REFLECTIONS ON THE CHAPTER OF QURAYSH [106]

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REFLECTIONS ON THE CHAPTER OF QURAYSH [106]


In the Name of God, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful. 


لِإِيلَافِ قُرَيْشٍ

“For stabilizing and unifying the Quraish,” [106:1]


إِيلَافِهِمْ رِحْلَةَ الشِّتَاء وَالصَّيْفِ

“(We maintain for them) their trading caravans by winter and summer,” [106:2]


فَلْيَعْبُدُوا رَبَّ هَذَا الْبَيْتِ

“So let them worship the Lord of this House (Ka’ba),” [106:3]


الَّذِي أَطْعَمَهُم مِّن جُوعٍ وَآمَنَهُم مِّنْ خَوْفٍ

“Who fed them against hunger and secured them from fear.” [106:4]


Surah Quraish is the 29th Surah in the chronological order of the Holy Qur’an and the 106th Surah in the traditional order of the Holy Qur’an.

Quraysh is a Makkan sūrah that takes its name from the mention of the Prophet’s tribe in the first line. According to several commentators, Ubayy ibn Kaʿb’s manuscript of the Quran had al-Fīl and Quraysh together as one sūrah. Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī (d. 852/1448) regards Ubayy ibn Kaʿb’s version as evidence that this is the proper reading (Fatḥ al-Bāriʾ).

According to al-Zamakhsharī and al-Rāzī, ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb is said to have recited the two sūrahs as one when leading prayer.[1]

Ibn Kathīr and others argue that, although the two are connected in meaning, they are to be considered separate sūrahs. The first two verses of this sūrah remind the Quraysh of the blessing they have received in God’s having preserved them and provided them with means for prosperity. Vv. 3–4 provide the central theme, that one should worship God, since all prosperity and protection come from Him.

 

This Meccan Surah is, indeed, the supplement to the preceding one; Surah Fil. The verses of the Surah are a clear evidence for this idea. They describe the blessings the Quraish tribe were given to enjoy; might they be thankful to Him and worship Him, the Lord of the Sacred House (Ka’ba) from which they obtained all their honour and high social status.

As was said at the beginning of Surah Duha, which is considered one Surah with Surah Inshirah, the same as Surah Fil is with Surah Quraish, the unity and similarity of the matters, in both of them (Fil and Quraish), are so much so that they can be taken as an evidence for the unity of Surah Duha and Surah Inshirah.

That is why both of them must be recited together, one set or the other in one ‘rak’at’ of a prayer, as a complete Surah if one chooses them in his obligatory prayers.

For more explanation on this subject, books of jurisprudence (chapters on prayers and recitation) are at your disposal.


The Virtue of Studying Surah Quraish


On the virtue of reciting the Surah, a tradition is adequate to cite from the holy Prophet (S) who has been narrated to have said:

“He who recites it is rewarded ten ‘good deeds’ as many as the number of those who perform the ritual circumambulation of the Ka’ba, and spiritual retreat in the Sacred Mosque”. [2]


Assuredly such a virtue is of a person who humbly worships God, Who is the Lord of Ka’ba, and protects the nobility of the House and hearkens to the message of the shrine with the ear of his soul and practices it.


  1. “For stabilizing and unifying the Quraish,”
  2. “(We maintain for them) their trading caravans by winter and summer,”
  3. “So let them worship the Lord of this House (Ka’ba),”
  4. “Who fed them against hunger and secured them from fear.”

 In the previous Surah (Fil) the story of the destruction of the possessors of the elephant and Abrahah’s army, who came to Mecca intending to destroy the Ka’ba and obliterate that Sacred House, was stated. In the first verse of this Surah which is, in fact, the supplement to it, followed to the idea that ‘We destroyed the companions of the elephant and made them like straw eaten up’

 

before the advent of the Prophet of Islam (S), it says: “For stabilizing and unifying the Quraish”

 

The term “ilaf” (إِيلَافِ) is an infinitive which means ‘uniting together‘, and the term “ulfat” (ألفة) means ‘a gathering with intimacy and union’.

Some have construed “ilaf” (إِيلَافِ) , deriving from another root, to mean ‘agreement, compact’ which is not appropriate with the content of the Surah. So, the purpose of using it is for the familiarity and union amongst the Quraish tribe who, together with all the citizens of Mecca, had settled there because of the honour, importance and security of the Holy Ka’ba for which, every year, many people from Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula came to that city for pilgrimage, also taking profit from some commercial and literacy exchanges.

All of them were obtained under the existence of that peculiar security. If the army of Abrahah, and the like, could have disturbed the security or were successful in destroying the Ka’ba, no other people would become familiar with the region.


“(We maintain for them) their trading caravans by winter and summer.” The purpose of the unifying and familiarity of the Quraish may be due to their love for their sacred land. The political and economical importance of the Holy Shrine (Ka’ba), for the Quraish, then secure from the invasions of the hostile tribes in the Arabian Peninsula thus made them monopolize the trade of the area from the North to the South and vice-versa.

In the summer, they used to go to Syria which had moderate weather and in winter to Yemen where they enjoyed a warm climate, for the purposes of trade, and it was by God’s Grace that they travelled safe and undisturbed on their journeys, otherwise, the routes were not safe and none could travel without being plundered and suffering death and destruction or suffering heavy losses. (Of course, for the same love, they did not leave Mecca to settle in these places).

It was the position of the Quraish with regard to their connection with their services to the Holy Ka’ba that they received, by the Will of God, the security and honour from the people. He planned to keep them safe, by His Grace, for the advent of Islam and the Holy Prophet (S) to emerge from that tribe and in that sacred land.

But, the same tribe, the Quraish, whose protection, safety and honour was due to the Holy Ka’ba being in their city and they being its guardians, later became the prime enemies of Islam.

At the beginning, the main cause of their opposition, to the advent of Islam, was the fear of losing their supremacy in the political and economical fields; and later, vices in different forms were committed by the Umayyad and Abbasids caliphs who were of the Quraish tribe, for other worldly motives. They were so hideous that history will never forget them, although all of whatever they had, were from Islam; the command of God.


“So let them worship the Lord of this House (Ka’ba)”. “Who fed them against hunger and secured them from fear”.

 

When the Quraish had been granted such great blessings; security in trade for gaining profit and in life for being honoured, they should have gratefully worshipped the Lord of the Ka’ba, Who, inspite of their land being only a desert and thus unproductive, provides them with every kind of good food and the other provisions of life, through merchandise and the pilgrimage, which is brought to their very door. And Allah had protected them from the most formidable enemy, Abrahah.

This was an open admonition to the Quraish who, at the start of the ministry of the Holy Prophet (S), had been the most persistent enemies of the apostle of God and the message of the Unity of the Lord which he preached. It was as well as a warning inviting their attention to the Mighty power of God Who could also destroy them and humiliate them as He did with their mighty foe, Abrahah.

16:112–13: God sets forth a parable: a town secure and at peace, its provision coming unto it abundantly from every side. Yet, it was ungrateful for the blessings of God; so God let it taste the garment of hunger and fear for that which they had wrought. A messenger from among themselves had surely come unto them, but they denied him. And so the punishment seized them while they were wrongdoers (see also Abraham’s prayer in 2:126).


Reflection #2


Whatever you are as a human being, believer or not, when it comes to unity and familial affection that will lean to goodness, God will without a doubt encourage people  to this unity.

“Alafah” (أَلَّفَ) In Arabic has a lot of meanings such as : join – put together, fasten, unite; connect by a line, etc; come together; be united, connected, to value highly or treat something as being important, or valuable. Compose (of elements)to make up;form or (of words,ideas,musical notes,etc) put together in lit. acquainted with ; be accustomed to ; be familiar with ; be habituated to ; get used to ; take to. associate with ; be intimate with ; be on intimate terms with ; keep company with ; mix with etc

 

In other words, We can clearly see that God wanted a unity within a people (Quraysh in this case), which protected the tribe of Quraysh from external and internal difficulties that could harm the land of sanctity and their tribe from external attacks.

We can also see that social problems existed in Arabia, between, for example, Aws and the Khazraj clans, and this was very normal. God used the same connotation when it came to these two tribes and God united their hearts to that which led to goodness, affection and compassion. This is also a fundamental teaching in Islam, that a human being always have to strive towards the unity of goodness.


وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا ۚ وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

 

 

And adhere firmly to the Rope (Qur’an and Ahlulbayt) of God, altogether, and do not be disunited; and remember the favor of God upon you as you were enemies, then He brought your hearts together, (Literally: joined “between”) so you have become brethren by His favor. And you were upon the brink of the pit of the Fire, so He rescued you from it. Thus God makes evident His signs to you, that you may be guided.

 

[ Surah Al-’Imran : 103 ]


The place also constitutes an importance of spirituality. Mecca is the capital of monotheism in the world today, and the city is the holiest place for the monotheists.

Only the love of Mecca in the heart of the Arabs, and especially of the Qurayshites, sparked the sparks of unity that could have led the Qurayshites to believe in the one and true God.

God showed this great tribe of Quraysh (Quraysh comes from the word Qarsh “قرش ” and means Shark. However, Quraysh means “The Little Shark”. Quraysh was powerful in social, cultural and economic aspects that gave them status, respect and power in Arabia. ) that he can do anything for the Arabs and unite their hearts if they are also willing to show God that they want to embark the path of goodness and light, which the majority of them did not do in the future at that time.

Quraysh was the most powerful and prominent tribe in all of Arabia in the Prophet’s (S) era. The Quraysh were the keepers of the Ka`bah and therefore one of the wealthiest and most powerful tribes.

The Prophet (S) was from among the Quraysh. When he started to preach the True religion of God ; the Quraysh violently persecuted him and his followers. They were badly defeated at the battle of Badr by the Muslims and their days of jahiliyyah were finally ended when the Muslims liberated Makkah and destroyed all the idols in the Ka`bah in the year 630 CE. (Refer to Surah An-Nasr :  https://amirzabidi.com/2019/02/21/reflections-on-the-chapter-of-victory/)

Imagine that God allowed this union between the Qurayshites to be protected from external and internal dangers that could have harmed the future atmosphere of unity, but God wanted their hearts to lean towards goodness and not towards evilness which would eventually lead to corruption. blood and misery.

Year-round, from summer to winter and from winter to summer, when the starvation was active during the winter and the highway thieves during the summer, God protected this tribe that was the guardians of the holiest place on earth against all dangers during the seasons. This was a great favor from God to these Arabs who barely appreciated God’s gifts and graces which led to an economic prosperity and a tranquil security of peace.

God just wanted the gratitude of their hearts, so that the arrogance would be released from their hearts.

So God called them to a worship of humility and thankfulness, to remind them that the Lord of this House (The Ka’ba) is the true Lord who has bestowed them everything and protected them from starvation and internal / external dangers.


Reflections #3 : The 12 Caliphs from Quraysh


رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏”‏ لاَ يَزَالُ الإِسْلاَمُ عَزِيزًا إِلَى اثْنَىْ عَشَرَ خَلِيفَةً ‏”  ثُمَّ قَالَ كَلِمَةً لَمْ أَفْهَمْهَا فَقُلْتُ لأَبِي مَا قَالَ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ كُلُّهُمْ مِنْ قُرَيْشٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: Islam will continue to be triumphant until there have been twelve Caliphs. Then the Prophet (ﷺ) said something which I could not understand. I asked my father: What did he say? He said: He has said that all of them (twelve Caliphs) will be from the Quraish. [A]


[A]


[A] Sahih Muslim 1821 d, Book 33, Hadith 8, English reference : Book 20, Hadith 4480, https://sunnah.com/muslim/33/8

Sahih Muslim 1821 e, Book 33, Hadith 9, English reference : Book 20, Hadith 4481, https://sunnah.com/muslim/33/9

Sahih Muslim 1821 a, Book 33, Hadith 5, Book 20, Hadith 4477, English reference : https://sunnah.com/muslim/33/5

Sunan Abi Dawud 4279, Book 38, Hadith 1, English reference : Book 37, Hadith 4266, https://sunnah.com/abudawud/38/1

Sahih Muslim 1822 a, Book 33, Hadith 11, English reference : Book 20, Hadith 4483, https://sunnah.com/muslim/33/11

Sunan Abi Dawud 4279, Book 38, Hadith 1, English reference : Book 37, Hadith 4266, https://sunnah.com/abudawud/38/1


Supplication


O Lord! Give us the success of worshipping You, being grateful for the blessings, and guarding this Great House.

O Lord! Increase the glory and respect of this important Islamic Center every day, and set it as a link for the connection between the Muslims in the world.

O Lord! Cut off the hands of all wicked enemies from it and banish away all those who abuse this great center.


| Amir Zabidi and Imam Ali center <3 


Further readings


  1. Majma’ Al-Bayan By Shaykh At-Tabrasi
  2. Tafsir Namuneh By Ayatollah Naser Makarem As-Shirazi
  3. Tafsir Al-Mizan By At-Tabatabaei
  4. Tafsir Nur Ath-Thaqalayn By Al-Huwayzi
  5. Tafsir As-Safi By Al-Kashaani
  6. Tafsir At-Tibyan By Shaykh At-Tusi 
  7. Tafsir Jami’ Al-Jawami’ By Shaykh At-Tabrasi 
  8. Tafsir Al-Qummi by Shaykh Ali Ibrahim Al-Qummi
  9. Tafsir As-Shibr 
  10. Tafsir Min Wahy Al-Qur’an By Sayyed Muhammed Hussain Fadlallah 
  11. Tafsir Al-Mubin by Sayyed Muhammed Jawad Al-Mughniyah
  12. Tafsir Furat Al-Kufi 
  13. The Study Qur’an by Hossein An-Nasr
  14. Tafsir Al-Kabir by Fakhr Ad-Din Ar-Razi 
  15. Tafsir Al-Kashaaf By Zamakshari

References 


[1] Tafsir Al-Kabir By Al-Razi and Tafsir Al-Kashaaf by Zamakhshari, their comments on Surah Quraysh

[2] Majma-al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 543, and Atyab-ul-Bayan, vol. 14, p. 235.

[A] Sahih Muslim 1821 d, Book 33, Hadith 8, English reference : Book 20, Hadith 4480, https://sunnah.com/muslim/33/8

Sahih Muslim 1821 e, Book 33, Hadith 9, English reference : Book 20, Hadith 4481, https://sunnah.com/muslim/33/9

Sahih Muslim 1821 a, Book 33, Hadith 5, Book 20, Hadith 4477, English reference : https://sunnah.com/muslim/33/5

Sunan Abi Dawud 4279, Book 38, Hadith 1, English reference : Book 37, Hadith 4266, https://sunnah.com/abudawud/38/1

Sahih Muslim 1822 a, Book 33, Hadith 11, English reference : Book 20, Hadith 4483, https://sunnah.com/muslim/33/11

Sunan Abi Dawud 4279, Book 38, Hadith 1, English reference : Book 37, Hadith 4266, https://sunnah.com/abudawud/38/1


|REFLECTIONS ON THE CHAPTER OF QURAYSH [106]

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