The Surah takes its name from verse 4 in which the word hujurat
Period of Revelation
Traditions show and the subject matter of the Surah also supports
the same that this Surah is a collection of the commandments
and instructions sent down on different occasions, which have
been put together because of the relevancy of the theme. Moreover,
the traditions also show that most of these commandments were
sent down during the final stage of the Holy Prophet's life
For instance, about verse 4 the commentators state that it
was sent down concerning the Bani Tamim whose deputation had
arrived in Madinah and started calling out to the Holy Prophet
from outside the apartments (hujurat) of his wives, and according
to all biographical books on the Holy Prophet's life this deputation
had visited Madinah in A. H. 9. Likewise, about verse 6 a large
number of the traditions of Hadith confirm that it was sent
down concerning Walid bin Uqbah whom the Holy Prophet had sent
to collect the zakat from the Bani al-Mustaliq, and it is well
known that Walid bin Uqabah had become a Muslim on the conquest
Subject Matter and Topics
The subject matter of this Surah is to teach the Muslims the
manners worthy of true believers.
In the first five verses they have been taught the manners
they should observe with regard to Allah and His Messenger.
Then, they have been given the instruction that it is not right
to belive in every news blindly and to act according to it,
without due thought. If information is received about a person,
a group or a community, it should be seen carefully whether
the means of the information is reliable or not. If the means
is not reliable, it should be tested and examined to see whether
the news is authentic or not before taking any action on it.
Then, it has been told what attitude should the other Muslims
adopt in case two groups of the Muslims fall to mutual fighting.
Then the Muslims have been exhorted to safeguard against the
evils that corrupt collective life and spoil mutual relationships.
Mocking and taunting each other, calling others by nicknames,
creating suspicions, prying into other people's affairs and
back biting are the evils which are not only sins in themselves
but they also corrupt society. Allah has mentioned all these
evils separately and forbidden them as unlawful.
After this, the national and racial distinctions that cause
universal corruption in the world have been condemned. Nations
and tribes and families pride of Ancestry and their looking
down upon others as inferior to themselves and their pulling
down others only for the sake of establishing their own superiority
is an important factor that has filled the world with injustices
and tyranny. Allah in a brief verse has cut at the root of
this evil by stating that all men are descendants of the same
one pair and their division into tribes and communities is
only for the sake of recognition, not for boasting and pride,
and there is no lawful basis of one man's superiority over
the other except on the basis of moral excellence.
In conclusion, the people have been told that the real thing
is not the verbal Profession of the Faith but to believe in
Allah and His messenger truly, to obey them in practical life
and to exert sincerely with one's self and wealth in the cause
of Allah. True believers are only those who adopt this attitude.
As for those who profess Islam merely orally without affirmation
by the heart and then adopt an attitude as if they had done
someone a favor by accepting Islam, may be counted among the
Muslims in the world, may even be treated as Muslims in society,
but they cannot be counted as believers in the sight of Allah.