Ibn Kathir writes in the beginning of Surah al-Mumtahinah’s tafseer:
The story of Hatib bin Abi Balta`ah is the reason behind revealing the beginning of this honorable Surah. Hatib was among the Early Emigrants and participated in the battle of Badr. Hatib had children and wealth in Makkah, but he was not from the tribe of Quraysh. Rather, he was an ally of `Uthman. When the Messenger of Allah decided to conquer Makkah, after its people broke the peace treaty between them, he ordered the Muslims to mobilize their forces to attack Makkah, and then said,
«اللْهُمَّ عَمِّ عَلَيْهِمْ خَبَرَنَا»
(O Allah! Keep our news concealed from them.) Hatib wrote a letter and sent it to the people of Makkah, with a woman from the tribe of Quraysh, informing them of the Messenger’s intent to attack them. He wanted them to be indebted to him ﴿so that they would grant safety to his family in Makkah﴾. Allah the Exalted conveyed this matter to His Messenger , because He accepted the Prophet’s invocation ﴿to Him to conceal the news of the attack﴾. The Prophet sent someone after the woman and retrieved the letter. This story is collected in the Two Sahihs.
And then he goes on to mention this narration..
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 251 :
Narrated by ‘Ubaidullah bin Abi Rafi
I heard ‘Ali (radiallaahu `anhu) saying, “Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) sent me, Az-Zubair and Al-Miqdad (radiallaahu `anhumaa) somewhere saying, ‘Proceed till you reach Rawdat Khakh. There you will find a lady with a letter. Take the letter from her.’ ” So, we set out and our horses ran at full pace till we got at Ar-Rawda where we found the lady and said (to her). “Take out the letter.” She replied, “I have no letter with me.” We said, “Either you take out the letter or else we will take off your clothes.” So, she took it out of her braid. We brought the letter to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and it contained a statement from Hatib bin Abi Balta’ah (radiallaahu `anhu) to some of the Meccan pagans informing them of some of the intentions of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). Then Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “O Hatib! What is this?” Hatib (radiallaahu `anhu) replied, “O Allah’s Apostle! Don’t hasten to give your judgment about me. I was a man closely connected with the Quraish, but I did not belong to this tribe, while the other emigrants with you, had their relatives in Mecca who would protect their dependents and property . So, I wanted to recompense for my lacking blood relation to them by doing them a favor so that they might protect my dependents. I did this neither because of disbelief not apostasy nor out of preferring Kufr (disbelief) to Islam.” Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Hatib has told you the truth.” Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) said, O Allah’s Apostle! Allow me to chop off the head of this hypocrite.” Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Hatib participated in the battle of Badr, and who knows, perhaps Allah has already looked at the Badr warriors and said, ‘Do whatever you like, for I have forgiven you.”
Surah al-Mumtahinah’s first ayah was revealed about Hatib (radiallaahu `anhu):
﴿يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ عَدُوِّى وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَآءَ﴾
“O you who believe! Take not my enemies and your enemies as protecting friends.” [60:1]
The ayah goes on to say: “while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth”. It refers to the idolators and the disbelievers who are combatants against Allah, His Messenger and the believers. It is they whom Allah has decided should be our enemies and should be fought. Allah has forbidden the believers to take them as friends, supporters or companions. [Ibn Kathir]
I have one question. If the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) can forgive a man for treason (more or less) based on his past record, why can’t we forgive people for much less complicated mistakes that they make? [Partly referring to the recent NAK incident and partly a general statement..]
Further reading: ruling on revealing secrets.
Ahadith 2143 – 2144 (below) are repeats. See hyper-linked text for related posts.
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 646:
Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “A man felt very thirsty while he was on the way, there he came across a well. He went down the well, quenched his thirst and came out. Meanwhile he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. He said to himself, “This dog is suffering from thirst as I did.” So, he went down the well again and filled his shoe with water and watered it. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him. The people said, “O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?” He replied: “Yes, there is a reward for serving any animate (living being).” (See Hadith No. 551)
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 647:
Narrated Usama bin Zaid (radiallaahu `anhu):
Once the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) stood at the top of one of the castles (or higher buildings) of Medina and said, “Do you see what I see? No doubt I am seeing the spots of afflictions amongst your houses as numerous as the spots where rain-drops fall (during a heavy rain). (See Hadith No. 102)
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 648:
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu):
I had been eager to ask ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) about the two ladies from among the wives of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) regarding whom Allah said (in the Qur’an saying): “If you two (wives of the Prophet, namely Aisha and Hafsa) turn in repentance to Allah your hearts are indeed so inclined (to oppose what the Prophet likes)” (66.4), till I performed the Hajj along with ‘Umar (and on our way back from Hajj) he went aside (to answer the call of nature) and I also went aside along with him carrying a tumbler of water. When he had answered the call of nature and returned. I poured water on his hands from the tumbler and he performed ablution. I said, “O Chief of the believers! ‘ Who were the two ladies from among the wives of the Prophet to whom Allah said: ‘If you two return in repentance’ (66.4)? He said, “I am astonished at your question, O Ibn ‘Abbas. They were Aisha and Hafsa (radiallaahu `anhumaa).”
Then ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) went on relating the narration and said. “I and an Ansari neighbor of mine from Bani Umaiya bin Zaid who used to live in ‘Awali Al-Medina, used to visit the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) in turns. He used to go one day, and I another day. When I went I would bring him the news of what had happened that day regarding the instructions and orders and when he went, he used to do the same for me. We, the people of Quraish, used to have authority over women, but when we came to live with the Ansar, we noticed that the Ansari women had the upper hand over their men, so our women started acquiring the habits of the Ansari women. Once I shouted at my wife and she paid me back in my coin and I disliked that she should answer me back. She said, ‘Why do you take it ill that I retort upon you? By Allah, the wives of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) retort upon him, and some of them may not speak with him for the whole day till night.’ What she said scared me and I said to her, ‘Whoever amongst them does so, will be a great loser.’ Then I dressed myself and went to Hafsa and asked her, ‘Does any of you keep Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) angry all the day long till night?’ She replied in the affirmative. I said, ‘She is a ruined losing person (and will never have success)! Doesn’t she fear that Allah may get angry for the anger of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and thus she will be ruined? Don’t ask Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) too many things, and don’t retort upon him in any case, and don’t desert him. Demand from me whatever you like, and don’t be tempted to imitate your neighbor (i.e. ‘Aisha) in her behavior towards the Prophet), for she (i.e. Aisha) is more beautiful than you, and more beloved to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam).
In those days it was rumored that Ghassan, (a tribe living in Sham) was getting prepared their horses to invade us. My companion went (to the Prophet on the day of his turn, went and returned to us at night and knocked at my door violently, asking whether I was sleeping. I was scared (by the hard knocking) and came out to him. He said that a great thing had happened. I asked him: What is it? Have Ghassan come? He replied that it was worse and more serious than that, and added that Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) had divorced all his wives. I said, Hafsa is a ruined loser! I expected that would happen some day.’ So I dressed myself and offered the Fajr prayer with the Prophet. Then the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) entered an upper room and stayed there alone. I went to Hafsa and found her weeping. I asked her, ‘Why are you weeping? Didn’t I warn you? Have Allah’s Apostle divorced you all?’ She replied, ‘I don’t know. He is there in the upper room.’ I then went out and came to the pulpit and found a group of people around it and some of them were weeping. Then I sat with them for some time, but could not endure the situation. So I went to the upper room where the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was and requested to a black slave of his: “Will you get the permission of (Allah’s Apostle) for Umar (to enter)? The slave went in, talked to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) about it and came out saying, ‘I mentioned you to him but he did not reply.’ So, I went and sat with the people who were sitting by the pulpit, but I could not bear the situation, so I went to the slave again and said: “Will you get he permission for Umar? He went in and brought the same reply as before. When I was leaving, behold, the slave called me saying, “Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) has granted you permission.” So, I entered upon the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and saw him lying on a mat without bedding on it, and the mat had left its mark on the body of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), and he was leaning on a leather pillow stuffed with palm fires. I greeted him and while still standing, I said: “Have you divorced your wives?’ He raised his eyes to me and replied in the negative. And then while still standing, I said chatting: “Will you heed what I say, ‘O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)! We, the people of Quraish used to have the upper hand over our women (wives), and when we came to the people whose women had the upper hand over them…”
‘Umar told the whole story (about his wife). “On that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) smiled.” ‘Umar further said, “I then said, ‘I went to Hafsa and said to her: Do not be tempted to imitate your companion (‘Aisha) for she is more beautiful than you and more beloved to the Prophet.’ The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) smiled again. When I saw him smiling, I sat down and cast a glance at the room, and by Allah, I couldn’t see anything of importance but three hides. I said (to Allah’s Apostle) “Invoke Allah to make your followers prosperous for the Persians and the Byzantines have been made prosperous and given worldly luxuries, though they do not worship Allah?’ The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was leaning then (and on hearing my speech he sat straight) and said, ‘O Ibn Al-Khatttab! Do you have any doubt (that the Hereafter is better than this world)? These people have been given rewards of their good deeds in this world only.’ I asked the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). ‘Please ask Allah’s forgiveness for me. The Prophet did not go to his wives because of the secret which Hafsa had disclosed to ‘Aisha, and he said that he would not go to his wives for one month as he was angry with them when Allah admonished him (for his oath that he would not approach Maria). When twenty-nine days had passed, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) went to Aisha first of all. She said to him, ‘You took an oath that you would not come to us for one month, and today only twenty-nine days have passed, as I have been counting them day by day.’ The Prophet said, ‘The month is also of twenty-nine days.’ That month consisted of twenty-nine days. ‘Aisha said, ‘When the Divine revelation of Choice was revealed, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) started with me, saying to me, ‘I am telling you something, but you needn’t hurry to give the reply till you can consult your parents.” ‘Aisha knew that her parents would not advise her to part with the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said that Allah had said:–
‘O Prophet! Say to your wives; if you desire the life of this world and its glitter, … then come! I will make a provision for you and set you free in a handsome manner. But if you seek Allah and His Apostle, and the home of the Hereafter, then verily, Allah has prepared for the good-doers amongst you a great reward.’ (33.28) ‘Aisha said, ‘Am I to consult my parents about this? I indeed prefer Allah, His Apostle, and the home of the Hereafter.’ After that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) gave the choice to his other wives and they also gave the same reply as ‘Aisha did.”
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 649:
Narrated Anas (radiallaahu `anhu):
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) took an oath that he would not go to his wives for one month as his foot had been sprained. He stayed in an upper room when ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) went to him and said, “Have you divorced your wives?” He said, “No, but I have taken an oath that I would not go to them for one month.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) stayed there for twenty-nine days, and then came down and went to his wives.
Read about the background of the story – how it all started – in the tafsir of the ayah “If you two (wives of the Prophet, namely Aisha and Hafsa) turn in repentance to Allah your hearts are indeed so inclined (to oppose what the Prophet likes)” (66.4) here.
- Don’t ask of your husband what he cannot afford.
- Speak to him softly. Do not retort back.
- What goes on between husband and wife, should stay between them.
- Arguments and fights are common among spouses. What’s important is to forgive and let go.
- Fulfill your oaths.
- Choose Hereafter over this world. Always.
- Divorce is not a toy. Stop playing with it.
- Consulting parents about major decisions is a good thing, but when it comes to obvious choices such as ‘dunya or aakhirah?’, hasten to make the right decision.
- Don’t spread rumors.
Share what you learnt from this in the comments below. It’s an amazing story with lots of life lessons.
We all have secrets. Stuff we do but are ashamed of. We only indulge when we’re alone, only to be filled with guilt and regret later.
While this isn’t such a good thing, there’s a positive to it. If you do have a ‘secret sin’, you’re advised to keep it secret. Do NOT come out of the closet with it, please. It’s not about being accepted in the society despite your negatives, it’s about salvation in the Hereafter.
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 621:
Narrated Safwan bin Muhriz Almazini:
While I was walking with Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) holding his hand, a man came in front of us and asked, “What have you heard from Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) about An-Najwa?” Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “I heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, ‘Allah will bring a believer near Him and shelter him with His Screen and ask him: Did you commit such-and-such sins? He will say: Yes, my Lord. Allah will keep on asking him till he will confess all his sins and will think that he is ruined. Allah will say: ‘I did screen your sins in the world and I forgive them for you today’, and then he will be given the book of his good deeds. Regarding infidels and hypocrites (their evil acts will be exposed publicly) and the witnesses will say: These are the people who lied against their Lord. Behold! The Curse of Allah is upon the wrongdoers.” (11.18)
This Hadeeth – as Ibn Hajar may Allaah have mercy upon him said –means that Allaah will conceal the sins of the believers on the Day of Judgment, the evidence is that He made an exception in the rule of concealing one’s sins the disbelievers, as well as the hypocrites in another narration. This means that the sins of the non-Muslims and the hypocrites will be exposed publicly on the Day of Judgment.
It is also reported in some Ahaadeeth that some sins will be shown as a way of exposing its doer even if he is a Muslim because of it being a major sin, among which is treachery and deception. Ibn ‘Umar may Allaah be pleased with him narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “On the Day of Judgment, a banner will be raised for a treacherous person, and it will be said: “This is the treachery of so and so.”, (i.e. this will be the sign of his treachery). [Sahih Bukhari: 6177]
Among this also is what is reported in regard to the one who steals people’s money or takes their money unjustly as Allaah promised to expose him publicly on the Day of Judgment, and this is by making him on the Day of Judgment carrying whatever he had stolen.” The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “I would know one amongst you who meets Allaah carrying a camel that grunts, a cow that moos and a sheep that bleats.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
Hadith no. 2036 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.
Volume 3, Book 39, Number 539 :
Narrated by Sahl bin Sad (radiallaahu `anhu)
We used to be very happy on Friday as an old lady used to cut some roots of the Silq, which we used to plant on the banks of our small water streams, and cook them in a pot of her’s, adding to them, some grains of barley. (Ya’qub, the sub-narrator said, “I think the narrator mentioned that the food did not contain fat or melted fat (taken from meat).”) When we offered the Friday prayer we would go to her and she would serve us with the dish. So, we used to be happy on Fridays because of that. We used not to take our meals or the midday nap except after the Jumua prayer (i.e. Friday prayer) .
Don’t we all wonder how Abu Hurairah stands at the top of the list of Hadith transmitters. This is because of the sheer bulk of his narrations (5,375). He was regarded by the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) himself as the most eager, among all Muslims, to acquire the knowledge of Hadith. Wanna know how he did it? Read on!
Volume 3, Book 39, Number 540 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The people say that Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu) narrates too many narrations. In fact Allah knows whether I say the truth or not. They also ask, “Why do the emigrants and the Ansar not narrate as he does?” In fact, my emigrant brethren were busy trading in the markets, and my Ansar brethren were busy with their properties. I was a poor man keeping the company of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and was satisfied with what filled my stomach. So, I used to be present while they (i.e. the emigrants and the Ansar) were absent, and I used to remember while they forgot (the Hadith). One day the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Whoever spreads his sheet till I finish this statement of mine and then gathers it on his chest, will never forget anything of my statement.” So, I spread my covering sheet which was the only garment I had, till the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) finished his statement and then I gathered it over my chest. By Him Who had sent him (i.e. Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)) with the truth, since then I did not forget even a single word of that statement of his, until this day of mine. By Allah, but for two verses in Allah’s Book, I would never have related any narration (from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)). (These two verses are): “Verily! Those who conceal the clear signs and the guidance which we have sent down …..(up to) the Merciful.’ (2.159-160)
The two complete verses with translation:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَا أَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالْهُدَىٰ مِن بَعْدِ مَا بَيَّنَّاهُ لِلنَّاسِ فِي الْكِتَابِ ۙ أُولَٰئِكَ يَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّاعِنُونَ
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَأَصْلَحُوا وَبَيَّنُوا فَأُولَٰئِكَ أَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ وَأَنَا التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ
Indeed, those who conceal what We sent down of clear proofs and guidance after We made it clear for the people in the Scripture – those are cursed by Allah and cursed by those who curse, except for those who repent and correct themselves and make evident [what they concealed]. Those – I will accept their repentance, and I am the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. [2:159-160]
So he devoted his life towards acquiring knowledge. Having spent three years with the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), he really did make the best of it. Whatever we have of the Hadith collections, much of it we owe to him and his excellent memory. :)
Book of Agriculture [Kitaab-ul-Muzara`ah] ends here.
Narrated Humran (the slave of ‘Uthman):
I saw ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan asking for a tumbler of water (and when it was brought) he poured water over his hands and washed them thrice and then put his right hand in the water container and rinsed his mouth, washed his nose by putting water in it and then blowing it out. then he washed his face and forearrlns up to the elbows thrice, passed his wet hands over his head and washed his feet up to the ankles thrice. Then he said, “Allah’s Apostle said ‘If anyone performs ablution like that of mine and offers a two-rak’at prayer during which he does not think of anything else (not related to the present prayer) then his past sins will be forgiven.’ ” After performing the ablution ‘Uthman said, “I am going to tell you a Hadith which I would not have told you, had I not been compelled by a certain Holy Verse (the sub narrator ‘Urwa said: This verse is: “Verily, those who conceal the clear signs and the guidance which we have sent down…)” (2:159). I heard the Prophet saying, ‘If a man performs ablution perfectly and then offers the compulsory congregational prayer, Allah will forgive his sins committed between that (prayer) and the (next) prayer till he offers it.
What stops you, then? :)