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CHAPTER LIX.

ENTITLED SURAT AL HASHR (THE EMIGRATION).

Revealed at Madina.

INTRODUCTION.


THE title of this chapter is taken from a word in the second verse, which means, says Sale, "the quitting or removing from one's native country or settlement to dwell elsewhere, whether it be by choice or compulsion." It accords better with the matter of the chapter than titles in the Quran generally do, nearly the whole chapter being taken up with the expulsion of the Bani Nadhir and matters resulting therefrom.

In the portion of this chapter relating to the distribution of the rich spoils taken from these unfortunate Jews, we see how the Quran is made to subserve the political interests of Muhammad in providing at once for the replenishment of the war chest (vers. 6 and 7) and for the support of the poor refugees at Madina (vers. 8-10).

The expulsion of the Jews had weakened the party in Madina antagonistic to the Muslims, here styled "the hypocrites." This party is dealt with severely in this chapter. If the closing words (vers. 18-24) belong to Madina, they were probably intended for the instruction of these hypocrites, though addressed to the "true believers."

Probable Date of the Revelations.

The expulsion of the Bani Nadhir occurred in Rabi ul Awwal, A.H. 4, The revelations of this chapter were enunciated soon after that event. "Of vers. 18-24," Bays NoŽldeke, "I cannot say anything definite. Nothing, however, hinders their having originated at the same time as the first portion of the Sura (compare the expression yusabbihu laho in ver. 24 with sabbaha lillahi in the first verse)."


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Principal Subjects.

Everything in the universe praiseth God . . . 1
Passage relating to the expulsion of the Bani Nadhir... 2-5
Ruling of Muhammad concerning spoils . . . . 6, 7
Special ruling for the benefit of the Muhajirin . . . 8-10
Hypocrites in Madina reproved for treachery . . . 11-17
Muslims exhorted to fear God . . . 18-20
Had the Quran descended on a mountain, it would have split asunder . . . 21
God hath excellent names, and he only to be worshipped ... 22-24

IN THE NAME OF THE MOST MERCIFUL GOD.

R 1/4.

(1) Whatever is in heaven and earth celebrateth the praise of GOD: and he is the almighty, the wise. (2) It was he who caused those who believed not, of the people who receive the Scripture, to depart from their habitations at the first emigration. Ye did not think that they would

(2) The first emigration. Rodwell translates, "those who had emigrated previously," meaning the Qainuqaa, to whom the Bani Nadhir (mentioned here) first went after their retiring from Madina.

Sale says, "The people here intended were the Jews of the tribe of al Nadhir, who dwelt in Madina, and when Muhammad fled thither from Makkah, promised him to stand neuter between him and his opponents, and made a treaty with him to that purpose When he had gained the battle of Badr, they confessed that he was the prophet described in the law ; but upon his receiving that disgrace at Ohod, they changed their note ; and Qab Ibn al Ashraf with forty force went and made a league with Abu Sufian, which they confirmed by oath. Upon this Muhammad got Qab dispatched, and, in the fourth year of the Hijra, set forward against al Nadhir, and besieged them in their fortress, which stood about three miles from Madina, for six days, at the end of which they capitulated, and were allowed to depart, on condition that they should entirely quit that place; and accordingly some of them went into Syria and others to Khaibar and Hira.

"This was the 'first emigration,' mentioned in the passage before us. The other happened several years after, in the reign of Omar, when that Khalif banished those who had settled at Khaibar, aud obliged them to depart out of Arabia."

Muir (Life of Mahomet, vol. iii. p.216, note) says -"The commentators interpret the words to mean 'at the first emigration,'


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go forth; and they thought that their fortresses would protect them against GOD. But the chastisement of GOD came upon them from whence they did not expect; and he cast terror into their hearts. They pulled down their houses with their own hands, and the hands of the true believers. Wherefore take example from them, O ye who have eyes. (3) And if GOD had not doomed them to banishment, he had surely punished them in this world; and in the world to come they shall suffer the torment of hell-fire. (4) This, because they opposed GOD and his Apostle: and. whoso opposeth GOD, verily GOD will be severe in punishing him. (5) What palm trees ye cut down or left standing on their roots, were so cut down or left by the will of GOD; and that he might disgrace the wicked doers. (6) And as to the spoils of these people, which GOD hath granted wholly to his Apostle, ye did not push forward any horses or camels against the same; but GOD given unto his apostles dominion over whom he pleaseth for GOD is almighty. (7) The spoils of the inhabitants of the towns which GOD hath granted to his Apostle are due unto GOD and to the Apostle, and to him

alluding, by prophetic foresight, to the second, that was to follow when Omar drove the Jews out of the Peninsula. This, however, is an after-thought."

They pulled down their houses, &c. "Doing what damage they could, that the Muslims might make the less advantage of what they were obliged to leave behind them."-Sale.

(3) He had surely published them. " By delivering them up to slaughter and captivity, as he did those of Quraidha."-Sale.

(6) The spoils, &c. "It is remarkable that in this expedition the spoils were not divided according to the law given for that purpose in the Quran, but were granted to the Apostle, and declared to be entirely in his disposition; and the reason was, because the place was taken without the assistance of horse ; which became a rule for the future."- Sale.

See notes on chap. viii. I, 42.

Ye did not push forward any horses, &c. "For the settlement of those of al Nadhir being so near Madina, the Muslims went all on foot thither, except only the Prophet himself."-Sale.

God giveth unto his Apostle, &c. We see here 'low Muhammad made capital out of his military successes.


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who is of kin to the Apostle, and the orphans, aud the poor, and the traveller; that they may not be for ever divided in a circle among such of you as are rich. What the Apostle shall give you, that accept; and what he shall forbid you, that abstain from: and fear GOD; for GOD is severe in chastising.

RUBA.

(8) A part also belongeth to the poor Muhajirin, who have been dispossessed of their houses and their substance, seeking favour from GOD and his good-will, and assisting GOD and his Apostle. These are the men of veracity. (9) And they who quietly possessed the town of Madina, and professed the faith without molestation before them, love him who hath fled unto them, and find in their breasts no want of that which is given the Muhajirin, but prefer them before themselves, although there be indigence among them. And whoso is preserved from the covetousness of his own soul, those shall surely prosper. (10) And they who have come after them say, O LORD, forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in the faith, and put not into our hearts ill-will against those who have believed: O LORD, verily thou art compassionate and merciful.

(11) Hast thou not observed them who play the hypocrites ? They say unto their brethren who believe not, of those who have received the Scriptures, Verily if ye

(8) Poor Muhajirin. "Wherefore Muhammad distributed those spoils among the Muhajirin, or those who had fled from Makkah only, and gave no part thereof to the Ansars or those of Madina, except only to three of them, who were in necessitous circumstances."-Sale.

(9) Who possessed the town . . . before them. "That is, the Ansars; who enjoyed their houses and the free exercise of their religion before the Hijra, while the converts of Makkah were persecuted and harassed by the idolaters."- Sale.

Find... no want, &c. "And bear them no grudge or envy on that account."-Sale.

(10) They who have come after them. "The persons here meant seen' to be those who fled from Makkah after Muhammad began to gain strength and his religion had made a considerable progress." - Sale.

(11) Those who have received the Scriptures. "That is, the Jews of the tribe of al Nadhir."- Sale.


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be expelled your habitations, we will surely go forth with you; and we will not pay obedience, in your respect, unto any one for ever: and if ye be attacked, we will certainly assist you. But GOD is witness that they are liars. (12) Verily if they be expelled, they will not go forth with them: and if they be attacked, they will not assist them and if they do assist them, they will surely turn their backs; and they shall not be protected. (13) Verily ye are stronger than they, by reason of the terror cast into breasts from GOD. This, because they are not people of prudence. (14) They will not fight against you in a body, except in fenced towns or from behind walls. Their strength in war among themselves is great: thou thinkest them to be united; but their hearts are divided. This, because they are people who do not understand. (15) Like those who lately preceded them, they have tasted the evil consequence of their deed; and a painful torment is prepared for them hereafter. (16) Thus have the hypocrites deceived the Jews: like the devil, when he saith unto a man, Be thou an infidel; and when he is become an infidel, he saith, Verily I am clear of thee; for I fear GOD, the LORD of all creatures. (17) Wherefore the end of them both shall be that they shall dwell in hell-fire, abiding therein for ever: and this shall be the recompense of the unjust.

(18) O true believers, fear GOD; and let a soul look

(12) They will not assist them. "And it happened accordingly; for Ibn Ubbai and his confederates wrote to the Nadhirites to this purpose, but never performed their promise."-Sale, Baidhawi.

This prophecy, however, seems to have been written after the event. See ver. 15.

(14) Their strength. .. is great, i.e., "it is not their weakness or cowardice which makes them decline a field-battle with you, since they show strength aud valour enough in their wars with on e another; but both fail them when they enter into the lists with God and his Apostle."- Sale.

(15) Those who lately preceded them, i.e., "the idolaters who were slain at Badr, or the Jews of Qainuqaa, who were plundered and sent into exile before those of al Nadhir."- Sale.


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what it sendeth before for the morrow: and fear GOD, for GOD is well acquainted with that which ye do. (19) And be not as those who have forgotten GOD, and whom he hath caused to forget their own souls: these are the wicked doers. (20) The inhabitants of hell-fire and the inhabitants of Paradise shall not be held equal. The inhabitants of Paradise are they who shall enjoy felicity. (21) If we had sent down this Quran on a mountain, thou wouldest certainly have seen the same humble itself, and cleave in sunder for fear of GOD. These similitudes do we propose unto men, that they may consider. (22) He is GOD, besides whom there is no GOD; who knoweth that which is future and that which is present: he is the most Merciful; (23) he is GOD, besides whom there is no GOD: the King the Holy, the Giver of peace, the Faithful, the Guardian, the Powerful, the Strong, the Most High. Far be GOD exalted above the idols which they associate with him! (24) He is GOD, the Creator, the Maker; the Former. He hath most excellent names. Whatever is in heaven and in earth praiseth him: and he is the Mighty, the Wise.

(18) The morrow. "That is, for the next life, which may be called 'the morrow,' as this present life may be called 'to-day.' "-Sale.

(21) The allusion here is to the giving of the law on Sinai.

(23) Holy. This is one of a very few passages in which God is called holy (Quddus). See also chap. lxii. I.

(24) Excellent names. See note on chap. vii. 181.


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