِ اللَّبِنَةِ، فَأَنَا فِي النَّبِيِّينَ مَوْضِعُ تِلْكَ اللَّبِنَة »

(My parable among the Prophets is that of a man who built a house and did a good and complete job, apart from the space of one brick which he did not put in its place. The people started to walk around the building, admiring it and saying, "If only that brick were put in its place. '' Among the Prophets, I am like that brick.) It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who said "Hasan Sahih.''

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:

« إِنَّ الرِّسَالَةَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ قَدِ انْقَطَعَتْ فَلَا رَسُولَ بَعْدِي وَلَا نَبِي »

(Messengership and Prophethood have come to an end, and there will be no more Messengers or Prophets.) This worried the people, then he said:

« وَلَكِنِ الْمُبَشِّرَات »

(But there will be Al-Mubashshirat.) They said, `O Messenger of Allah, what are Al-Mubashshirat' He said,

« رُؤْيَا الرَّجُلِ الْمُسْلِمِ، وَهِيَ جُزْءٌ مِنْ أَجْزَاءِ النُّبُوَّة »

(The dreams of a Muslim man, and they are one of the parts of prophethood.) This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who said, "Sahih Gharib.''

Another Hadith

Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:

« مَثَلِي وَمَثَلُ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ بَنَى دَارًا فَأَكْمَلَهَا وَأَحْسَنَهَا إِلَّا مَوْضِعَ لَبِنَةٍ، فَكَانَ مَنْ دَخَلَهَا فَنَظَرَ إِلَيْهَا قَالَ: مَا أَحْسَنَهَا إِلَّا مَوْضِعَ هَذِهِ اللَّبِنَةِ، فَأَنَا مَوْضِعُ اللَّبِنَةِ خُتِمَ بِي الْأَنْبِيَاءُ عَلَيْهِمُ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَام »

(The parable of myself and the Prophets is that of a man who built a house and did a complete and good job, except for the space of one brick. Whoever entered it would look at that space and say, how good it is, apart from the space of that brick. My position is like that of that brick, and the Prophets -- blessings and peace be upon them -- end with me.) It was also recorded by Al-Bukhari, Muslim and At-Tirmidhi, who said, "It is Sahih Gharib with this chain of narrators.''

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:

« مَثَلِي وَمَثَلُ النَّــبِيينَ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ بَنَى دَارًا فَأَتَمَّهَا إِلَّا لَبِنَةً وَاحِدَةً، فَجِئْتُ أَنَا فَأَتْمَمْتُ تِلْكَ اللَّبِنَة »

(The parable of myself and the Prophets is that of a man who built a house and completed it apart from the space of one brick. I have come and completed that brick.) This was also recorded by Muslim.

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:

« إِنَّ مَثَلِي وَمَثَلَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ مِنْ قَبْلِي كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ ابْتَنَى بُيُوتًا فَأَكْمَلَهَا وَأَحْسَنَهَا وَأَجْمَلَهَا إِلَّا مَوْضِعَ لَبِنَةٍ مِنْ زَاوِيَةٍ مِنْ زَوَايَاهَا، فَجَعَلَ النَّاسُ يَطُوفُونَ وَيُعْجِبُهُمُ الْبُنْيَانُ وَيَقُولُونَ: أَلَّا وَضَعْتَ ههُنَا لَبِنَةً فَيَتِمُّ بُنْيَانُك »

(The parable of myself and the Prophets who came before me is that of a man who built houses and made them complete and beautiful apart from the space of a brick in one of the corners. The people started to walk around, admiring the construction and saying, If only you put a brick here, your construction will be complete.) The Messenger of Allah said:

« فَكُنْتُ أَنَا اللَّبِنَة »

(And I am that brick.) It was also recorded by (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:

« فُضِّلْتُ عَلَى الْأَنْبِيَاءِ بِسِتَ : أُعْطِيتُ جَوَامِعَ الْكَلِمِ، وَنُصِرْتُ بِالرُّعْبِ وَأُحِلَّتْ لِيَ الْغَنَائِمُ، وَجُعِلَتْ لِيَ الْأَرْضُ مَسْجِدًا وَطَهُورًا، وَأُرْسِلْتُ إِلَى الْخَلْقِ كَافَّةً، وَخُتِمَ بِي النَّبِيُّون »

(I have been given preference over the other Prophets in six ways: I have been given the ability to speak concisely; I have been aided by fear (cast into the hearts of my enemies); the spoils of war have been made permissible for me; the entire earth has been made a Masjid and a means of purification for me; I have been sent to all of mankind; and the Prophets end with me.) This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah; At-Tirmidhi said, "It is Hasan Sahih.''

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah said:

« مَثَلِي وَمَثَلُ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ مِنْ قَبْلِي كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ بَنَى دَارًا فَأَتَمَّهَا إِلَّا مَوْضِعَ لَبِنَةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ، فَجِئْتُ أَنَا فَأَتْمَمْتُ تِلْكَ اللَّبِنَة »

(The parable of myself and the Prophets who came before me is that of a man who built a house and completed it apart from the space of one brick. I have come and completed that brick.) It was also recorded by Muslim.

Another Hadith

Jubayr bin Mut`im, may Allah be pleased with him, said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say:

« إِنَّ لِي أَسْمَاءَ أَنَا مُحَمَّدٌ، وَأَنَا أَحْمَدُ، وَأَنَا الْمَاحِي الَّذِي يَمْحُو اللهُ تَعَالَى بِيَ الْكُفْرَ، وَأَنَا الْحَاشِرُ الَّذِي يُحْشَرُ النَّاسُ عَلَى قَدَمَيَّ وَأَنَا الْعَاقِبُ الَّذِي لَيْسَ بَعْدَهُ نَبِي »

(I have several names: I am Muhammad, and I am Ahmad; I am Al-Mahi (the eradicator) through whom Allah will erase disbelief; I am Al-Hashir (the gatherer) at whose feet mankind will gather; and I am Al-`Aqib (the final one) after whom there will be no Prophet.) It was also recorded in the Two Sahihs. And there are many other Hadiths on this topic. Allah has told us in His Book, and His Messenger has told us in the Mutawatir Sunnah, that there will be no Prophet after him, so that it may be known that everyone who claims this status after him is a liar and fabricator who is misguided and is misguiding others. Even if he twists meanings, comes up with false claims and uses tricks and vagaries, all of this is false and is misguidance as will be clear to those who have understanding. This is what Allah caused to happen in the case of Al-Aswad Al-`Ansi in the Yemen and Musaylimah the Liar in Al-Yamamah, whose false miracles and nonsensical words showed everyone who was possessed of understanding that they were liars who were leading people astray; may the curse of Allah be upon them both. This is the case with every false prophet until the Day of Resurrection, until they end with Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal (the Antichrist). Each of these liars is given by Allah signs which show the people of knowledge and the believers that his message is false -- which is part of the perfect kindness of Allah towards His creation. These liars do not enjoin what is good, nor forbid what is evil, unless they do so by coincidence or because it serves an ulterior purpose. They are the utmost in falsehood and immorality, in all that they say and do, as Allah says:

﴿ هَلۡ أُنَبِّئُكُمۡ عَلَىٰ مَن تَنَزَّلُ ٱلشَّيَـٰطِينُ تَنَزَّلُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ أَفَّاكٍ أَثِيمٍ۬

(Shall I inform you (O people!) upon whom the Shayatin descend They descend on every lying, sinful person.) (26:221-222) This is in contrast to the Prophets -- may blessings and peace be upon them -- for they are the utmost in righteousness, truthfulness, wisdom, uprightness and justice in all that they say and do, command and forbid. In addition to this they are supported with miracles and clear and obvious proof. May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon them always, as long as heaven and earth remain.

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱذۡكُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ ذِكۡرً۬ا كَثِيرً۬ا وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكۡرَةً۬ وَأَصِيلاً هُوَ ٱلَّذِى يُصَلِّى عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَتُهُ ۥ لِيُخۡرِجَكُم مِّنَ ٱلظُّلُمَـٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِۚ وَڪَانَ بِٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ رَحِيمً۬ا تَحِيَّتُهُمۡ يَوۡمَ يَلۡقَوۡنَهُ ۥ سَلَـٰمٌ۬ۚ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمۡ أَجۡرً۬ا كَرِيمً۬ا

(41. O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance.) (42. And glorify His praises morning and Asila.) (43. He it is Who sends Salah on you, and His angels too, that He may bring you out from darkness into light. And He is Ever Most Merciful to the believers.) (44. Their greeting on the Day they shall meet Him will be "Salam (Peace!)'' And He has prepared for them a generous reward.)