Suratul Ahzab (verse 26 continued and verses 27 -30)

It is in this regard, the verse states that ‘Allah brought them down from their forts’. It means that when the Banu Quraiza heard that the Prophet (S.A) and the Muslims were coming towards them, they locked themselves in their forts and were not prepared to come out. On account of this, the Muslims besieged the fortress for 25 days. Allah then instilled fear and terror in the hearts of the people of Banu Quraiza, and they had no choice except to surrender to the Holy Prophet (S.A), accepting the decision he made with regard to them. From among the Banu Quraiza who came out from the forts, the men who joined the unbelievers to fight against the Prophet (S.A) were killed, and the women and children were held as captives.

Continuing on the same topic, verse 27 states:

27. And He caused you to inherit their lands, and their houses, and their riches, and a land which you had not trodden (before). And Allah is Able to do all things.

After the decision of the Prophet (S.A) was implemented upon the Banu Quraiza, their wealth came into the hands of the Muslims who took path in the battle. It is about this, the verse states, ‘And He caused you to inherit their lands, their houses and their riches, and a land which you had not trodden. And Allah is able to do all things. It means that it was Allah who caused the Muslims to inherit the lands and wealth of the Banu Quraiza. This included lands, horses/animals, houses and other forms of wealth. Allah says that ‘a portion of land also came to them which they had not walked upon before’. This referred to the land at Khaibar and all other lands that were conquered afterwards.

The verse states, ‘And Allah is all powerful over all things’. It means that Allah is able and all powerful over everything which He intends to do. Nothing is difficult for Him in the heavens and earth, and no one can make Him incapable of doing anything. Hence, it is through His great power, He has given victory to the Muslims over the unbelievers and the Banu Quraiza, and has also made them inherit their wealth and lands.

Having mentioned about the battle of Ahzab and that of the Banu Quraiza, Sura Ahzab goes further in verses 28 and 29 and states:

28. O Prophet (Muhammad S.A)! 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 (divorce).

29. But if you desire Allah and His Messenger, and the home of the Hereafter, then verily, Allah has prepared for the good-doers amongst you an enormous reward.

Here, in these verses, the Prophet (S.A) was ordered by Allah to place before his blessed wives the choice of either living with him or being separated. According to many commentators, the above verses were revealed in regards to a request made by the wives of the Prophet (S.A) for an increase in allowance.

According to a commentary by the great commentator Aby Hayaan (A.R), it is stated that the distribution of the spoils of war (booty) upon the victories at Banu Quraiza and Banu Nadhir had brought about some ease in the livelihood and needs of the Muslims. Thinking that the Prophet (S.A) would have also received a share in the spoils, his blessed wives came to him and requested an increase in allowance (in their livelihood) seeing that they were living in poverty and difficulties.

The Prophet (S.A) was saddened at their request, and was grieved to see that they wanted to be given an increase in their allowance. Being the wives of a great prophet, they were expected to be patient and forbearing, and were required to be satisfied with that amount which the Prophet of Allah (S.A) could have afforded.

The blessed wives, on their part, never thought that their request will bring pain and grief to the Prophet (S.A), nor did they want to do anything to cause sadness to his heart. Their request was simply on account of the fact that they had seen an improvement in the well being of the common Muslims (due to the victories of the Muslims at war) and they wanted something similar for themselves. This however, was not liked by the Prophet (S.A), and he was grieved to see that they had missed (to some extent) to appreciate the honour of living in the home of a Prophet of Allah, and having the great status of being from among his wives.

On account of his displeasure, the Prophet of Allah (s.a.s) then swore an oath to disassociate himself from them for one month.

 In this way, the Prophet (S.A) separated from his wives but did not divorce them.

 After 29 days, Allah revealed the above mentioned verses (i.e. 28, 29 of Sura Ahzab), giving the following instruction to the Prophet (S.A):

28. O Prophet (Muhammad S.A)! 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 (divorce).

29. But if you desire Allah and His Messenger, and the home of the Hereafter, then verily, Allah has prepared for the good-doers amongst you an enormous reward.

Upon this revelation of these verses, the Prophet of Allah (S.A) then gave his wives the choice either to live with him as their husband, in the condition that they are presently living, having patience, forbearance and contentment, and hoping for Allah’s great rewards and blessings OR to become free from him by being divorced. In this case, they will receive a good provision as parting gifts, and will be released from the Nikah of the Prophet (S.A) with ease.

It is narrated in many traditions that while placing the option before his wives, he approached Aisha (R.A) first, informing her that he wished to say something to her and she must not reply to it until she consulted her parents. He then recited the two verses to her giving her the choice. After hearing these verses, Aisha (R.A) said, ‘Do I have to go and consult my parents in this matter? As for me, I choose Allah and His Messenger and the home of the Hereafter’. After this, the Prophet (S.A) posed the question to the other wives, and all replied in a similar manner. With this response from his wives, the Prophet (S.A) became happy and his face was bright.

When the 29th day had passed, the Prophet (S.A) ended his separation from his wives. He then came to Aisha (R.A), who asked, ‘O Prophet of Allah! You swore not to live with us for one month’. The Prophet (S.A) replied that the month (also) consisted of 29 days. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.14 pg. 144-146; Tafseer Al Bahrul Muheet vol.8 pg. 471)

In the above verse (i.e. 29) it was mentioned, ‘Allah has prepared for the doers of good amongst you an enormous reward’. It means that those who have chosen to remain with the Prophet (S.A), were indeed the doers of good deeds for whom Allah has prepared gardens of paradise in the hereafter.

Having mentioned the great rewards that will come to those who do good deeds from among the wives of the Prophet (S.A), verse 30 goes further to mention the punishment which will come to those who do bad deeds. The verse states:

30. O wives of the Prophet! Whoever of you commits an open sin, the torment for her will be doubled, and that is ever easy for Allah.

Here, it is stated that if any of the wives of the Prophet (S.A) commits a sin or an act of wrongdoing, then her punishment will be doubled. Here, some commentators have stated that ‘a sin’ mentioned in the above verses refers to bad conduct or disobedience to the Prophet (S.A). (Zadul Maseer – from Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A)- Safwatut Tafseer vol.12 pg. 58)

Other commentators have mentioned that it refers to any act that would cause inconvenience or difficulty to the Prophet (S.A). Some scholars have stated that it referred to any major sin.