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Az-Zihar and the Atonement for It Imam

Ahmad recorded that Khuwaylah bint Tha`labah said, "By Allah! Allah sent down the beginning of Surat Al-Mujadilah in connection with me and `Aws bin As-Samit. He was my husband and had grown old and difficult. One day, he came to me and I argued with him about something and he said, out of anger, `You are like my mother's back to me.' He went out and sat with some of his people. Then he came back and wanted to have sexual intercourse with me. I said, `No, by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Khuwaylah! You will not have your way with me after you said what you said, until Allah and His Messenger issue judgment about our case.' He wanted to have his way regardless of my choice and I pushed him away from me; he was an old man.' I next went to one of my neighbors and borrowed a garment from her and went to the Messenger of Allah . I told him what happened and kept complaining to him of the ill treatment I received from `Aws. He said,

« يَاخُوَيْلَةُ، ابْنُ عَمِّكِ شَيْخٌ كَبِيرٌ، فَاتَّقِي اللهَ فِيه »

(O Khuwaylah! Your cousin is an old man, so have Taqwa of Allah regarding him.) By Allah! Before I departed, parts of the Qur'an were revealed about me. Allah's Messenger felt the hardship upon receiving the revelation as he usually did and then became relieved. He said to me,

« يَا خُوَيْلَةُ، قَدْ أَنْزَلَ اللهُ فِيكِ وَفِي صَاحِبِكِ قُرْآنًا »

(O Khuwaylah! Allah has revealed something about you and your spouse.) He recited to me,

﴿ قَدۡ سَمِعَ ٱللَّهُ قَوۡلَ ٱلَّتِى تُجَـٰدِلُكَ فِى زَوۡجِهَا وَتَشۡتَكِىٓ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَٱللَّهُ يَسۡمَعُ تَحَاوُرَكُمَآ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَمِيعُۢ بَصِيرٌ

(Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her that disputes with you concerning her husband, and complains to Allah. And Allah hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.), until,

﴿ وَلِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

(And for disbelievers, there is a painful torment.) He then said to me,

« مُرِيهِ فَلْيُعْتِقْ رَقَبَة »

(Command him to free a slave.) I said, `O Allah's Messenger! He does not have any to free.' He said,

« فَلْيَصُمْ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْن »

(Let him fast for two consecutive months.) I said, `By Allah! He is an old man and cannot fast.' He said,

« فَلْيُطْعِمْ سِتِّينَ مِسْكِينًا وَسْقًا مِنْ تَمْر »

(Let him feed sixty poor people a Wasq of dates.) I said, `O Allah's Messenger! By Allah, he does not have any of that.' He said,

« فَإِنَّا سَنُعِينُهُ بِعَرَقٍ مِنْ تَمْر »

(We will help him with a basket of dates.) I said, `And I, O Allah's Messenger! I will help him with another.' He said,

« قَدْ أَصَبْتِ وَأَحْسَنْتِ فَاذْهَبِي فَتَصَدَّقِي بِهِ عَنْهُ، ثُمَّ اسْتَوْصِي بِابْنِ عَمِّكِ خَيْرًا »

(You have done a righteously good thing. So go and give away the dates on his behalf and take care of your cousin.) I did that.''' Abu Dawud also collected this Hadith in the Book of Divorce in his Sunan, according to which her name is Khawlah bint Tha`labah. She is also known as Khawlah bint Malik bin Tha`labah, and Khuwaylah. All these are close to each other, and Allah knows best. This is what is correct about the reason behind revealing this Surah. Therefore, Allah's statement,

﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ يُظَـٰهِرُونَ مِنكُم مِّن نِّسَآٮِٕهِم

(Those among you who make their wives unlawful to them by Zihar) refers to Zihar, which is derived from Az-Zahr, meaning, the back. During the time of Jahiliyyah, when one wanted to declare Zihar towards his wife, he would say, "To me, you are like the back of my mother.'' That was one way they issued divorce during that time. Allah allowed this Ummah to pay expiation for this statement and did not render it as a divorce, contrary to the case during the time of Jahiliyyah. Allah said,

﴿ مَّا هُنَّ أُمَّهَـٰتِهِمۡ‌ۖ إِنۡ أُمَّهَـٰتُهُمۡ إِلَّا ٱلَّـٰٓـِٔى وَلَدۡنَهُمۡ‌ۚ

(they cannot be their mothers. None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth.) meaning, when the husband says to his wife that she is like his mother, or the back of his mother etc., she does not become his mother. Rather his mother is she who gave birth to him. This is why Allah said,

﴿ وَإِنَّہُمۡ لَيَقُولُونَ مُنڪَرً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلۡقَوۡلِ وَزُورً۬ا‌ۚ

(And verily, they utter an ill word and a lie.) meaning, false and sinful speech,

﴿ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَعَفُوٌّ غَفُورٌ۬

(And verily, Allah is Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.) meaning, `what you used to do during the time of Jahiliyyah, and what accidentally slips out of your mouth, unintentionally.' Allah's statement,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ يُظَـٰهِرُونَ مِن نِّسَآٮِٕہِمۡ ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا قَالُواْ

(And those who make unlawful to them (their wives) by Zihar and wish to free themselves from what they uttered,) Ash-Shafi`i said, "It means to keep her for a while after the Zihar, without divorcing her, even though his is able to do so.'' Ahmad bin Hanbal said, "To return to having sexual relations with her or to merely intend to do so, but only after he pays the expiation mentioned in the Ayah for his statement.'' It has been quoted from Malik that it is the intention to have sexual relations or to keep her or actually having sexual intercourse. Sa`id bin Jubayr said that this Ayah,

﴿ ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا قَالُواْ

(and wish to free themselves from what they uttered,) meaning, if they want to return to having sexual intercourse which was forbidden between them. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that it is to utilize her sexual organ, and he did not see any harm in doing what is less than that before paying the expiation. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas:

﴿ مِّن قَبۡلِ أَن يَتَمَآسَّا‌ۚ

(before they touch each other.) "The `touching' refers here to sexual intercourse.'' Similar was said by `Ata', Az-Zuhri, Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan. Az-Zuhri added, "He is not to kiss or touch her until he pays the expiation.'' The Sunan compilers recorded from `Ikrimah, from Ibn `Abbas that a man said, "O Allah's Messenger! I pronounced Zihar on my wife, but then had sexual intercourse with her before I paid the expiation.'' The Messenger said,

« مَا حَمَلَكَ عَلى ذَلِكَ يَرْحَمُكَ الله »

(May Allah grant you His mercy, what made you do that) He said, "I saw the adornment she was wearing shining in the moon's light.'' The Prophet said,

« فَلَا تَقْرَبْهَا حَتْى تَفْعَلَ مَا أَمَرَكَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَل »

(Then do not touch her until you do what Allah the Exalted and Most Honored has ordered you to do.) At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib Sahih.'' Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i also recorded it. Allah said,

﴿ فَتَحۡرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ۬

((the penalty) in that case is the freeing of a slave) indicating the necessity of freeing a slave before they touch each other. This Ayah mentions any slave, not only believing servants as in the case of the expiation for (unintentional) killing,

﴿ ذَٲلِكُمۡ تُوعَظُونَ بِهِۦ‌ۚ

(That is an admonition to you.) meaning, a warning to threaten you in this case.

﴿ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ۬

(And Allah is All-Aware of what you do.) meaning, He is All-Knower in what brings you benefit. Allah's statement,

﴿ فَمَن لَّمۡ يَجِدۡ فَصِيَامُ شَہۡرَيۡنِ مُتَتَابِعَيۡنِ مِن قَبۡلِ أَن يَتَمَآسَّا‌ۖ فَمَن لَّمۡ يَسۡتَطِعۡ فَإِطۡعَامُ سِتِّينَ مِسۡكِينً۬ا‌ۚ

(And he who finds not must fast two successive months before they both touch each other. And he who is unable to do so, should feed sixty of the poor.) is explained by the Hadiths that prescribe these punishments in this order, just as in the Hadith collected in the Two Sahihs about the man who had sexual intercourse with his wife during the day, in Ramadan. Allah said,

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ لِتُؤۡمِنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ‌ۚ

(That is in order that you may have perfect faith in Allah and His Messenger.) meaning, `We legislated this punishment so that you acquire this trait,'

﴿ وَتِلۡكَ حُدُودُ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ

(These are the limits set by Allah.) meaning, the things that He has forbidden, so do not transgress them,

﴿ وَلِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

(And for disbelievers, there is a painful torment.) meaning, those who do not believe and do not abide by the rulings of Islamic legislation should never think they will be saved from the torment. Rather theirs will be a painful torment in this life and the Hereafter.

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يُحَآدُّونَ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥ كُبِتُواْ كَمَا كُبِتَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ‌ۚ وَقَدۡ أَنزَلۡنَآ ءَايَـٰتِۭ بَيِّنَـٰتٍ۬‌ۚ وَلِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ عَذَابٌ۬ مُّهِينٌ۬ يَوۡمَ يَبۡعَثُهُمُ ٱللَّهُ جَمِيعً۬ا فَيُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا عَمِلُوٓاْ‌ۚ أَحۡصَٮٰهُ ٱللَّهُ وَنَسُوهُ‌ۚ وَٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ شَہِيدٌ أَلَمۡ تَرَ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَعۡلَمُ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۖ مَا يَڪُونُ مِن نَّجۡوَىٰ ثَلَـٰثَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ رَابِعُهُمۡ وَلَا خَمۡسَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ سَادِسُہُمۡ وَلَآ أَدۡنَىٰ مِن ذَٲلِكَ وَلَآ أَڪۡثَرَ إِلَّا هُوَ مَعَهُمۡ أَيۡنَ مَا كَانُواْ‌ۖ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا عَمِلُواْ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عَلِيمٌ

(5. Verily, those who oppose Allah and His Messenger will be disgraced as those before them were disgraced. And We have sent down clear Ayat. And for the disbelievers is a disgraceful torment.) (6. On the Day when Allah will resurrect them all together and inform them of what they did. Allah has kept account of it, while they have forgotten it. And Allah is Witness over all things.) (7. Have you not seen that Allah knows whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth There is no Najwa of three but He is their fourth nor of five but He is their sixth nor of less than that or more but He is with them wheresoever they may be. And afterwards on the Day of Resurrection He will inform them of what they did. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of everything.)

Explaining the Punishment of the Enemies of the Religion

Allah states that those who defy Him and His Messenger and contradict His commandments,

﴿ كُبِتُواْ كَمَا كُبِتَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ‌ۚ

(will be disgraced as those before them were disgraced) meaning, they will be humiliated, cursed and disgraced, just as what happened to their like were before them,

﴿ وَقَدۡ أَنزَلۡنَآ ءَايَـٰتِۭ بَيِّنَـٰتٍ۬‌ۚ

(And We have sent down clear Ayat.) meaning, none contradicts or opposes them, except a disbeliever, rebellious, sinner,

﴿ وَلِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ عَذَابٌ۬ مُّهِينٌ۬

(And for the disbelievers is a disgraceful torment) meaning, as just recompense for their arrogant refusal to follow, obey and submit to the religion of Allah. Allah the Exalted said,

﴿ يَوۡمَ يَبۡعَثُهُمُ ٱللَّهُ جَمِيعً۬ا

(On the Day when Allah will resurrect them all together) referring to the Day of Resurrection when He will gather the early and the latter generations in one area,

﴿ فَيُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا عَمِلُوٓاْ‌ۚ

(and inform them of what they did.) He will tell them all that they did in detail, whether good or evil,

﴿ أَحۡصَٮٰهُ ٱللَّهُ وَنَسُوهُ‌ۚ

(Allah has kept account of it, while they have forgotten it.) meaning, Allah recorded and kept all these actions, even though they have forgotten what they did,

﴿ وَٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ شَہِيدٌ

(And Allah is Witness over all things.) meaning, nothing escapes His knowledge, and no matter is hidden from Him or escapes His complete observation.

Allah's Knowledge encompasses Creation

Then Allah the Exalted informs of His knowledge encompassing all creation, observing it, hearing their speech and seeing them, wherever they may be and in whatever condition they may be in,

﴿ أَلَمۡ تَرَ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَعۡلَمُ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۖ مَا يَڪُونُ مِن نَّجۡوَىٰ ثَلَـٰثَةٍ

(Have you not seen that Allah knows whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth There is no Najwa of three), i.e., secret consultation of three,

﴿ إِلَّا هُوَ رَابِعُهُمۡ وَلَا خَمۡسَةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ سَادِسُہُمۡ وَلَآ أَدۡنَىٰ مِن ذَٲلِكَ وَلَآ أَڪۡثَرَ إِلَّا هُوَ مَعَهُمۡ أَيۡنَ مَا كَانُواْ‌ۖ

(but He is their fourth -- nor of five but He is their sixth --- nor of less than that or more but He is with them wheresoever they may be.) meaning, He is watching them, perfectly hearing their speech, whether uttered in public or secret. His angels record all that they say, even though He has better knowledge of it and hears them perfectly, as Allah said;

﴿ أَلَمۡ يَعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَعۡلَمُ سِرَّهُمۡ وَنَجۡوَٮٰهُمۡ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَّـٰمُ ٱلۡغُيُوبِ

(Know they not that Allah knows their secret ideas, and their Najwa, and that Allah is the All-Knower of the unseen.) (9:78),

﴿ أَمۡ يَحۡسَبُونَ أَنَّا لَا نَسۡمَعُ سِرَّهُمۡ وَنَجۡوَٮٰهُم‌ۚ بَلَىٰ وَرُسُلُنَا لَدَيۡہِمۡ يَكۡتُبُونَ

(Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private Najwa And Our messengers are by them to record.) (43:80) For this reason, several mentioned that there is a consensus among the scholars that this "with'' refers to Allah's knowledge. There is no doubt that this meaning is true, especially if we add to it the certainty that His hearing encompasses all things, as well as His sight. He, the Exalted and Most Honored, is never lacking in knowing all their affairs,

﴿ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا عَمِلُواْ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عَلِيمٌ

(And afterwards on the Day of Resurrection He will inform them of what they did. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of everything.) Imam Ahmad commented, "Allah began the Ayah (58:7) by mentioning His knowledge and ended it by mentioning His knowledge.''

﴿ أَلَمۡ تَرَ إِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ نُہُواْ عَنِ ٱلنَّجۡوَىٰ ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا نُہُواْ عَنۡهُ وَيَتَنَـٰجَوۡنَ بِٱلۡإِثۡمِ وَٱلۡعُدۡوَٲنِ وَمَعۡصِيَتِ ٱلرَّسُولِ وَإِذَا جَآءُوكَ حَيَّوۡكَ بِمَا لَمۡ يُحَيِّكَ بِهِ ٱللَّهُ وَيَقُولُونَ فِىٓ أَنفُسِہِمۡ لَوۡلَا يُعَذِّبُنَا ٱللَّهُ بِمَا نَقُولُ‌ۚ حَسۡبُهُمۡ جَهَنَّمُ يَصۡلَوۡنَہَا‌ۖ فَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِذَا تَنَـٰجَيۡتُمۡ فَلَا تَتَنَـٰجَوۡاْ بِٱلۡإِثۡمِ وَٱلۡعُدۡوَٲنِ وَمَعۡصِيَتِ ٱلرَّسُولِ وَتَنَـٰجَوۡاْ بِٱلۡبِرِّ وَٱلتَّقۡوَىٰ‌ۖ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ ٱلَّذِىٓ إِلَيۡهِ تُحۡشَرُونَ إِنَّمَا ٱلنَّجۡوَىٰ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ لِيَحۡزُنَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَلَيۡسَ بِضَآرِّهِمۡ شَيۡـًٔا إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ وَعَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَلۡيَتَوَكَّلِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ

(8. Have you not seen those who were forbidden to hold secret counsels, and afterwards returned to that which they had been forbidden, and conspired together for sin and wrongdoing and disobedience to the Messenger. And when they come to you, they greet you with a greeting wherewith Allah greets you not, and say within themselves: "Why should Allah punish us not for what we say'' Hell will be sufficient for them; they will enter therein. And worst indeed is that destination!) (9. O you who believe! When you hold secret counsel, do it not for sin and wrongdoing, and disobedience to the Messenger, but do it for Al-Birr and Taqwa; and have Taqwa of Allah unto Whom you shall be gathered.) (10. Secret counsels are only from Shaytan, in order that he may cause grief to the believers. But he cannot harm them in the least, except as Allah permits. And in Allah let the believers put their trust.)

The Evil of the Jews

Ibn Abi Najih reported from Mujahid,

﴿ أَلَمۡ تَرَ إِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ نُہُواْ عَنِ ٱلنَّجۡوَىٰ ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا نُہُواْ عَنۡهُ

(Have you not seen those who were forbidden to hold secret counsels, and afterwards returned to that which they had been forbidden,) He said, "The Jews.'' Similar was said by Muqatil bin Hayyan, who added, "The Prophet had a peace treaty with the Jews. When one of the Prophet's Companions would pass by a gathering of Jews, they would speak among themselves in secret, prompting the believer to think that they were plotting to kill or harm him. When the believer saw this, he feared for his safety and changed the route he was taking. The Prophet advised them to abandon their evil secret talks, but they did not listen and kept on holding the Najwa. Allah the Exalted sent down this Ayah in their case,

﴿ أَلَمۡ تَرَ إِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ نُہُواْ عَنِ ٱلنَّجۡوَىٰ ثُمَّ يَعُودُونَ لِمَا نُہُواْ عَنۡهُ

(Have you not seen those who were forbidden to hold secret counsels, and afterwards returned to that which they had been forbidden).'' Allah's statement,

﴿ وَيَتَنَـٰجَوۡنَ بِٱلۡإِثۡمِ وَٱلۡعُدۡوَٲنِ وَمَعۡصِيَتِ ٱلرَّسُولِ

(and conspired together for sin and wrongdoing and disobedience to the Messenger.) means, they used to talk to each other,

﴿ بِٱلۡإِثۡمِ

(for sin) which involves themselves,

﴿ وَٱلۡعُدۡوَٲنِ

(and wrongdoing) which effects others. They speak about disobedience and defying of the Messenger , with persistence and recommending each other to follow their way,

﴿ وَإِذَا جَآءُوكَ حَيَّوۡكَ بِمَا لَمۡ يُحَيِّكَ بِهِ ٱللَّهُ

(And when they come to you, they greet you with a greeting wherewith Allah greets you not,) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `A'ishah said, "Some Jews came to the Prophet and greeted him by saying, `As-Sam `Alayka, O Abul-Qasim.' So I said to them, `wa `Alaykum As-Sam (the same death be upon you).' The Prophet said,

« يَا عَائِشَةُ إِنَّ اللهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفُحْشَ وَلَا التَّفَحُّش »

(O `A'ishah, Allah does not like rudeness and foul speech.) I said, `Didn't you hear them say, `As-Sam Alayka' He said,

« أَوَ مَا سَمِعْتِ أَقُولُ: وَعَلَيْكُم »

(Didn't you hear me answering them back by saying, `Wa `Alaykum (And the same upon you)') Allah the Exalted then sent down this Ayah,

﴿ وَإِذَا جَآءُوكَ حَيَّوۡكَ بِمَا لَمۡ يُحَيِّكَ بِهِ ٱللَّهُ

(And when they come to you, they greet you with a greeting wherewith Allah greets you not,)'' The narration collected in the Sahih states that `A'ishah said, "And be upon you the death, disgrace and curse.'' The Messenger of Allah said to her,

« إِنَّهُ يُسْتَجَابُ لَنَا فِيهِمْ، وَلَا يُسْتَجَابُ لَهُمْ فِينَا »

(Allah accepts our supplication against them, but not theirs against us.) Ibn Jarir recorded that Anas bin Malik said, "A Jew passed by Allah's Messenger , who was sitting with his Companions, he greeted them and they greeted him back. Allah's Messenger then said to his Companions,

« هَلْ تَدْرُونَ مَا قَالَ؟ »

(Do you know what he just said) They said, `He said: As-Salam, O Allah's Messenger.' The Prophet said,

« بَلْ قَالَ: سَامٌ عَلَيْكُم »

(Rather he said, Sam `Alaykum.) meaning, `may you disgrace your religion.' Allah's Messenger then said,

« رُدُّوه »

(Bring him back,) and when he was brought back, the Prophet asked him,

« أَقُلْتَ: سَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ؟ »

(Did you say: Sam `Alaykum) He said, `Yes.' The Prophet then said,

« إِذَا سَلَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ أَحَدٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ فَقُولُوا: عَلَيْك »

(When the people of the Book greet you, say, `Wa `Alaykum.')'' meaning, `and the same on you too.' The basis for the Hadith of Anas is in the Sahih and similar to this Hadith of `A'ishah is in the Sahih. Allah said,

﴿ وَيَقُولُونَ فِىٓ أَنفُسِہِمۡ لَوۡلَا يُعَذِّبُنَا ٱللَّهُ بِمَا نَقُولُ‌ۚ

(and say within themselves: "Why should Allah punish us not for what we say'') means, the Jews say these words, changing the meaning of the Islamic greeting, into an abusive statement, and then say, `Had he been a Prophet, Allah would have punished us for what we said. Allah knows what we conceal. Therefore, if Muhammad were a Prophet, Allah would have sent His punishment on us sooner, in this life.' Allah the Exalted replied,

﴿ حَسۡبُهُمۡ جَهَنَّمُ

(Hell will be sufficient for them;) ell should be sufficient for them in the Hereafter,

﴿ يَصۡلَوۡنَہَا‌ۖ فَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ

(they will enter therein. And worst indeed is that destination!) Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr said that the Jews used to say, "Sam `Alayka,'' to Allah's Messenger . They would say then within themselves, "Why does Allah not punish us for what we say'' This Ayah was later revealed,

﴿ وَإِذَا جَآءُوكَ حَيَّوۡكَ بِمَا لَمۡ يُحَيِّكَ بِهِ ٱللَّهُ وَيَقُولُونَ فِىٓ أَنفُسِہِمۡ لَوۡلَا يُعَذِّبُنَا ٱللَّهُ بِمَا نَقُولُ‌ۚ حَسۡبُهُمۡ جَهَنَّمُ يَصۡلَوۡنَہَا‌ۖ فَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ

(And when they come to you, they greet you with a greeting wherewith Allah greets you not, and say within themselves: "Why should Allah punish us not for what we say'' Hell will be sufficient for them; they will enter therein. And worst indeed is that destination!) Its chain of narration is Hasan, but they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not collect it.

Manners of the Najwa, (Secret Counsel)

Allah the Exalted teaches His believing servants to avoid the ways of the disbelievers and hypocrites,

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِذَا تَنَـٰجَيۡتُمۡ فَلَا تَتَنَـٰجَوۡاْ بِٱلۡإِثۡمِ وَٱلۡعُدۡوَٲنِ وَمَعۡصِيَتِ ٱلرَّسُولِ

(O you who believe! When you hold secret counsel, do it not for sin and wrongdoing, and disobedience to the Messenger,) meaning, do not hold evil secret counsels like the ignorant disbelieving People of the Scriptures and their allies among the hypocrites, who imitate their ways,

﴿ وَتَنَـٰجَوۡاْ بِٱلۡبِرِّ وَٱلتَّقۡوَىٰ‌ۖ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ ٱلَّذِىٓ إِلَيۡهِ تُحۡشَرُونَ

(but do it for Al-Birr and Taqwa; and have Taqwa of Allah unto Whom you shall be gathered.) and He will then inform you of all your deeds and statements; He has counted and recorded them and will justly hold you accountable for them. Allah the Exalted said,

﴿ إِنَّمَا ٱلنَّجۡوَىٰ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ لِيَحۡزُنَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَلَيۡسَ بِضَآرِّهِمۡ شَيۡـًٔا إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ وَعَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَلۡيَتَوَكَّلِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ

(An-Najwa are only from the Shaytan, in order that he may cause grief to the believers. But he cannot harm them in the least, except as Allah permits. And in Allah let the believers put their trust.) Allah states that secret talks, where the believers feel anxious, are

﴿ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ لِيَحۡزُنَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ

(only from Shaytan, in order that he may cause grief to the believers.) meaning, that those who hold such counsels do so because of the lures of the devil,

﴿ لِيَحۡزُنَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ

(in order that he may cause grief to the believers.) The devil seeks to bother the believers, even though his plots will not harm the believers, except if Allah wills it. Those who are the subject of evil Najwa, should seek refuge in Allah and put his trust in Him, for none of it will harm them, Allah willing. The Sunnah also forbids the Najwa so that no Muslim is bothered by it. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِذَا كُنْتُمْ ثَلَاثَةً فَلَا يَتَنَاجَى اثْنَانِ دُونَ صَاحِبِهِمَا، فَإِنَّ ذلِكَ يُحْزِنُه »

(If you were three, then two of you should not hold a secret counsel in the presence of the third person, because that would cause him to be worried.) This Hadith is collected in the Two Sahihs using a chain of narration that contained Al-A`mash. `Abdur-Razzaq narrated that `Abdullah bin `Umar said that Allah's Messenger said,

« إِذَا كُنْتُمْ ثَلَاثَةً فَلَا يَتَنَاجَى اثْنَانِ دُونَ الثَّالِثِ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ، فَإِنَّ ذلِكَ يُحْزِنُه »

(If you were three, then two of you should not hold a secret counsel in the presence of the third person, except with his permission, because that would cause him to be worried.) Muslim collected this Hadith.

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمۡ تَفَسَّحُواْ فِى ٱلۡمَجَـٰلِسِ فَٱفۡسَحُواْ يَفۡسَحِ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡ‌ۖ وَإِذَا قِيلَ ٱنشُزُواْ فَٱنشُزُواْ يَرۡفَعِ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُمۡ وَٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡعِلۡمَ دَرَجَـٰتٍ۬‌ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ۬

(11. O you who believe! When you are told to make room in the assemblies, make room. Allah will give you room. And when you are told to rise up, then rise up. Allah will exalt in degrees those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.)