Surah al-Ahzab (The Confederates) 33 : 35
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
These qualities grouped together in this one verse work together to form a Muslim’s character. These are: self surrender to God, faith, devotion, being true to one’s word, patience in adversity, humility before God, being charitable, fasting, being mindful of one’s chastity, and remembering God at all times. Each quality has its own role to play in a Muslim’s life.
The first two qualities are expressed in the two Arabic words islām and īmān, which mean ‘submission’ and ‘belief’ respectively. There is a strong interrelation between the two, or we can say that both are two sides of the same coin. Submission is the outcome of belief and true belief gives rise to submission. ‘Devotion’ means obedience that results from submission and belief, though inner acceptance, not external pressure. ‘Truthfulness’ is the quality essential for every Muslim. Whoever does not possess this quality cannot be within the ranks of the Muslim community. God says in the Qur’ān: “It is only those who do not believe in God’s revelations that invent falsehood.” (16: 105) Thus, a liar is expelled from the ranks of the community which always remains true to its word, the Muslim community.
The next quality is ‘patience in adversity’. In fact a Muslim cannot fulfil the requirements and duties of his faith without this quality. Islam needs patience in adversity at every step. Muslims have to be patient, resisting desire, bearing the harm inflicted by others, overcoming impediments, patiently addressing weaknesses and crookedness in other people, and going through the tests of either an easy life or hardship. Essentially, both are difficult predicaments.
‘Humility before God’ is an inner quality that reflects how we feel God’s majesty deep in our hearts and how truly and willingly we obey and fear Him. ‘Being charitable’ indicates purification from greed and self indulgence. It also reflects care for others and kindness to them, as well as mutual security within the Muslim community. It is an act of gratitude to God for what He gives us and represents our discharging our duty on wealth.
‘Fasting’ is considered a quality because of its regular and consistent nature. It reflects an attitude that rises above the essential needs of life, enhancing man’s willpower and giving supremacy within man’s constitution to human qualities. ‘Being mindful of one’s chastity’ involves not only the element of purity but also the proper control of the most profound and powerful desire in man. In fact, no one can achieve such proper control except one who is a God-fearing believer and who seeks God’s help. This quality also regulates relations between people and aims to elevate the meeting between man and woman to a level that is higher than that of the urge of the flesh. It makes this meeting subject to God’s law and serves the purpose of creating both sexes to populate the earth and build human life on it.
‘Remembering God at all times’ provides the link between all human activity and man’s faith. It makes man mindful of God at every moment.
He thus constantly retains his strong bond with Him. Moreover, his mind and heart beam with happiness and the light of life. Those who reflect all these qualities, essential as they are for the building of Islamic character, are the ones for whom “God has prepared forgiveness of sins and a mighty reward.”
In conclusion we should note how the sūrah gives an account of the qualities of all Muslims, men and women, after it paid special attention at the beginning of this part to the Prophet’s wives. Women are mentioned side by side with men, as part of the Islamic effort to give women their rightful position in society and establish society’s attitude to women on the right basis. In their bond with God and in the Islamic duties of purification, worship and practical conduct, men and women are seen to be in the same position.
2. Linguistic Analysis[ edit ]
4. Miscellaneous Information[ edit ]
5. Connected/Related Ayat[ edit ]
6. Frequency of the word[ edit ]
7. Period of Revelation[ edit ]
The Surah discusses three important events which are: the Battle of the Trench (or Al-Ahzab: the Confederates) which took place in the month of Shawwal 5 A.H.; the raid on Banu Quraythah which was made in Dhil-Qa’dah 5 A.H.; and the Prophet’s marriage with Zaynab which also was contracted in Dhil-Qa’dah 5 A.H. These historical events accurately determine the period of the revelation of this Surah.