Surah al-Hujurat (The Chambers ) 49 : 11

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا يَسْخَرْ قَوْمٌ مِّن قَوْمٍ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَكُونُوا۟ خَيْرًا مِّنْهُمْ وَلَا نِسَآءٌ مِّن نِّسَآءٍ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَكُنَّ خَيْرًا مِّنْهُنَّ ۖ وَلَا تَلْمِزُوٓا۟ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَلَا تَنَابَزُوا۟ بِٱلْأَلْقَٰبِ ۖ بِئْسَ ٱلِٱسْمُ ٱلْفُسُوقُ بَعْدَ ٱلْإِيمَٰنِ ۚ وَمَن لَّمْ يَتُبْ فَأُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلظَّٰلِمُونَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name [i.e., mention] of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent - then it is those who are the wrongdoers.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

The human society Islam establishes in the light of Qur'anic guidance operates a high standard of manners. Every individual in this society has his or her integrity, which may not be compromised. Indeed, it is part of the integrity of the whole community. To slander anyone is to slander oneself, because the whole community is a single entity and its integrity is one.

In this verse, the Qur'an again addresses the believers by their most beloved description, "Believers". It forbids that one group should deride another, be they men deriding other men, or women deriding other women. For how can they know whether or not the ones they deride enjoy a better status with God?

The way this order is expressed suggests that the apparent values that men or women may consider important may not be those that give people their real status. There are other values, which people may not know about. These are known to God who operates them in fairness. A rich man may deride a poor one. Similarly, those who are strong, enjoying good health, intelligence, children and support, may deride those who are less fortunate than themselves, such as those who are weak, handicapped, simple-minded, childless or orphans without support. A woman who sees herself as pretty, young, perfectly shaped, or rich may deride another for being ugly, old, misshaped, or poor. But none of these earthly values is of any importance as a criterion of high status. In God's sight, people are raised in rank on the basis of totally different values.

The Qur'an, however, does not stop at implying this, It works on the sentiment of brotherhood in faith, reminding the believers that they descend from a single soul. Whoever defames anyone actually defames all. Hence, the Qur'an says: "Neither shall you defame yourselves." (Verse 11) It should be mentioned that the word the Qur'an uses for defaming, talmizu, has a particular resonance that imparts a feeling that also has a physical effect.

Part of derision and defamation is to call others names that they dislike, or feel to be meant as ridicule. It is the right of a believer not to be called by a name that he or she dislikes, or feels to suggest disrespect. Moreover, Islamic standards require a believer not to call a brother or a sister by such a name that gives them pain. The Prophet changed the names or nicknames of some of his Companions because he felt, with his refined sense and compassionate heart, that they could bring ridicule or pain to the people concerned.

Having outlined the true values in God's measure, and appealed to feelings of brotherhood and of belonging to one soul, the surah now reaches out to the believers' sense of faith, warning them that they will lose this noble quality if they indulge in derision and ridicule: "Nor insult one another by [opprobrious] epithets. Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness [to be used of one] after he has believed." (Verse 11) To indulge in this is akin to renouncing faith after one has believed. The surah goes even further than this by threatening to consider this an act of wrongdoing, something that is often expressed in the Qur'an as being synonymous with associating partners with God. "Those who do not repent are indeed wrongdoers." (Verse 11) Thus, the surah establishes the rules for refined manners in a noble community.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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This Surah is a collection of the commandments and instructions sent down on different occasions. Moreover, the hadith also show that most of these commandments were sent down during the final stage of the Prophet’s life at Madinah. For instance, the commentators of the Qur’an state that verse 4 was sent down concerning the Bani Tamim. This deputation had arrived in Madinah and started calling out to the Prophet from outside the apartments (hujurat) of his wives, and according to all biographical books on the Prophet’s life this deputation had visited Madinah in 9 A.H. Likewise, verse 6, a large number of the hadith confirm that it was sent down concerning Walid bin Uqbah whom the Prophet had sent to collect the financial obligation (Zakah) from the Bani al-Mustaliq, and it is known that he had become a Muslim on the conquest of Makkah.

8. Reasons for Revelation

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9. Relevant Hadith

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10. Wiki Forum

Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

11. Tafsir Zone

 

12. External Links

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