Benefits and Virtues of Surah 63 Al-Munafiqun

virtues-benefits-surah-al-munafiqoon

63. Al-Munafiqun

63.1 Ubaidullah bin Abi Rafi the freed slave of Allah’s Messenger said:

“Marwan left Abu Hurairah in charge of Al-Madinah and he went to Makkah. So Abu Hurairah led us in Salat in Friday, reciting Surah Al-Jumuah (in the first Rak’ah) and in the second prostration (Rak’ah): When the hypocrites come to you.” Ubaidullah said: “So I caught up with Abu Hurairah and said to him: ‘You recited two Surah that Ali recited in Al-Kufah. Abu Hurairah said: ‘Indeed I heard Allah’s Messenger reciting them.'”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 519

63.2 It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that

During the subh prayer on Friday, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to recite: “Alif-Lam-Mim. The Revelation” (Surah 32) and: “Has there not been over man,” (Surah 76) and in Jumu’ah prayer he would recite Al-Jumu’ah (62) and Al-Munafiqin (63).

Sunan an-Nasa’i Book 14, Hadith 58

63.3 Ibn Kathir related about

هم العدو فاحذرهم قاتلهم الله أنى يؤفكون

They are the enemy, so beware of them. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded? (63:4)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said, “Hypocrites have certain signs that they are known by: their greeting is really a curse, their food is from stealing and the war booty they collect is from theft, they shun the Masjid and they do not come to the prayer but at its end, they are arrogant – it is neither easy for them to blend in, nor it is easy for people to blend with them. They are like pieces of wood by night and are noisy by day.”

(Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

63.4 Al-Wahidi recorded

(They it is who say: Spend not on behalf of those (who dwell) with Allah’s messenger…) [63:7]. ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Abdan informed us> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad al-Hafiz> Abu’l-‘Abbas Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Mahbubi> Sa’id ibn Mas’ud> ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Musa> Isra’il> Abu Sa’id al-Azdi> Zayd ibn Arqam who said: “We went out in a military expedition with the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and some desert Arabs came along with us. We used to hasten for water but the desert Arabs always preceded us to it. Once a desert Arab got to the water first, he would fill the pond, circle it with stones and place a leather mat on it until his friends would arrive.

One man from the Helpers came along wanting to let his camel drink from one such pond, but a desert Arab refused to let him use the pond. The Helper removed one of the stones encircling the water which caused the water to spill. The desert Arab grabbed a piece of wood and struck him on the head, fracturing his skull in the process. The Helper went to ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, the leader of the hypocrites, and informed him of the incident. This Helper was one of the followers of Ibn Ubayy. ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy got very angry and said: ‘Do not spend on those who are with the Messenger of Allah, until they [i.e. the desert Arabs] disperse’. He also said to his followers: ‘When you go back to Medina, let the most powerful drive the weakest out of Medina’.

Zayd ibn Arqam said: ‘I was riding behind my uncle and I heard what ‘Abd Allah said. I told my uncle of what I heard and he informed the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, then summoned ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy. But the latter denied that he ever said what he was accused of and swore that he never said it. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, believed him and disbelieved me. My uncle came to me and said: ‘All you have done is that you caused the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, to loath you and the Muslims to give you the lie’. Nobody had suffered the same distress which I did as a result of this.

However, as I was walking one day with the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, he approached me, rubbed my ear and smiled at me. I would not have exchanged this for the whole world. The following morning, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, read Surah al-Munafiqun

(When the hypocrites come unto thee (O Muhammad) they say: We bear witness that thou art indeed His messenger… They it is who say: Spend not on behalf of those (who dwell) with Allah’s messenger that they may disperse) [63:1-7] until he reached (… the mightier will soon drive out the weaker) [63:8]’ ”.

The commentators of the Qur’an and authors of the biography of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “The Messenger of Allah prepared a military expedition against Banu’l-Mustaliq, and on his way to them he camped at a source of water, called al-Muraysi’, which belonged to them. People came forward to get water. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab had with him a hireling from Banu Ghifar by the name of Jahjah ibn Sa’id. The latter led ‘Umar’s horse to drink. A jostle about the water ensued between Jahjah and Sinan al-Juhani, the ally of Banu ‘Awf from the Khazraj and the two of them had a fight.

Al-Juhani cried: ‘O Helpers [help!]’ and the Ghifari shouted: ‘O Emigrants [help!]’ A poor man from the Emigrants by the name of Ju’al came to the rescue of Jahjah. ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy said to him: ‘You, out of all people!’ Ju’al said: ‘And what stops me from getting involved?’ And he let his tongue loose on ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy. ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy then said: ‘By Him through Whom one swears, I will leave you now, but you will see what will happen to you’. ‘Abd Allah was furious. He commented further: ‘By Allah, our situation with these people is as one poet has once said: Fatten your dog, it will devour you. Verily, by Allah, if we do return to Medina, the mighty amongst us shall drive out the weak from it’. By the mighty he was referring to himself and by the weak to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace.

He then addressed those who were present from among his own people, saying: ‘You have brought this on yourselves: you welcomed them in your land and shared with them your wealth. By Allah, if you were to withhold your surplus of food from Ju’al and his family, they would not oppress you and might even leave your land. Do not, therefore, spend on them until they disperse from Muhammad’. Zayd ibn Arqam, who was there present, said: ‘By Allah, you are the one who is weak, isolated and hated amongst your own people while Muhammad is mighty by the will of the All-merciful and affection of all Muslims. By Allah, I will never love you after what you have just said!’ ‘Abd Allah said to him: ‘Be quiet, I was just jesting’. Zayd ibn Arqam went straight to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give peace, and informed him of what had happened.

‘Umar ibn al-Khattab who was there said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, let me strike his neck!’ ‘If you did that, a lot of people in Yathrib will rise to avenge him’, answered the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. ‘Umar said: ‘If you dislike that he be killed by a man from the Emigrants, then ask Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah, Muhammad ibn Maslamah or ‘Ubadah ibn Bishr to kill him’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘People will say, in that case, that Muhammad is killing his own Companions’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, then sent for ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy and, when he came, asked him: ‘Did you say the things which were reported to me about you?’ ‘Abd Allah said: ‘By Him who revealed the Book to you, I did not say any such thing; Zayd is a liar!’ ‘Abd Allah was treated as a noble and highly-respected person by his people. Those who were present among the Helpers said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, ‘Abd Allah is our leader and chief, do not believe what one boy of the Helpers says about him; he could be mistaken about what he has heard and did not report it properly’.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, gave ‘Abd Allah the benefit of the doubt. The fingers of blame among the Helpers all pointed to Zayd. They all gave him the lie. His uncle said to him: ‘All you have done is that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, has given you the lie and the Muslims detest you’. After this, Zayd was ashamed to go near the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, departed he was met by Usayd ibn Hudayr. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said to him: ‘Did you hear what your man. Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, said?’ ‘And what did he say?’ asked Usayd. ‘He claimed that upon returning to Medina the mighty will drive out the weak’. Usayd: ‘It is you, O Messenger of Allah, who will drive him out, if you wish. You are the mighty and he is the weak’. Then he said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, be gentle with him; by Allah, Allah has brought you when his people were preparing to crown him as their king. He thinks that you have deprived him of kingship’.

When ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy heard about what his father had said, he went to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: ‘I heard that you want to kill ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy for what you heard about him. If you are to do it, command me to kill him. I will bring you his head! By Allah, the Khazraj know that they do not have a man who is more dutiful toward his parents than I am. And I fear that if you were to ask someone to kill him, my ego will not permit me to look at the killer of ‘Abd Allah walking among people and I would kill him and enter hellfire for killing a believer’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘We will rather treat him well as long as he is with us’. When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, returned to Medina, Zayd ibn Arqam said: ‘I stayed at home because of anxiety and shame. Then Allah, exalted is He, revealed Surah al-Munafiqun, confirming my words and giving the lie to ‘Abd Allah.

When this Surah was revealed, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, grabbed Zayd’s ear and said: ‘O Zayd, Allah has confirmed what you heard’. ‘Abd Allah was then approaching Medina. His son, ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd Allah, went to camp at a spot where all the roads to Medina converged. When ‘Abd Allah reached that spot, his son said to him: ‘Go back!’ ‘Abd Allah exclaimed, ‘Woe unto you, what ails you!’ His son said: ‘By Allah, you will never enter it except by leave of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, so that you would know today who is the mighty and who is the weak’. ‘Abd Allah complained to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, about what his own son did, and the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, sent to ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd Allah asking him to let his father enter Medina. When he received the order of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, he said: ‘Yes, now you can enter!’ And he entered Medina.

When this Surah was revealed and it was clear that he lied, people said to him: ‘O Abu Hubab! Severe verses of the Qur’an have been revealed about you, why do you not go to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, so that he asks forgiveness for you’. But he just turned his face away. This is what is referred to by the saying of Allah, exalted is He (And when it said unto them: Come! The messenger of Allah will ask forgiveness for you! They avert their faces…) [63:5]”.

(Asbab Al-Nuzul)

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