Revealed at Madina.


THIS chapter consists of two parts; first, vers. 1-8, relating to the enmity of the Jews of Madina towards Muhammad and his prophetic pretensions second, vers. 9-11, relating to the prayer service of Friday, called here the Day of the Assembly, from which the chapter derives its title.

Probable Date of the Revelations.

The first part of this chapter is thought to belong to the same period as the greater portion of chap. ii., i.e., A.H. 2, because it is aimed at the Jews of Madina. The second part of the chapter, according to the commentators, was revealed when Dahya al Kalbi, before his conversion, entered Madina with a loud noise, at the head of a caravan (ver. 11, note). But NoŽldeke points out that this statement gives no exact chronological date, because we know nothing of the date of Dahya's conversion beyond this, that he is said by some to have fought as a Muslim at the battle of the Ditch, and by others at the battle of Ohod. Inasmuch, however, as the Friday prayers were instituted soon after the Hijra, it is probable that this part of the chapter belongs to about the same date as the first part.

Principal Subjects.

A wise, powerful, and holy God sent Muhammad as his apostle to the Arabians...1-4
The Jews rebuked for their opposition to Islam . . .5-8
Admonition concerning the observance of worship on Friday... 9-11



R 1/11

(1) Whatever is in heaven and earth praiseth GOD, the King, the Holy, the Mighty, the Wise. (2) It is he who hath raised up amidst the illiterate Arabians an Apostle from among themselves, to rehearse his signs unto them, and to purify them, and to teach them the Scriptures and wisdom; whereas before they were certainly in a manifest error; (3) and others of them have not yet attained unto them, by embracing the faith; though they also shall be converted in God's good time; for he is mighty and wise. (4) This is the free grace of GOD: he bestoweth the same on whom he pleaseth; and GOD is endued with great beneficence (5) The likeness of those who were charged with the observance of the law and then observed it not is as the likeness of an ass laden with books. How wretched is the likeness of the people who charge the signs of GOD with falsehood! and GOD directeth not the unjust people. (6) Say, O ye who follow the Jewish religion, if ye say that ye are the friends of GOD above other men, wish for death if ye speak truth. (7) But they will never wish for it, because of that which their hands have sent before them: and GOD well knoweth the unjust. (8) Say, Verily death, from which ye fly, will surely meet you; then shall ye be brought before him who knoweth as well what is concealed as what is discovered; and he will declare unto you that which ye have done.

R 2/12.

(9) O true believers, when ye are called to prayer on

(2) The illiterate. See note on chap. vii. 158, and Prelim. Disc., pp. 73, 74.

(5) The likeness of an ass, &c. "Because these understand not the prophecies contained in the law, which bear witness to Muhammad, no more than the ass does the books he carries."-Sale. See Muir's remarks, quoted in note on chap. iv. 44.

(6) Wish for death, &c., i.e., "make it your request to God that he would translate you from this troublesome world to a state of never-fading bliss."-Sale.

(7) Which their hands have sent before. See note on chap. ii. 94.


the day of the assembly, hasten to the commemoration of GOD and leave merchandising. This will be better for you, if you knew it. (10) And when prayer is ended, then disperse yourselves through the land as ye list, and seek gain of the liberality of GOD: and remember GOD frequently, that ye may prosper. (11) But when they see any merchandising or sport, they flock thereto, and leave thee standing up in the pulpit. Say, The reward which is with GOD is better than any sport or merchandise: and GOD is the best provider.

(9) The assembly. "That is, Friday, which being more peculiarly set apart by Muhammad for the public worship of God, is therefore called Yaum al juma, i.e., the Day of the Assembly or Congregation; whereas before it was called al Aruba. The first time this day was particularly observed, as some say, was on the Prophet's arrival at Madina, into which city he made his first entry on a Friday; but others tell us that Kab Ibn Luwa, one of Muhammad's ancestors, gave the day its present name, because on that day. the people used to be assembled before him. One reason given for the observation of Friday preferably to any other day of the week is because on that day God finished the creation."-Sale, Baidhawi.

Leave merchandising. The original purpose of Muhammad was to establish a day of rest similar to the Jewish Sabbath, but to be observed less rigidly. Work was to be stopped during the hours of prayer, but might be resumed when the prayers were ended. See on this subject Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. iii. pp. 41, 42.

(10) And when the prayer is ended. "By returning to your commerce and worldly occupations, if ye think fit ; for the Muhammadans do not hold themselves obliged to observe the day of their public assembly with the same strictness as the Christians and Jews do their respective Sabbaths, or particularly abstain from work after they have performed their devotions. Some, however, from a tradition of their Prophet, are of opinion that works of charity and religious exercises, which may draw down the blessing of God are recommended in this passage."-Sale.

(11) Leave thee standing, &c. "It is related that one Friday while Muhammad was preaching, a caravan of merchants happened to arrive with their drums beating, according to custom; which the congregation hearing, they all ran out of the mosque to see them, except twelve only."-Sale, Baidhawi.

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