Chapter Scripts

Surah Al-Munafiqun 63:1-11

In The Name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace.

63:1 When the hypocrites come unto thee, they say, “We bear witness that thou art indeed God’s Apostle!” But God knows that thou art truly His Apostle; and He bears witness that the hypocrites are indeed false [in their declaration of faith].


See note 26 on the identical sentence in 58:16.

63:2 They have made their oaths a cover [for their falseness], and thus they turn others away from the Path of God. Evil indeed is all that they are wont to do.


The particle thumma (“and then”) has often the same function as the simple conjunctive wa (“and”), which in this case may be properly rendered as “whereas”.

63:3 This, because [they profess that] they have attained to faith, whereas [inwardly] they deny the truth – and so, a seal has been set on their hearts so that they can no longer understand [what is true and what false].


See surah 2, note 7.

63:4 Now when thou seest them, their outward appearance may please thee, and when they speak, thou art inclined to lend ear to what they say. [But though they may seem as sure of themselves] as if they were timbers [firmly] propped up, they think that every shout is [directed] against them. They are the [real] enemies [of all faith], so beware of them. [They deserve the imprecation] “May God destroys them!” How perverted are their minds!


Lit., “thou dost give ear to them”: i.e., hypocrisy has usually a plausible outward aspect inasmuch as it is meant to deceive.

63:5 For, when they are told, “Come, the Apostle of God will pray [unto God] that you be forgiven”, they turn their heads away, and thou canst see how they drawback in their false pride.


Regarding my interpolation of the phrase “They deserve the imprecation”, see note 45 on the identical sentence at the end of 9:30.

63:6 As for them it is all the same whether thou dost pray that they be forgiven or dost not pray for them, God will nor forgive them – for, Behold, God does not bestow His guidance upon such iniquitous folk.


See surah 5. note 90.

63:7 It is they who say [to their compatriots], “Do not spend anything on those who are with God’s Apostle so that they [may be forced to] leave.” However, unto God belong the treasures of the heavens and the earth: but this truth the hypocrites cannot grasp.


Cf 9:80 and the corresponding note 111.

63:8 [And] they say “Indeed, when we return to the City [we] the ones most worthy of honor will surely drive out there from those most contemptible ones!” However, all honor belongs to God, and [thus] to His Apostle and those who believe [in God] but of this the hypocrites are not aware.


i.e., to the people of Medina in general, and to the ansar in particular (see next note).

63:9 O You who have attained to faith! Let not your worldly goods or your children make you oblivious of the remembrance of God, for if any behave thus – it is they, they who are the losers!


The leader of the hypocrites of Medina, Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, never forgave the Prophet for having overshadowed him who previously had been unquestioningly recognized by the people of Medina as their most outstanding leader. Since the Prophet’s political strength depended mainly on the Meccan Muslims who followed him in his hijrah to Medina, Ibn Ubayy tried to persuade his compatriots – many of whom were supporting the newcomers with all the means at their disposal – to withdraw this material support and thereby force the muhajirun, most of whom were very poor, to leave Medina: a stratagem which, if successful would have greatly weakened the Prophet’s position. This suggestion of the leader of the hypocrites was, of course, rejected by the ansar.

63:10 And spend on others out of what We have provided for you as sustenance, ere there come a time when death approaches any of you, and he then says, “O my Sustainer! If only Thou wouldst grant me a delay for a short while so that I could give in charity and be among the righteous!”


i.e., Medina, the “City of the Prophet” (Madinat an-Nabi), as the town previously called Yathrib began to be known after the hijrah. Since – as is established through several ahadith – the subsequent saying was uttered by Abd Allah ibn Ubayy during the campaign against the tribe of Banu Mustaliq in 5 H., it is obvious that verses 7 and 8 were revealed at the same date or a little later.

63:11 But never does God grant a delay to a human being when his term has come, and God is fully aware of all that you do.


It is in these two Qur’anic statements – “unto God belong the treasures…”, etc., and “all honor belongs to God …”, etc. – that the real, lasting purport of the above historical allusions is to be found.


The divine scriptures are God’s beacons to the world. Surely God offered His trust to the heavens and the earth, and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man undertook it.
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