63. Munafiqoon

Syed Abu-Ala' Maududi's Chapter Introductions to the Quran


The Sura takes its name from the sentence Idha jaa kal-munafiquna of verse 1. This is the name of the Sura as well as the title of its subject matter for in it a review has been made of the conduct and attitude of the hypocrites themselves.

Period of Revelation

As we shall explain below this Sura was sent down either during the Holy Prophet's return journey from his campaign against Bani al- Mustaliq or imme- diately after his arrival back at Madinah and we have established by argument and research in the Introduction to Sura An-Nurthat the campaign against Bani al-Mustaliq had taken place in Sha'ban A. H. 6:Thus the date of the revelation of this Sura is determined precisely.

Historical Background

Before we mention the particular incident about which this Sura was sent down it is necessary to have a look at the history of the hypocrites of Madinah for the incident that occurred on this occasion was not a chance happening but had a whole series of events behind it which ultimately led up to it. Before the Holy Prophet's emigration to Madinah the tribes of the Aus and the Khazraj fed up with their mutual rivalries and civil wars had almost agreed on the leadership of one man and were making preparations to crown him their king. This was Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul the chief of the Khazraj. Muhammad bin Ishaq has stated that among the people of Khazraj his authority was never contested and never had the Aus and the Khazraj rallied to one man before this. Such were the conditions when the voice of Islam reached Madinah and the influential people of both the tribes started becoming Muslims. When before the Emigration invitation was being extended to the Holy Prophet (upon whoin be Allah'> peace) to come to Madinah Hadarat Abbas bin Ubadah bin Nadlah Ansari wanted to defer this invitation for the reason that Abdullah bin Ubayy also might join in the declaration of allegiance and invitation to the Holy Prophet so that Madinah might become the centre of Islam by common consent. But the delegation that arrived in Makkah to declare their allegiance did not give any importance to the proposal of Abbas bin Ubadah and a11 its members who included 75 men from both the tribes became ready to invite the Holy Prophet in the face of every danger.(lbn Hisham vol. II P. 89). We have given the details of this event in the Introduction to Sura Al-Anfal. Then when the Holy Prophet arrived in Madinah Islam had so deeply penetrated every house of the Ansar that Abdullah bin Ubayy became helpless and did not see any other way to save his leadership than to become a Muslim himself. So he entered Islam along with many of his followers from among the chiefs and leaders of both the tribes although their hearts were burning with rage from within. Ibn Ubayy in particular was filled with grief for the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) had deprived him of his kingship. For several years his hypocritical faith and grief of being deprived of his kingdom manifested itself in different ways. On the one hand when on Fridays the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) took his seat to deliver the Sermon Abdullah bin Ubayy would stand up and say "O people the Messenger of Allah is present among you by whom Allah has honoured you; therefore you should support him and listen to what he says and obey him." (Ibn Hishim val. III p. 111). On the other his hypocricy was being exposed day by day and the true Muslims were realizing that he and his followers bore great malice against Islam the Holy Prophet and the Muslims. Once when the Holy Prophet was passing on the way Abdullah bin Ubayy spoke to him in harsh words. When the Holy Prophet complained of it to Hadrat Sa'd bin Ubadah; he said:"O Messenger of Allah don't be hard on him for when Allah sent you to us we were making a diadem to crown him and by God he thinks that you have robbed him of his kingdom." (Ibn Hisham vol: II pp. 237-238). After the Battle of Badrwhen the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) invaded the Jewish tribe of Bani Qainuqa on their breaking the agreement and unprovoked revolt this man stood up in support of them and holding the Holy Prophet by his armour said:"These 700 fighters have be

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