Surah No 59: Al-Hashr
Number of Ayats: Twenty-four
Meaning of the name: It takes its name from ayat no 2 which contains the word “hashr” meaning ‘at the first gathering’.
Summary: It is a Madni surah. In ayats 1-4 reference is given of what happened to the Jewish tribe of Banu Nazir. They pretended to be allies of the Muslims while they secretly plotted with the Pagans of Makkah under Abu Sufyan and the Hypocrites of Madinah to take the life of Hazrat Muhammad (SAW). For this treachery they were punished by Allah in a unique manner. Though they were influential and had immense wealth, having forts that could stand siege for days, and were equal in number to the Muslims, yet they agreed to be banished from their centuries old establishment though no blood was shed. The reason was simple: they had tried to resist and fight Allah and His Messenger. They remained besieged in their forts for 11 days but received no help from their so called allies (the Pagans and the Hypocrites). That is why they admitted defeat. They were given 10 days to leave and were allowed to take with them what they wanted. However they destroyed all their property themselves before leaving.
In ayats 5-10 Allah lays down the rules as what should be done with the land and property that comes under control of an Islamic State as a result of war or peace terms, for this was the first occasion that the Muslims had to handle conquered land. Also reference to the Insars of Madinah is given here. Their selfless devotion in helping the refugees from Makkah has been commended and serves as a glorious example in our history.
In ayats 11-17, the attitude of the Pagans and Hypocrites especially towards Banu Nazir is highlighted to remind us of their true nature and motives. While in ayats 18-24 there is warning for those people who verbally admit that they are of faith, yet in their hearts they are not. Here we are again told to practice Taqwa, which literally means to “fear Allah” and in simple terms it is the desire of not wanting to offend Him by doing anything wrong. Those who practice Taqwa are actually guarding themselves against all sorts of evils in order to please Him. It is indeed difficult to comprehend how Man can be arrogant enough to reject Allah’s revelation that is so awe inspiring that even the greatest and largest of mountains can break into a million pieces before it. Hazrat Abu Hurairah said “Allah has ninety-nine Names, i.e. one hundred minus one; and whoever believes in their meanings and acts accordingly, will enter Paradise.”
Surah No 60: Al-Mumtahana
Number of Ayats: Thirteen
Meaning of the name: It takes its name from ayat no 10 where it is referred to and means ‘the woman to be examined’.
Summary: It is a Madni surah. Immediate reference in ayat no 1 is given to the incident when a Muhajir named Hatib wrote a letter to the Pagans of Makkah asking them to protect his children and relatives as the Holy Prophet (SAW) was planning to attack Makkah. The letter was intercepted in time, Hatib confessed his intensions and so he was forgiven. This is to show us that we cannot be friends with the enemies of our religion, those who condemn us and our faith. We may not even do so for the sake of our relatives and friends as this puts the entire community at stake. Now if that letter had reached its destination, it would have resulted in a great carnage at the conquest of Makkah, but then Allah always saves His true followers. At the same time we are told that we should treat those unbelievers kindly who are not directly causing us any harm.
We are warned against secret intrigues with the enemy, for they will always welcome us, in order to lead us astray from the true path, but when they have used us and gotten the better of us then we will suffer from grave consequences. Reference here is given to Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) who was sincere to his family and people, yet when they became enemies of Allah he disassociated himself from them and left the country. Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) said “Anybody (from among the Muslims) who meets, gathers together, lives and stays (permanently) with a Mushrik and agrees to his ways, opinions and enjoys his living with him, then he is like him (Mushrik)”
Another problem that has been referred to here was that Muslim women married to Pagan Arabs were coming to Madinah, similarly Pagan Arab women had been left behind in Makkah who were married to Muslim men. So there was a great dilemma as to how to deal with this situation, as the question of the validity of their marriages arose. Here Allah made it clear that such a union was not permissible in either case and therefore their marriages were annulled. While those women who came to seek refuge in Makkah were to be tested to make sure that they were of true faith, and that they would promise not to practice any of the evils prevalent in pre-Islamic Arab society. Then they would indeed get protection.
Surah No 61: As-Saff
Number of Ayats: Fourteen
Meaning of the name: It takes its name from ayat no 4 where the word “Saff” occurs meaning ‘the row or the rank’.
Summary: It is a Madni surah. Its theme urges Muslims to be sincere to their faith and that they must struggle for the Cause of Allah. Allah does not like those, whose words do not equal their actions. It should be understood that there is one true religion i.e. Islam and that all the prophets before Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) preached the same.
Therefore those who were foolish enough to think that they could extinguish Allah’s light should have known that such could never have been possible. The true religion brought by Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) would indeed prevail forever.
We are told that there comes a time when Allah withdraws his guidance from those who repeatedly sin. People have witnessed and we have read as to what happened to all the disbelievers who made life difficult for Hazrat Moosa (AS) and Hazrat Issa (AS). They faced grievous penalty (Titus destroyed Jerusalem in A.D 70 and the Jews have been scattered and are without a homeland ever since). However Allah’s mercy and benevolence is limitless for those who believe in Him and work for His Cause. If only we could understand such a simple thing.
Surah No 62: Al-Jamu’a
Number of Ayats: Eleven
Meaning of the name: It takes its name from ayat no 9 where the word ‘Jumu’ati’ occurs which means “Friday”.
Summary: It is a Madni surah. In ayats 1-8 Allah is addressing the Jews and reminds them of their follies. Firstly that they refused to believe in Hazrat Muhammad (SAW), simply because he was not one of them but an outsider. Secondly He bestowed upon them the Torah, however they did not benefit from its teachings, and distorted its true message and acted rebelliously, yet they considered themselves Allah’s favorites and that Apostleship should have only been theirs. Thirdly they feared death and preferred a life of humiliation. This was proof that they were conscious of their wrong deeds and were afraid of meeting with Allah.
In the last three ayats the importance of Juma prayers has been revealed. We are told that as soon as the time for Juma begins, all businesses should be closed, and reopened only after it is finished. We should postpone all worldly activities and busy ourselves in Allah’s remembrance, as He can endow us with far more than this world ever could. These ayats were sent down on the occasion when Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) was giving a congregational sermon on Friday. However when a trade caravan arrived everyone left to purchase various items without regard of the Holy Prophet (SAW), except for 12 of his companions.