بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين وصلى الله وسلم على رسول الله وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن اهتدى بهديه إلى يوم الدين
Brief Introduction – Part I
- Hujraat is the plural of hujrah which literally means room. It refers to one-room houses of the Prophet’s wives.
- Hujraat is mentioned only once in the Quraan – ayah # 4 of this Surah.
Surah’s Place & Order of Revelation
- Revealed in Madinah in 9 AH – reports collected by Ibn Mardawayh (R) and al Bayhaqi (R) from Ibn ‘Abbass and Ibn az-Zubayr radiaAllahu ‘anhum.
- It is Surah # 49 in the Quraan and is placed after Surah al-FatH. However, it was revealed after Surat’l Mujaadalah which is Surah # 58.
- There is a strong relationship between Surahs # 47, 48 and 49 which are Surahs Muhammad, al-FatH and al-Hujraat; respectively. All focus on respecting the Rasulalah salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam; former two during battles and the latter during non-battle times. [This was taken from a lecture, not Dr. Bilal Philip’s book and was added for interest purposes so that it can be used as a memory aid in future. More on this later inshaa’Allah.]
Background of Surah
After the bloodless conquest of Makkah in the 8th year after the Hijrah, many desert tribes began sending emissaries to make oaths of allegiance to the Prophet salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam and to accept Islam on behalf of their tribes. Because of this phenomenon, the 9th year became known as “The Year of the Delegations”. However, the Bedouin ambassadors were often very crude and coarse in their dealings with the Prophet salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam due to their desert manners. Their loud and disrespectful conversations with the Prophet salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam were displeasing to Allah SWT, therefore, He revealed this Surah in order to reprimand them and to lay down a general code of behaviour and a set of moral ideals for Muslims as well as all mankind. This code represents the foundation essential for the formation of any true Muslim community or the establishment of any Muslim movement for social change. [Tafseer Soorah Al-Hujurat by Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, pp.68.]
Lens with which to look at this Surah & Personal Targets
Each of us has a responsibility to fulfill and if we still do not have those responsibilities yet, we cannot run away for we are one day going to be entrusted with them inshaa’Allah:
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler of the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of his household and is responsible for his flock. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house and children and is responsible for her flock. The slave is the shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.” [Narrated by al-Bukhaari (853) and Muslim (1829).]
When you are made responsible by Allah SWT for individuals whether inside of your household or outside, certain principles are necessary and must be implemented. Without these principles, one is very likely to commit injustice whether that’s to volunteers working under you in a Dawah organization or your family members (spouse, children etc.). You could be made incharge of your project at work/Dawah or could be made incharge by being the older sibling or the only sibling who is interested in Islam. You could be a blogger and have x-number of individuals (subscribers) whose Eeman you could be indirectly be responsible for! Allah SWT has His ways of giving leadership through knowledge, relationship and lineage. In other words, each one of us has a duty to fulfill and one is given charge, then the accountability begins. Therefore, the guidelines in Surat’l Hujraat and our implementation of them after learning about them are paramount to our salvation in Akhirah and inshaa’Allah success as big or small organizational units in this dunia for who knows us, humans, better than the Creator? In addition, this learning and implementation will in turn help create a ripple-effect in our communities and boomerang-effect in our personal lives. Isn’t it true that whatever khayr you send out, it eventually is gifted back to you by Allah SWT in different forms in both worlds in a manner most magnanimous? Walilahil Hamdan katheeran tayyibban.
Using this lens on my mind’s eye and thus awareness of personal responsibility, I would like to point out a few personal targets for this study no matter how cursory this study might be:
- Try to notice the link between Taqwa and human behaviour
- Keep a tab on what negative behaviour makes one’s Eeman deficient and how many times Allah SWT has addressed aladheena aamanu
- Extract mannerisms; extend it from Rasulalah salalahu ‘alayhi wasalam to those who are given authority over us through His Commands, in our lives
- Come up with daily examples of how if these principles would be applied, social harmony would occur
- Use the ayaat to develop calmness whenever the negative emotions arouse a turbulent reaction within us
- Look at the details and add it to the bigger picture of personal understanding of Islam, justice and organizational psychology
O Allah SWT, cause this small post to bring massive worldly and Akhira-related benefit to me, my families, and to the entire Ummah of today and tomorrow. Guide us to the path of those whom You are pleased with and make not Quraan a hujjah against us on the day of Judgement. Ya Mu’ti, grant us beneficial knowledge which beautifies our character and grants us a palace near You. Ameen!
And Allah SWT knows best.