يَآ أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا لاَ تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتَ النَّبِيِّ إِلآَّ أَن يُؤْذَنَ لَكُمْ اِلَي طَعَامٍ غَيْرَ نَاظِرِينَ إِنَاهُ وَلَكِنْ اِذَا دُعِيتُمْ فَادْخُلُوا فَاِذَا طَعِمْتُمْ فَانتَشِرُوا وَلاَ مُسْتَأْنِسِينَ لِحَدِيثٍ اِنَّ ذَلِكُمْ كَانَ يُؤْذِي النَّبِيَّ فَيَسْتَحْيِي مِنكُمْ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَسْتَحْيِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَإِذَا سَأَلْتُـمُوهُنَّ مَتَاعاً فَسْأَلُوهُنَّ مِن وَرآءِ حِجَابٍ ذَلِكُمْ أَطْهَرُ لِقُلُوبِكُمْ وَقُلُوبِهِنَّ وَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَن تُؤْذُوا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَلآ أَن تَنكِحُوا أَزْوَاجَهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ أَبَداً اِنَّ ذَلِكُمْ كَانَ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَظِيمًا
53. “O you who believe! Do not enter the houses of the Prophet for a meat without waiting for the proper time, unless permission be granted you. But when you are invited, enter, and, when your meal is ended, then disperse; neither lingering for conversation; verily this annoys the Prophet, and he is ashamed before you, but Allah is not ashamed before the truth. And when you ask his wives for any object, ask them from behind a curtain. This is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not for you to hurt Allah’s Messenger, neither to marry his wives after him, ever, verily this is grievous (sin) with Allah.”
To take permission to enter into the people’s house is not allocated to the Prophet’s house.
As we recite in Surah An-Nur:
This verse addresses the believers and clearly and expressively, in some short sentences, states some other Islamic ordinances, specially those relating to the rules of etiquette with the Prophet (S) and his household.
At first, it says:
The Arabic term /’inahu/ is derived from /’ani-ya’ni/ in the sense of ‘the time of something’, and here it means ‘readiness of food for eating’.
Thus, the holy verse states one of the important rules of association that was rarely observed in that environment. This statement outwardly is about the house of the holy Prophet (S), but surely this ordinance does not allocate to him alone.
Never must we enter the house of anyone else without permission, (as Surah An-Nur, No. 24, verse 27 announces, too). It is said that even the Prophet (S), standing outside the door, asked his daughter, Fatimah (as), to enter her house when he wanted to go into it.
Once when he wanted to go in, Jabir-ibn-‘Abdillah was with the Prophet (S), then after that he (S) asked permission for him to enter, he (S) asked permission for Jabir, too. Moreover, when some people are invited for a meal, they must be punctual and do not bother the landlord out of place.
Then the verse refers to the second ordinance, saying:
In fact, this ordinance is as an emphasis and complimentary for the previous ordinance. You should neither enter a house out of place when you have been invited for it, nor ignore the invitation, nor stay there for a long time after eating the meal.
It is evident that contrasting these affairs causes trouble for the host and it does not agree with the principles of ethics. For the third ordinance, the verse implies that you should not form a meeting of conversation in the house of the holy Prophet (S), nor in any other host’s house.
Of course, sometimes it happens that the host is willing to have such a meeting of conversation; in this case it is an exception. These wards are about the case that the invitation is for only eating food, not for forming the meeting of conversation.
In such a place, after eating the meal, meeting must be left, specially that the house is that of the Prophet (S), the centre of accomplishing the greatest divine missions, and some troublesome affairs must not occupy his time.
Then, the Holy Qur’an states the reason of this ordinance as follows:
Of course, concerning the instances that had not a personal and private nature, the Prophet of Allah (S) never refused to say the truth, while to state the right of persons from the side of them is not so fair, but it is interesting and beautiful when it is said from the side of others, and the case in the verse is of this kind.
The ethical principles required that the Prophet (S) would not defend himself, but Allah defended him.
Then, the fourth ordinance is stated about the subject of veil, as follows:
It has been a custom among Arabs, as well as many other people, that when they are in need of some furniture and means of life they borrow them temporarily from the neighbour. The Prophet’s house was also one of them and, now and then, neighbours would come and borrow something from the wives of the Prophet (S).
It is clear that coming before the people’s sight (even with Islamic veil) was not a good action for the Prophet’s wives, that was why it was ordained that they would take them from behind the curtain or the door.
The point which must be taken under consideration is that the purpose of the Qur’anic word /hijab/, in this verse, is not the women’s veil, but it is an ordinance added to it which had been particular for the wives of the Prophet (S).
By it, for the special conditions of the wives of the Prophet (S), people were commanded if they wanted to take something from them, they would take it from behind the curtain, and these wives should not appear before people in such instances, even with Islamic cover.
This ordinance, of course, has not been ordained about other women, for whom only observing the religious cover is enough.
This command was ordained for the wives of the Prophet because of the existence of the abundant enemies and self-interested fault-finders who might denigrate them and the black-hearted persons might take it as a document; then this special command was for them, or, in other words, it was given to the people that at the time of asking something from the Prophet’s wives they would ask them what they wanted from behind the curtain.
Specially the application of the Qur’anic word /wara’/ (behind) is a witness for it.
Next to this command, the Qur’an states the philosophy of it as follows:
The Qur’an states the fifth ordinance as follows:
The act of annoyance is mentioned in this verse and it is to go to the Prophet’s house out of place, and staying there and causing bother after eating the meal, yet, however, the concept of the verse is general and envelops any kind of annoyance and hurt.
In Islamic narrations, there is also mentioned in occasion of revelation indicating that some of the black hearted persons had sworn that after the Prophet (S) they would marry with his wives. This speech was another hurt, too.
Finally, the sixth, and the last divine ordinance, is about the prohibition of marriage with wives of the Prophet (S) after him, as follows:
اِن تُبْدُوا شَيْئاً أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيماً
54. “Whether you reveal anything or conceal it, verily Allah has full knowledge of all things.”
Allah is aware of not only our deeds but also of everything, and His awareness is also equal upon what is hidden and what is manifest.
In this holy verse, the Qur’an has severely warned people by saying:
You should not imagine that Allah is not aware of your annoyance to His Prophet (S). He knows both all the things you utter by your tongue and the things you think and decide about them in your heart; then He will reward everyone according to his action and intention proportionately.
لاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِنَّ فِي ءَابَآئِهِنَّ وَلآ أَبْنآئِهِنَّ وَلآ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ وَلآ أَبْنَآءِ إِخْوَانِهِنَّ وَلآ أَبْنَآءِ أَخَوَاتِهِنَّ وَلاَ نِسَآئِهِنَّ وَلاَ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُنَّ وَاتَّقِينَ اللَّهَ اِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَي كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدًا
55. “There is no sin for them (not to have veil) with their fathers, nor their sons, nor their brothers, nor their brothers’ sons, nor the sons of their sisters, nor their own women, nor of what their right hands possess; and be in awe of Allah! Verily Allah is a witness of all things.”
There is no hardship or difficulty in Islam. The first grade relatives who permanently ply in the house and among the household are on confidential terms with each other.
Sine there has been stated an absolute ordinance in the previous verse about the wives of the Prophet (S) and the absoluteness of this ordinance brings this misconception into being that their very near relatives are also obliged to perform it, and they must communicate with them from behind the curtain, the above holy verse was revealed and explained how they may behave.
In other words, their very near relatives, who are limited in these six groups, are as exceptions. If someone says that there are some other persons who are also among the very near relatives, such as paternal uncles and maternal uncles, but they are not mentioned in these six groups, it must be answered as follows:
In view of the fact that the Qur’an uses eloquence and elegance in their best form, and one of the principles of eloquence is that there should not be any extra word in the speech, so here, it has not mentioned the paternal uncles and maternal ones, because by mentioning the children of brother and the children of sister the allowance of paternal uncles and maternal uncles is made clear, because it is always mutual.
In the same way that a brother’s son is a near relative to the person, the one is also near relative to one’s brother’s child; (and we know that such a woman is counted a paternal aunt. And Also as the sister’s child is a near relative to the one, the one is also near relative to the sister’s child, (and we know that such a woman is a maternal aunt).
When the paternal aunt and the maternal aunt are near relatives (mahram) to her brother’s son and sister’s son, the paternal uncle and the maternal uncle are also near relatives (mahram) unto brother’s daughter and sister’s daughter, (because there is no difference between paternal uncle and aunt, and also maternal uncle and aunt) and this is one of the narrow things of the Qur’an.
By the way, the husband’s father and husband’s son are also counted among the near relatives of the woman, as they are also mentioned in Surah An-Nur, No. 24, verse 31 among the near relatives, too.
Also, the lack of mentioning the foster brothers and foster sisters and the like in the verse is for the sake that they are counted as brother and sister like other very near relatives and there is no need to be mentioned independently.
At the end, the verse changes the tone of speech from absent addressee to present addressee, when it addresses the wives of the Prophet (S) and says:
There is nothing hidden and concealed for Allah, because a curtain and a cover and the like are nothing but some means as barriers against committing sins, and the main root is piety that if it is absent even these means will not be beneficial.
This point also seems necessary to be mentioned here that the Arabic term /nisa’ihinna/ (their own women) refers to the Muslim women entirely, because, as it was mentioned in the commentary of Surah An-Nur, it is not suitable for Muslim women that they appear before non-Muslim women since they may explain the things for their husbands.
اِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلآَئِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَي النَّبِيِّ يَآ أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلّـِمُوا تَسْلِيماً
56. “Verily Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet, O you who believe! Send you also blessings on him, and you salute him with submission.
In the whole six narration books of the Sunnites there are some narrations indicating that once the Prophet (S) was asked:
“How should we send blessings?”
“Say: ‘O’ Allah! Bless Muhammad and his descendents’.”2
It is important to recite Salawat beside the name of the Prophet (S). The Messenger of Allah said:
“Whoever sends blessing on me in his book and his writing(s), he will be rewarded as long as that Salawat exists in that writing.”3
Some Islamic narrations indicate: whoever once sends blessings on Muhammad, Allah will send blessings on him ten times and (also) his ten faults will be concealed.4
After the statements mentioned in the previous holy verses, about the protection of the Prophet’s respect and that he should not be annoyed, the verses under discussion at first speak about the special love of Allah and His angels to the Prophet (S) and then He commands the believers in this regard.
Then, the Holy Qur’an explains the evil and painful sequels for those who annoy the Prophet (S) and finally it mentions the great sin of those who hurt the believers by means of slander.
At first, it says:
The rank of the Prophet (S) is so high that Allah, the Creator of the world, and all His angels, who are divinely ordered to manage this world, send blessings on him (S).
Now that it is so, you may come into agreement with this message of the world of existence, as the verse continues saying:
The Prophet (S) is an excellent being of the world of creation. Now that, by the grace of Allah, he is available for you, be careful not to count him cheap. Behold not to forget his rank before Allah and with the angels of all heavens. He is a human being. He has come out from among you, but he is not an ordinary man, he is one in whose entity a world can be found.
1- When the Arabic word /salat/ and the word /salawat/, which is its plural form, are attributed to Allah, they will be meant: ‘sending Mercy’, and when they are attributed to the angels and the believers they are in the sense of ‘asking for mercy’.
2- The application of the term /yusallun/, which is a verb in the present tensed, is an indication to the continuance of the verb; that is, Allah and His angels continuously send blessings and Mercy on him, a permanent mercy and salutation.
3- Commentators have delivered different attitudes about the difference between the Qur’anic term /sallu/ and /sallimu/ among them that which seems more suitable with the lexical form of these two Arabic terms is that: the term /sallu/ is an imperative form of the verb that means to seek mercy and to send blessings on the Prophet (S), while the term /sallimu/ either means to submit to the commandments of the Prophet of Islam (S) as Surah An-Nisa’, No. 4, verse 65 concerning the believers says:
There is a narration which indicates that once Abubasir said to Imam Sadiq (as) that he had understood the meaning of sending blessing on the Prophet (S) but what was the meaning of submitting to him.
The Imam answered him:
“The purpose of it is being submitted to him in affairs.”5
Or it means to send salutation to the Prophet (S) as it is said:
“Peace be upon you O’ Messenger of Allah!”,
and the like, the content of which is asking safety and health for the Prophet (S) from the presence of Allah.
Abu-Hamzah Thumali narrates from one of the friends of the Prophet (S) by the name of Ka‘b as follows:
“When the above verse was revealed we told him we knew the meaning of ‘peace be upon you’, but how was to send blessing on you?”
The Prophet (S) answered:
“Do say: ‘O’ Allah! Bless Muhammad and his descendents as You blessed Abraham, verily You are Praised, the Glorious. And send blessings on Muhammad and his descendents as you sent blessings on Abraham and the progeny of Abraham; verily you are Praised, the Glorious.”
Both the meaning of salutation and the manner of sending blessing on the Prophet are made clear from this tradition.6
These two meanings are completely different for salutation, but by proper care they can be lead to a single point, and it is a verbal and practical submission to the Prophet (S); since he, who sends blessings on him and asks Allah safety for him, loves him and accepts him as a Divine Prophet necessary to be obeyed.
4- It is noteworthy that in numerous narrations recorded by the Sunnites and narrated from Ahlul Bayt (as) concerning the modality of sending blessings on the Prophet (S), it has explicitly been mentioned that the ‘descendents of’ Muhammad should be added at the time of sending blessings on Muhammad.
It is mentioned in Durr-ul-Manthur from Sahih Bukhari, and Muslim, Abu-Dawud, Tarmathi, Nisa’i, Ibn-i-Majah, Ibn-i-Marduwayh, and some other narrators who have narrated from ka‘b-ibn-‘Ujrah that a man told the Prophet (S):
“We know how to salute to you, but how should be sending blessings on you?”
The Prophet (S) said:
“Do say: ‘O’ Allah! Bless Muhammad and his descendents as You blessed Abraham; verily You are Praised, the Glorious. And send blessings on Muhammad and his descendents as You sent blessings on Abraham and the progeny of Abraham; verily You are Praised, the Glorious.”
Besides the abovementioned tradition, the writer of Durr-ul-Manthur have recorded eighteen more traditions in all of which this fact has been stipulated that /’al-i-Muhammad/ (the progeny of Muhammad) must be mentioned at the time of reciting Salawat.
These traditions have been taken from the famous books of the Sunnites narrated from a group of the Companions, including Ibn-i-‘Abbas, Talhah, Ibn-i-Mas‘ud, ’Abu Sa‘id-Khidri, ’Abu-Hurayrah, ’Abu Mas‘ud-i-’Ansari, Baridah, Ka‘b-ibn-‘Ujrah, and Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as).
Sahih Bukhari, which is one of the most famous sources of traditions of the Sunnites, has delivered numerous narrations in this regard. For more details you can refer to the text of the book itself.7
There are also two narrations recorded in Sahih-i-Muslim in this regard.8
This point is also noteworthy that in some narrations of the Sunnite and many narrations of Shi‘ites even the Arabic word /‘ala/ (upon) has not occurred as a separation between ‘Muhammad’ and ’Al-i-Muhammad’, but the phrase is recited as this: /’allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad-in wa-’al-i-muhammad/. We conclude this discussion with another tradition from the Prophet of Islam (S).
Ibn-i-Hajar cites in ‘Sawa‘iq’ that the Prophet (S) said:
“Do not send an imperfect Salawat on me”
“What is an imperfect Salawat?”
“That you say: ‘O’ Allah! Send blessings on Muhammad’ and you do not continue it. But you do say: ‘O’ Allah! Send blessings on Muhammad and the descendents of Muhammad’.”9
It is for this very narration that a group of the great jurisprudents of the Sunnites consider incumbent the phrase /’al-i-muhammad/ to be added to his name in the prayer.10
5- Is sending Salawat on the Prophet (S) incumbent, or not? And if it is obligatory, where is it? This is a question which the jurisprudents answer.
All the jurisprudents of Ahlul Bayt say that its recitation in the first and second ‘Tashahhud’ is obligatory, and in other than that it is recommended. Besides the traditions narrated from Ahlul Bayt (as) in this regard, there are also a great deal of proper narration recorded in the books of the Sunnites indicating that it is incumbent.
Among them is the famous narration that ‘Ayishah narrates.
“I heard from the Messenger of Allah who said: ‘A prayer without purification and without sending Salawat on me will not be accepted’.”
Among the jurisprudents of the Sunnites, Shafi‘i says it is obligatory to be recited in the second Tashahhud. Ahmad considers it as obligatory in one of two narrations quoted by him; as well as another group of the jurisprudents. But some others, like ’Abu-Hanifah, have not counted it obligatory.11
It is interesting that Shafi‘i has explicitly expressed this very pronouncement in his famous poem, where he says:
“O’ Ahlul Bayt of the Messenger of Allah! The love of you has been enjoined from the side of Allah in the Qur’an. And for the glory of you, this is enough that whoever does not send Salawat on you his prayer is invalid.”
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالأَخِرَةِ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ عَذَاباً مُّهِيناً
57. “Those who annoy Allah and His Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and the Hereafter, and He has prepared for them a humiliating punishment.”
Annoying Allah means doing something against His desire and His consent that, instead of attracting His Mercy, one causes to bring His wrath and curse as a consequence.
And also the purpose of annoying Allah may be that His servants are annoyed, like the act of lending to a believer which is in fact lending to Allah. And the purpose of annoying His Messenger (S) is to reject him, to denigrate him, to treat impolitely with him (S), and hurting His Ahlul Bayt (progeny) (as).
As in a few traditions we recite that the Prophet (as) said:
“Fatimah is a part of me (my body); then whoever makes her angry, he has made me angry.”12
This holy verse in fact states something in the face of the content of the previous verse. It says:
“Those who annoy Allah and His Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and the Hereafter, and He has prepared for them a humiliating punishment.”
Concerning the purpose of the Qur’anic phrase: ‘annoy Allah’, some commentators have said it is disbelief and atheism which causes the wrath of Allah, because annoyance in respect to Allah can not have any concept save causing Wrath.
This is also probable that ‘to annoy Allah’ is the same as to annoy the Prophet (S) and the believers, and the word ‘Allah’ mentioned here is for the importance and emphasis on the subject.
The annoyance of the Prophet has a vast meaning, and it envelops any action that hurts him, including: disbelief, atheism, and opposition with the commandments of Allah, and also undue attributions, accusations, or creating trouble when the Prophet (S) invited them into his own house, which was referred to in verse 53 of this very Surah, saying:
Or the matter which is mentioned in Surah At-Taubah, No. 9, verse 61 where they accused the Prophet (S).
This verse says:
Even from the narrations mentioned about the verse, it is understood that hurting the household of the Prophet (S), specially Ali (as) and Fatimah, the Prophet’s daughter (as), has also been involved in this very verse.
In part five of Sahih-i-Bukhari it is recorded:
“The Messenger of Allah said:
‘Fatimah is a part of my body, then whoever makes her angry, he has made me angry.”13
This very tradition is mentioned in Sahih-i-Muslim in this form:
“Verily Fatimah is a part of me (my body); whatever hurts her, it hurts me.”14
Similar to this meaning has been narrated about Ali (as) from the Prophet (S).15
As it was said before, the word ‘curse’ mentioned in the above holy verse is in the sense of being far from the Mercy of Allah, and this is just the opposite point of Mercy and Salawat mentioned in the previous verse.
In fact, curse and being far of the Mercy from the side of the Lord Whose Mercy is vast and endless, is counted the worst kind of punishment, specially that it is both in the world and Hereafter, (as it is said in the verse under discussion).
Perhaps, it is for this reason that the word ‘curse’ has been mentioned in the above verse before the phrase ‘a humiliating punishment.’
The application of the Qur’anic term /’a‘adda/ (He has prepared) is an evidence upon the emphasis and importance of this punishment.
وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ بِغَيْرِ مَا اكْتَسَبُوا فَقَدِ احْتَمَلوا بُهْتَاناً وَاِثْماً مُّبِيناً
58. “And those who annoy believing men and believing women without that they have earned it, have laid upon themselves a calumny and a manifest sin.”
The act of hurting and annoying others, in any form it may be, is among the sins which bring the Wrath of Allah. The most important hurt is sarcasm and slander. So, after the hurt of both Allah and the Prophet (S) this verse speaks about the hurt of the believers because of the extraordinary importance that it has.
This is so because, by the way of Faith, a believer has a link with Allah and His Prophet, and for this reason he has been mentioned in the same line and in the row of Allah (s.w.t.) and His Messenger (S).
The phrase ‘without that they have earned it’ points to this fact that they have not committed any sin for which they should be annoyed. This makes it clear that if they commit a sin for which they deserve a religious fixed punishment, just retaliation, and discretionary punishment the execution of these things upon them does not matter.
Again, the act of enjoining right and forbidding wrong is not inside the realm of this statement.
Prior to /’iθman mubina/ because of its importance, since calumny is counted one of the greatest hurts, and the pain of the annoyance created by it is even more intensive than the pain of sword and dagger, because the pain of the wound of a dagger is reconcilable, but the wound of the tongue is not reconcilable.
Islamic auspicious narrations also consider an extraordinary importance for this subject.
Imam Sadiq (as) in a tradition says:
“Allah, the Almighty, the Glorious says: ‘Whoever annoys My believing servant, he has announced declaration of war against Me.”16
However, some of the commentators have said that it is understood from the style of the verse that there had been some rumourmongers in Medina who used to accuse unduly the believers, (and even the Prophet (S) was not secure from their tongues).
Such persons are not scanty in the societies of today. Their job is to make plots against the righteous and pious ones, as well as to forge lies and slanders.
The Holy Qur’an has seriously attacked them with the most grievous attacks and has introduced their deeds as calumny and a manifest sin.
The evidence for this statement will also be recited in later verses.
Imam Ali-ibn-Mus-ar-Rida (as) has narrated a tradition from his grand father, the Prophet (S), in which he said:
“The one who calumniates a man believer or a woman believer, or he says something about him/her which does not exist in him/her, Allah, the High, will set him on a heap of Fire on the Day of Hereafter until he tolerates what he has said about him/her.”17
- 1. Surah An-Nur, No. 24, verse 27
- 2. Sahih-i-Bukhari, Tradition No. 5880
- 3. The Commentary of Rauh-ul-Bayan following the verse
- 4. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, the commentary
- 5. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, following the verse under discussion
- 6. Ibid
- 7. Sahih-i-Bukhari, Vol. 6, P. 151
- 8. Sahih-i-Muslim, Vol. 1, P. 305
- 9. Sawa‘iq, P. 144
- 10. ‘Allamah Hilli, has narrated this saying in Tathkirah, from the scholars of Shi‘ah added to Imam Ahmad and some Shafi‘iyyah
- 11. Tathkirah, by ‘Allamah, Vol. 1, P. 126
- 12. Sahih-i-Bukhari, Vol. 5, P. 26; and Sahih-i-Muslim, Vol. 4, P. 1903
- 13. Sahih-i-Bukhari, Vol. 5, P. 26
- 14. Sahih-i-Muslim, Vol. 4, P. 1903
- 15. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, following the verse
- 16. ’Usul-i-Kafi, Vol. 2, P. 35
- 17. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, Vol. 75, P. 194