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About This Surah

A Medinan sura that takes its title from verse I and makes reference to the occasion when the Prophet had a vision that he and his followers would be performing pilgrimage to Mecca (verse 27). They set out, but the Meccans decided to bar them at Hudaybiyya from reaching the town and sent emissaries to have discussions with the Prophet. In the end, the Prophet signed a treaty that he and the believers would not enter Mecca that year, but would do so the next year. Seeing the long-term significance of this treaty, in the interests of peace, he agreed to a truce of ten years during which time, if any Meccan went over to his side, he would return him to the Meccans, but if any of his people went over to the Meccans, they would not return them. Throughout the sura, the Prophet is assured that this treaty that God has given him is a great breakthrough (cf verses 1–3, 18–21, 27). The believers are reassured that their self-restraint and obedience to the Prophet were inspired by God (verses 4–5, 24–6). The sura condemns both the hypocrites in Medina (verse 6) and the idolaters of Mecca (verses 6 and 26) and closes by praising the believers (verse 29).

Source: The Qur’an (Oxford World’s Classics) by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem (Amazon Kindle Edition)

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