Muhammad is the Apostle of God; and his comrades are vehement against the infidels, but full of tenderness among themselves. Thou mayst see them bowing down, prostrating themselves, imploring favours from God, and His acceptance. Their tokens10 are on their faces, the marks of their prostrations. This is their picture in the Law, and their picture in the Evangel:11 they are as the seed which putteth forth its stalk; then strengtheneth it, and it groweth stout, and riseth upon its stem,12 rejoicing the husbandman-that the infidels may be wrathful at them. To such of them as believe and do the things that are right, hath God promised forgiveness and a noble recompense.
1 This Sura was probably revealed shortly after the peace of Hudaibiya. Ann. Hej. 6. Some commentators, however, understand the Victory of the taking of Mecca two years-later the preterite being used in the prophetic style for the future-others of the taking of Chaibar, or Muta (?), a town of the Roman empire.
2 Lit. were left behind.
3 On the return to Medina. See Weil’s Leben M. p. 173 (n.).
4 The law relative to booty, viz. that those who were not at Hudaibiya should have no share in the booty to be obtained from the Jews at Chaibar. Muhammad marched against them in Hej. 7.
5 When the rumour reached Muhammad at Hudaibiya that Othman Ibn Affan, whom he had sent to inform the Meccans that he was merely coming to visit their temple, and with peaceable intentions, had been slain by them.
6 At Chaibar.
7 The valley of Mecca may mean Hudaibiya. But the commentators explain this verse of different events. It probably, however, refers to the 50 (according to Djalalein 80) prisoners whom Muhammad dismissed freely at Hudaibiya.
8 Had the believers been separate from the infidels.
9 This dream Muhammad had at Medina, before he set out for al Hudaibiya. His followers expected its fulfilment within the year, but when the truce frustrated their hopes, this verse was revealed to pacify them.
10 Dust from the pavement. The Muhammadans who say their prayers on carpets often place little bricks before them which they touch in prostration with their forehead.
11 Comp. Mark iv. 28.
12 Lit. legs.
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Why,1 O Prophet! dost thou hold that to be forbidden which God hath made lawful to thee, from a desire to please thy wives, since God is Lenient, Merciful?
God hath allowed you release from your oaths; and God is your master: and He is the Knowing, Wise.
When the prophet told a recent occurrence as a secret to one of his wives, and when she divulged it and God informed him of this, he acquainted her with part and withheld part.2 And when he had told her of it, she said, “Who told thee this?” He said, “The Knowing, the Sage hath told it me.