49 - Al Hujraat (The apartments)

6 Tafsir(s) related to verse 49.1

Al-Jalalayn

O you who believe, do not venture ahead of (tuqaddimū, [derives] from qaddama, with the sense of [the 5th form] taqaddama), that is to say, do not come forward with any [unwarranted] saying or deed [ahead of], God and His Messenger, the one communicating [the Message] from Him, that is to say, without their permission, and fear God. Surely God is Hearer, of your sayings, Knower, of your deeds: this was revealed regarding the dispute between Abū Bakr and ‘Umar, may God be pleased with them both, in the presence of the Prophet (s), over the appointment of al-Aqra‘ b. Hābis or al-Qa‘qā‘ b. Ma‘bad as commander [of his tribe].

Al-Tustari

O you who believe! Do not be forward in the presence of God and His Messenger"He said:Verily, God, Exalted is He, has instructed His believing servants in propriety (adab). The meaning is: "Do not speak before he [the Prophet] speaks". Then when he speaks, move forward towards him, hearkening and listening to him; "and fear God, regarding the neglect of His rights, and the loss of reverence for Him. Surely God hears what you say, and knows what you do.His words:

Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi

(O ye who believe! Be not forward in the presence of Allah and His messenger, and keep your duty to Allah") [49:1]. Abu Nasr Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim informed us> "Ubayd Allah ibn Muhammad al-"Ukbari> "Abd Allah ibn Muhammad al-Baghawi> al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn al-Sabah> Hajjaj ibn Muhammad> Ibn Jurayj> Ibn Abi Mulaykah> "Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr who relate that horsemen from the Banu Tamim went to see the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and so Abu Bakr said: "Appoint al-Qa"qa" ibn Ma"bad as their leader", "Umar, on the other hand, said: "No, appoint al-Aqra" ibn Habis as their leader!" Abu Bakr said to "Umar: "You just want to oppose me!" "Umar said: "I do not want to oppose you", and they argued to the extent that they raised their voices on each other. About this incident, these words of Allah, exalted is He, were revealed: (O ye who believe! Be not forward in the presence of Allah and His messenger") up to His words, glorified is He, (And if they had had patience till thou camest forth unto them, it had been better for them") [49:5]. This was narrated by Bukhari from al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn al-Sabah.

Ibn Al Kathir

The Prohibition of making a Decision in advance of Allah and His Messenger; ordering Respect towards the Prophet

In these Ayat, Allah the Exalted teaches His faithful servants the good manners they should observe with the Messenger, which are respect, honor and esteem. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,

يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تُقَدِّمُواْ بَيْنَ يَدَىِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ

(O you who believe! Make not (a decision) in advance before Allah and His Messenger,) meaning, do not rush in making decisions before him, rather, follow his lead in all matters. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, commented;

لاَ تُقَدِّمُواْ بَيْنَ يَدَىِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ

(Make not (a decision) in advance before Allah and His Messenger,) "Do not say anything that contradicts the Qur'an and Sunnah.'' Qatadah commented, "We were told that some people used to say, `Revelation should be sent down about such and such matters,' and, `such and such practices should be rendered allowed.' Allah the Exalted disliked this attitude.'' Allah said,

وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ

(and have Taqwa of Allah.) meaning, `in what He has ordered you;'

إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ

(Verily, Allah is Hearing,) `your statements,'

عَلِيمٌ

(Knowing.) `your intentions.' Allah said,

يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَرْفَعُواْ أَصْوَتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِىِّ

(O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet,) This contains another kind of favorable behavior. Allah the Exalted is teaching the believers that they should not raise their voices above the voice of the Prophet. It was stated that this Ayah was revealed about Abu Bakr and `Umar. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abi Mulaykah said, "The two righteous ones, Abu Bakr and `Umar, almost earned destruction when they raised their voices before the Prophet who was receiving the delegation of Bani Tamim. One of them recommended Al-Aqra` bin Habis the member of the Banu Mujashi` while the other recommended another man. Nafi` (a subnarrator) said: "I don't remember his name.'' Abu Bakr said to `Umar, `You only wanted to contradict me,' while `Umar said, `I did not intend to contradict you.' Their voices then became loud, thereupon Allah the Exalted sent down this Ayah,

يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَرْفَعُواْ أَصْوَتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِىِّ وَلاَ تَجْهَرُواْ لَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَـلُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَشْعُرُونَ

(O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds should be thwarted while you perceive not.)'' `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr said, "After that, `Umar's voice was so low that the Messenger of Allah had to ask him to repeat what he said so that he could understand what he was saying to him.'' `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr did not mention the same regarding his father, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him. Muslim did not collect this Hadith. In another narration collected by Al-Bukhari, he said that a delegation from the tribe of Banu Tamim came to the Prophet and that Abu Bakr recommended Al-Qa`qa` bin Ma`bad to be appointed as their leader, while `Umar recommended Al-Aqra` bin Habis. Muslim did not collect this narration. Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas bin Malik said, "The Prophet missed Thabit bin Qays and a man said, `O Allah's Messenger! I will find out about his news.' That man went to Thabit and found him sitting at home with his head lowered and asked him, `What is the matter' Thabit said, `An evil matter!' And he said that he used to raise his voice above the voice of the Prophet. He feared that his good deeds would be useless and he would be among the people of the Fire. The man went back to the Prophet and conveyed Thabit's statement and returned to Thabit with a wonderfully good news. The Prophet said,

«اذْهَبْ إِلَيْهِ فَقُلْ لَهُ: إِنَّكَ لَسْتَ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ، وَلَكِنَّكَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّة»

(Go back to him and tell him this news; you are not among the people of the Fire. Rather, you are among the dwellers of Paradise.)'' Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith with this wording. Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said, "When this Ayah was revealed,

يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَرْفَعُواْ أَصْوَتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِىِّ

(O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet), until,

وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَشْعُرُونَ

(while you perceive not), Thabit bin Qays bin Ash-Shammas, whose voice was loud, said, `I was the one who raised his voice above the voice of Allah's Messenger. I am among the dwellers of the Fire. My good deeds have been done in vain.' He remained in his house feeling distressed, and the Messenger of Allah noticed his absence. So some men went to Thabit and said to him, `The Prophet noticed your absence. What is the matter with you' Thabit said, `I used to raise my voice above the voice of the Prophet and speak loudly in front of him. My deeds have been rendered useless and I am among the people of the Fire.' They went to the Prophet and told him what Thabit said and the Prophet said,

«لَا، بَلْ هُوَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّة»

(Nay, he is among the dwellers of Paradise.)'' Anas commented, "We used to see Thabit walk among us knowing that he was (to be) among the dwellers of Paradise. During the battle of Yamamah, our forces suffered retreat. Suddenly, Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas came, having put on his Hanut and shrouds, and said, `The worst habit is the one you acquire from your enemy and do not set a bad example for your companions.' And he went on fighting until he was martyred, may Allah be pleased with him.'' Allah then prohibited speaking to the Prophet in a loud voice, just as one speaks loudly to another in a way that offends him. Instead, they were required to speak to him in terms of respect, honor and calmness. This is why Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,

وَلاَ تَجْهَرُواْ لَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ

(nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another,) just as He said in another Ayah,

لاَّ تَجْعَلُواْ دُعَآءَ الرَّسُولِ بَيْنَكُمْ كَدُعَآءِ بَعْضِكُمْ بَعْضاً

(Make not the calling of the Messenger among you as your calling one of another.) (24:63) Allah's statement,

أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَـلُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَشْعُرُونَ

(lest your deeds should be thwarted while you perceive not.) means, `We ordered you to refrain from raising your voices to the Prophet, so that he will not get angry with you, because in doing so, you will also anger Allah.' The good deeds of he who caused the Prophet's anger will become useless without him even knowing. In the Sahih, there is a Hadith that states,

«إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَتَكَلَّمُ بِالْكَلِمَةِ مِنْ رِضْوَانِ اللهِ تَعَالَى لَا يُلْقِي لَهَا بَالًا، يُكْتَبُ لَهُ بِهَا الْجَنَّةُ، وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَتَكَلَّمُ بِالْكَلِمَةِ مِنْ سَخَطِ اللهِ تَعَالَى لَا يُلْقِي لَهَا بَالًا، يَهْوِي بِهَا فِي النَّارِ أَبْعَدَ مَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْض»

(Verily, a man might utter a word that pleases Allah the Exalted, even though he does not recognize the significance of his word, and on its account Paradise is written for him. Verily, a man might utter a word carelessly that angers Allah the Exalted, and on its account, he is cast in the Fire farther than the distance between the heavens and earth.) Allah then ordains lowering one's voice before the Messenger and encourages, directs and recommends this better behavior.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَغُضُّونَ أَصْوَتَهُمْ عِندَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ امْتَحَنَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ لِلتَّقْوَى

(Verily, those who lower their voices in the presence of Allah's Messenger, they are the ones whose hearts Allah has tested for Taqwa.) whose hearts have been purified by Allah and made as a residence and dwelling for the Taqwa,

لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

(For them is forgiveness and a great reward.) Imam Ahmad recorded in the Book of Az-Zuhd that Mujahid said, "Someone wrote to `Umar, `O Leader of the faithful! Who is better, a man who does not feel the desire to commit a sin and does not commit it, or a man who feels desire to commit a sin, but does not commit it' `Umar replied, `He who feels desire to commit a sin, but does not commit it,

أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ امْتَحَنَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ لِلتَّقْوَى لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

(they are the ones whose hearts Allah has tested for Taqwa. For them is forgiveness and a great reward.)'''

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

This is the foremost and basic demand of the Faith. If the person who regards Allah as his Lord and accepts Allah's Messenger as his guide and leader. is true in his belief, he can never have the attitude that he should give his own opinion and view precedence over the decision of Allah and His Messenger, or -should adopt an independent opinion in the matters, and pass his own judgments without caring to find out whether Allah and His Messenger have given any guidance in those matters or not, and if they have given it, what it is. That is why it has been said "O believers, do not go `in advance' of Allah and His Messenger. " That is, "Do not go ahead of them, but follow behind: Do not precede them, but be subordinate to them. " This Command is, in its application and effect, a step further to verse 36 of AI-Ahzab. There it was said: `It does not behoove a believing man and a believing woman that when Allah and His Messenger have given their decision in a matter, they should exercise an Option in that matter of theirs", and here it is said that the believers should not decide their matters themselves by their own initiative, but should look for guidance in Allah's Book and His Prophet's Sunnah concerning those matters.

This Command it not confined only to individual matters of the Muslims but it also applies to their collective affairs. This is in fact the fundamental article of the Islamic Law, which can neither be set aside or ignored by a Muslim government, nor by a Muslim court, nor by a parliament. A tradition has been reported in Musnad~Ahmad, Abu Da'ud, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, with authentic chains of transmitters, saying that when the Holy Prophet was sending Hadrat Mu'adh bin Jabal to the Yaman as a judge, he asked him: "By what will you decide the matters?" He submitted: "By the Book of Allah. " The Holy Prophet said: "If you do not find the Command concerning a matter in the Book of Allah, what will you turn to?" He replied "To the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger. " The Holy Prophet asked "If this also fails you?" He replied: "Then I shall exert and find out a solution by myself. " Thereupon the Holy Prophet placed his hand on Hadrat Mu'adh's chest and said: "Thank God Who has helped His Messenger's deputy to adopt the way that is approved by His Messenger. " This giving of precedence to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger over one's own exercise to find out a solution and to turn to them first to obtain guidance is the

Thing that marks the distinction between a Muslim judge and a non-Muslim judge. Likewise, in the matter of legislation also there is absolute consensus that the first and foremost source of the law is the Divine Book and after it the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah. Even the consensus of the entire Ummah cannot go against or remain independent of them, not to speak of the individual Muslims reasoning and endeavor to interpret the law.

That is, "If ever you adopted an attitude of independence as against Allah and His Messenger, or gave priority to your own opinion and view over their Command, you should know that you have to deal with that God Who is hearing whatever you utter and is even aware of your secret intentions. "

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said regarding the interpretation of Allah's saying (O ye who believe! Be not forward in the presence of Allah): '(O ye who believe! Be not forward in the presence of Allah) do not start with any word or action until the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) commands or prohibits you first; it is also said that this means: do not start immolating your sacrifices on the day of immolation (and His messenger) until you receive Allah's command and the command of His Messenger; it is also said that this means: do not oppose the Messenger; and it is said this means: do not contravene the Book of Allah or the practice of His Messenger, (and keep your duty to Allah) fear Allah in relation to saying or doing anything without the command of Allah or of His Messenger, and do not oppose the Book of Allah or the practice of His Messenger. (Lo! Allah is Hearer) of what you say, (Knower) of your works. This was revealed about three prophetic Companions who killed two men from Banu Salim when the Muslims had a peace treaty with them, without being commanded to do so by Allah or by His Messenger. Allah, glorified and Exalted is He, forbade them from engaging in any matter without a command from Allah or His Messenger.