بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِِ

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Muslims who believe in the Messiah,
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani(as)Muslims who believe in the Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (as), Love for All, Hatred for None.

CHAPTER 24

An-Nur

(Revealed after Hijrah)

Context

The consensus of scholarly opinion assigns this chapter to the Medinite period. It comprises 65 verses including Bismillah. Its connection with its predecessor, Surah Al-Mu’minun, consists in the fact that towards the end of that Surah it was stated that Islam would continue to produce men who would, by their righteousness and godly conduct, draw upon themselves God’s pleasure and would become the recipients of Divine succour. The present Surah deals with the means and methods which help to draw Divine grace and succour and it is laid down as a principle that, besides Divine worship and adopting the ways of virtue and righteousness, the protection and preservation of national morals and the maintenance of discipline of a high order in the family and the community are very essential for this purpose. This is why the Surah at the very outset lays great stress on the preservation of national morals with an added emphasis on the regulation and reformation of relations between the sexes. The Surah seems to imply a veiled rebuke to the opponents of Islam, particularly the Christians, that inasmuch as their religious life and social morals have deteriorated, they have become deprived of Divine help but that this will not be the case with the followers of the Holy Prophet. Their religious and moral condition will improve and as a result of it God’s grace will descend on them.

In fact, the preceding Surah contains in embryonic form the subject matter of the present Surah. The latter forms a link in the chain of Surahs which constitute a denunciation of, and are opposed to, the Christian Faith. The preceding Surah said that one of the essential characteristics of believers who were destined to meet with Divine succour and success was that they guarded their chastity. The Surah under comment is an extension and amplification of the subject matter of its predecessor. Thus by implication the Surah leads to the inference that the popular notion that success can be achieved and maintained merely by subscribing to the doctrines and tenets of a true religion possesses no foundation in fact; on the contrary, the achievement and maintenance of success demands that the intellect, ideals and morals of a people should also become chaste and there should exist harmony and appreciative understanding between the relations of an individual and those of the community, and great emphasis ought to be laid on national discipline and organization, and precedence should be accorded to national requirements over the needs of individuals.

Date of Revelation

The Surah, as stated above, is of Medinite origin. The incident relating to ‘A’ishah to which special reference has been made in this Surah took place in 5 A.H. after the Holy Prophet’s return from the expedition against BanuMustaliq, which took place in the month of Sha‘ban of that year.

So it can be safely stated that the Surah was revealed towards the end of the fifth year of the Hijrah.

Summary of the Subject Matter

The Surah deals with certain special subjects and has laid particular stress on the problems which constitute the foundation on which the whole social and moral structure stands and which cannot be defied without doing mortal injury to the moral well-being of a people. As sexual immorality is calculated to break the discipline and organization of a community and as the evil associated with it is likely to affect severely its morals, great emphasis has been laid in the Surah on the avoidance of suspicion in matters of sex. First of all the Surah deals with the subject of suspicion that a husband may come to entertain about the moral conduct of his wife which more often than not casts a severe strain on the whole family relations. It proceeds to lay down special regulations and injunctions to be observed in dealing with a situation that might arise between spouses. Then we are warned not to become panicky on account of a few individuals straying away from the path of moral rectitude as individual cases of moral lapse may cause the whole community to become alert and careful; and thus may prove conducive to good results. The subject is further developed and slander-mongering receives a severe reprimand, irresponsible talk about sexual immorality is strongly discouraged, and only such statements as fall within the purview of legal evidence are allowed to be made about the moral conduct of a person. Because, if, on the basis of mere suspicion or the testimony of witnesses of doubtful integrity, haphazard aspersions are permitted to be cast on one another’s chastity, sexual immorality is likely to become widespread in the community and young people are prone to run away with the notion that there is no harm in indulging freely in sex.

The believers are then strongly enjoined to guard and preserve good morals and manners because all those actions that weaken the morals of a people are evil in their very nature and origin and it is very essential for Muslims to develop watchfulness and extreme awareness about the protection and preservation of national morals. If this vigilance is allowed to relax, deterioration in national morals is sure to ensue. But whereas it is true that sexual immorality, if permitted to spread unchecked, brings about the degradation and disintegration of a whole community, individuals suspected of stray acts of immorality should not be hunted down and crushed. As in every community there are to be found some persons of lax morals, such individuals may be treated with a certain indulgence. But at the same time a warning is held out to those who seek, by their continued pernicious activities, to create discord among Muslims and indulge in abusive language and calumny that they will be punished in this world and in the next. God will expose their iniquities and sins and thus, will bring upon them disgrace and humiliation. Muslims are enjoined not to give ready credence to unseemly things said about a person who to all outward appearance leads a good life, just as they would not readily attribute good things to a bad man.

The Surah then proceeds to observe that it is his careless acts that subject a man to suspicion and calumny and that most careless of all such acts is promiscuous intermingling between the sexes. In order to put a stop to such occasions as cause suspicion and lead to slander-mongering the Surah directs a Muslim not to enter a house without having obtained prior permission of its inmates and having greeted them with the salutation, "peace be upon you," and if such permission is not forthcoming he is expected to go back and not to insist on seeing the person whom he wishes to see. But a person is allowed to enter an unoccupied house in which his property is lying without asking the permission of anybody. Further, the Surah enjoins on Muslim men and women that if they happen to confront each other, they should restrain their looks and guard all avenues of sin and vice. This commandment applies equally to men and women. As an additional safeguard, Muslim women are further enjoined not to display their beauty, natural as well as artificial, to those males as are outside the prohibited degrees of marriage, except such parts of the body as it is not possible to cover, for instance, the build of the body or the stature. For this purpose they should wear their head-coverings in such a manner as to make them hang down over their breasts. (For a detailed note on "purdah" see v. 32.)

Another safeguard is enjoined for the improvement and preservation of national morals, viz. that widows should not be allowed to remain unmarried. They should be married at the earliest possible occasion and no consideration of poverty or insufficiency of means should be permitted to stand in the way of their marriage. And it is laid down that those who are devoid of necessary means to get married, should all the more be on their guard to preserve their chastity. Another measure laid down for the purpose of safeguarding sexual morality is that steps should be taken to set free prisoners of war at the earliest occasion and a captive who does not find it possible to earn his or her freedom immediately may be allowed to pay the indemnity money in instalments. For this purpose a contract may be made between the captive and Islamic government, and other Muslims are urged to help him or her to earn freedom, if possible, by paying the indemnity themselves. An additional injunction with regard to female captives of war is to the effect that such obligations should not be imposed upon them as should compel them to lead a life of vice and sin, and Muslims are warned that if they imposed such obligations on them, the responsibility for the ensuing evil consequences will be theirs and not of the female prisoners of war. These are commandments, the Surah says, which if scrupulously observed are calculated to raise the standard of morality among Muslims.

The Surah then proceeds to touch upon another very important subject, viz. that the light of heavens and earth emanates from God alone. It goes on to expatiate on the significance and beauty of this subject and adds that this light is decreed to manifest itself through Muslims who are marked out for greatness and honour. It is further stated that because an obscure Law or human intellect alone forms the basis of Christian moral teaching, therefore all their efforts to reform their morals will prove futile and they will find the work of moral regeneration very difficult as no reformation is possible without a Divine Law.

"Why cannot man see this patent fact," the Surah purports to say, "that Divine Law is full of blessing and mercy and that definitely it is not a curse. But if man, unaided by Divine guidance, cannot find the right way for himself, does it mean that God, too, cannot show him the right way? One thing, however, is quite clear that mere profession of faith can produce no good results. It is essential that Divine commandments should be observed and acted upon regardless of consideration of material benefits."

The Surah then holds out a promise to Muslims that if they carried out the programme of life which God has laid down for them, they will become the leaders of the world both in spiritual and temporal matters, and that their religion will become firmly established in the world. But they are told that when their rule and dominion is established and their cause triumphs and prevails, they should worship God, help the poor and the needy and obey the commandments of their Prophet and never allow the idea to enter their heads that their opponents can prevail against them even though the means and material at their disposal are great and their numbers large. This can and will never happen.

Towards the close of the Surah Muslims are again urged to set right their family and national affairs and to be on their guard against promiscuous intermingling of the sexes. A special direction to be observed in this respect is that even prisoners of war serving as house servants and also minor children should not enter the private apartments of their masters or parents before dawn, at noon, and after nightfall. At other times all members of the household are at liberty to move about the house freely. When, however, children reach their maturity they should also observe the regulations in regard to "purdah." The strict observance of these Quranic rules and regulations is essential for the moral well-being of the Muslim society. Regulations about "purdah" apply only to young women of marriageable age. Old women who have no desire for marriage can, if they so choose, enjoy relaxation, but even they are not allowed to display their adornments to strangers. But the observance of these rules should not be allowed to stand in the way of relatives visiting each other and dining together, but those who are not closely related are not to go to other people’s houses without being invited. Next to family organization, and even more important than this, is the social organization of a people and the Surah has not neglected to lay down requisite rules for the smooth and successful conduct of national affairs. One important regulation to be strictly observed in this connection is that when Muslims meet in an assembly to transact a business of national importance no one should leave it without the permission of the Imam or the Leader.

The Surah ends on a note of encouragement to Muslims that God being the Master of all that is in the heavens and the earth and having full knowledge of man’s moral needs and requirements has laid down rules and regulations which, if carried into effect, are calculated certainly to win for them the support of other men and of the laws of nature.

24. النور

یہ مدنی سورت ہے اور یہ ہجرت کے پانچویں سال نازل ہوئی۔ بسم اللہ سمیت اس کی پینسٹھ آیات ہیں۔

 اس سے پہلی سورۃ المؤمنون کے شروع میں مومنوں کی علامات میں فروج کی حفاظت کا خصوصیت سے ذکر فرمایا گیا ہے اور سورۃ النور کا مضمون بھی بنیادی طور پر اسی مضمون سے تعلق رکھتا ہے اور زانی مرد اور زانی عورت کی سزا کا ذکر ہے اور اس بات کا ذکر ہے کہ گندے لوگ گندے ساتھیوں ہی سے راہ رکھا کرتے ہیں اور مومن اس بات کا سختی سے خیال رکھتے ہیں کہ ان کو پاکیزہ ساتھی عطا ہوں۔ اس ضمن میں یہ بھی تاکید فرما دی گئی کہ وہ بدبخت جو پاکدامن عورتوں پر الزام لگاتے ہیں وہ اس کی بہت بڑی سزا پائیں گے۔ اسی سورت میں حضرت عائشہ صدیقہ رضی اللہ عنہا جو انتہائی پاکدامن تھیں ان پر بعض بدبختوں کے الزام کا ذکر ملتا ہے اور اس کی سزا کا بھی۔ 

اس کے بعد پاکبازی کی زندگی اختیار کرنے والوں کو وہ نصائح کی گئی ہیں جن پر عملدرآمد سے ان کو اللہ تعالیٰ مزید پاکیزگی عطا فرمائے گا۔ ان میں سے ایک یہ بھی ہے کہ جب گھروں میں داخل ہو تو اس سے پہلے سلام کرلیا کرو تاکہ اہلِ خانہ کو غفلت کی حالت میں اس طرح نہ پاؤ جس سے تمہارے خیالات بھٹک جائیں۔ اور اس کی دوسری پیش بندی یہ بتائی گئی کہ مومن مرد بھی اور مومن عورتیں بھی دونوں غضِ بصر سے کام لیا کریں اور نظروں کو آوارہ بھٹکنے نہ دیا کریں۔ اس تمام ذکر کے بعد آنحضرت صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کو اللہ تعالیٰ کے نُور کے ایک عظیم الشان مظہر کے طور پر پیش فرمایا ہے جس کی بنیادی صفات یہ ہیں کہ وہ نہ مشرقی ہے نہ مغربی بلکہ وہ شرق اور غرب کو برابر اپنے نور سے منور کرے گا اور ایسے چراغ کی طرح ہے جو اور بہت سے چراغوں کو روشن کرے گا۔ اس کے ساتھ صحابہ کرامؓ کے گھروں کا تذکرہ ہے کہ کس طرح ان گھروں میں بھی حضرت محمد رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم نے چراغ روشن فرمادیئے۔ 

اس کے بعد کفار کی مثال دو طرح سے دی ہے۔ ایک تو یہ کہ وہ دنیا کی لذتوں کی پیروی میں اپنی پیاس بجھانے کی جو کوشش کرتے ہیں بالآخر وہ حسرتوں میں تبدیل ہو جاتی ہے جیسے بیابان میں کوئی پیاسا سراب کو پانی سمجھتا ہے لیکن جب وہ وہاں پہنچتا ہے تو اِس کے سوا اُس کا کوئی انجام نہیں ہوتا کہ اللہ تعالیٰ اس کو نفس کے اس دھوکے کی سزا دے۔ اسی طرح نور کے مقابل پر ان پر اس طرح تہ بہ تہ تاریکیاں مسلط ہوتی ہیں جیسے گہرے سمندر میں جبکہ آسمان پر گہرے بادل چھائے ہوئے ہوں ایک غرق ہونے والا تہ بہ تہ اندھیروں میں ڈوب رہا ہوتا ہے اور اس قدر تاریکی ہوتی ہے کہ اپنے ہاتھ کو دیکھنے کی بھی طاقت نہیں رکھتا۔ 

آیت نمبر ۵۲ میں فرمایا کہ سچے مومنوں کی تعریف یہ ہے کہ جب وہ اللہ اور اس کے رسول کی طرف بلائے جاتے ہیں تو اس دعوت پر بلاتأمل لبیک کہتے ہیں۔ یہاں قَدْ اَفْلَحَ الْمُؤمِنُوْن میں مذکور فلاح کا بھی ذکر فرمادیا گیا ہے کہ یہی وہ لوگ ہیں جو فلاح پانے والے ہیں۔ اسی سورت میں آیتِ استخلاف بھی ہے جو اس مضمون کو پیش فرماتی ہے کہ جس طرح گزشتہ انبیاء کے بعد اللہ تعالیٰ نے ان کے خلفاء مقرر فرمائے تھے اسی طرح حضرت محمد رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کے بعد آپ کے خلفاء اللہ کے اذن سے ہی مقرر ہوں گے، خواہ بظاہر کسی انسانی انتخاب کے ذریعہ ہی ہوں اور ان کی ایک علامت یہ ہوگی کہ خطرات اور فساد کے دوران جبکہ قوم سمجھ رہی ہوگی کہ دشمن ان پر غالب آرہا ہے ہم اُن کے خطرات کو پھر اَمن میں تبدیل کردیں گے۔ 

مومنوں کی کامل اطاعت کا جو بار بار ذکر فرمایا گیا ہے اس اطاعت کی ایک نشانی یہ ہے کہ وہ حضرت رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کی صرف اطاعت ہی نہیں کرتے بلکہ آپ کا بے انتہا ادب کرتے ہیں یہاں تک کہ جب کسی اجتماعی امر میں غور و فکر کے لئے اکٹھے ہوں تو ہرگز رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کی اجازت کے بغیر مجلس سے باہر نہیں جاتے اور جاہلوں کو آداب سکھاتے ہوئے یہ فرمایا گیا کہ جس طرح ایک دوسرے کو آوازیں دیا کرتے ہو حضرت محمد رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم کو اس طرح آوازیں دے کر نہ بلایا کرو۔  

اس سورت کی آخری آیت میں اللہ تعالیٰ فرماتا ہے کہ تم جو بھی دعویٰ کرو وہ مخلصانہ بھی ہوسکتا ہے اور منافقانہ بھی۔ اللہ ہی بہتر جانتا ہے کہ تم کس حال پر ہو۔ 


[24:1]   
English
In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
اُردو
اللہ کے نام کے ساتھ جو بے انتہا رحم کرنے والا، بِن مانگے دینے والا (اور) بار بار رحم کرنے والا ہے۔

[24:2]   
English
This is a Surah which We have revealed and which We have made obligatory; and We have revealed therein clear Signs, that you may take heed.
اُردو
ایک عظیم سورت جسے ہم نے نازل کیا اور اسے فرض کر دیا اور اس میں کھلی کھلی آیات اُتاریں تاکہ تم نصیحت پکڑو۔

[24:3]   
English
The adulteress and the adulterer (or the fornicatress and the fornicator) — flog each one of them with a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain take hold of you in executing the judgment of Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment.
اُردو
زنا کار عورت اور زنا کار مرد، پس ان میں سے ہر ایک کو سو کوڑے لگاؤ اور اللہ کے دین کے تعلق میں اُن دونوں کے حق میں کوئی نرمی (کا رُجحان) تم پر قبضہ نہ کرلے اگر تم اللہ اور یومِ آخرت پر ایمان لانے والے ہو۔ اور اُن کی سزا مومنوں میں سے ایک گروہ مشاہدہ کرے۔

[24:4]   
English
The adulterer (or fornicator) shall not marry but an adulteress (or fornicatress) or an idolatrous woman, and an adulteress (or fornicatress) shall not marry but an adulterer (or fornicator) or an idolatrous man. That indeed is forbidden to the believers.
اُردو
اور ایک زانی (طبعاً) شادی نہیں کرتا مگر کسی زانیہ یا مشرکہ سے اور ایک زانیہ سے (طبعاً) کوئی شادی نہیں کرتا مگر زانی یا مشرک۔ اور یہ (قبیح فعل) مومنوں پر حرام کر دیا گیا ہے۔

[24:5]   
English
And those who calumniate chaste women but bring not four witnesses — flog them with eighty stripes, and never admit their evidence thereafter, and it is they that are the transgressors,
اُردو
وہ لوگ جو پاک دامن عورتوں پر تہمت لگاتے ہیں پھر چار گواہ پیش نہیں کرتے تو انہیں اَسّی کوڑے لگاؤ اور آئندہ کبھی ان کی گواہی قبول نہ کرو اور یہی لوگ ہیں جو بدکردار ہیں۔

[24:6]   
English
Except those who repent thereafter and make amends, for truly Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.
اُردو
مگر وہ لوگ جنہوں نے اس کے بعد توبہ کرلی اور اپنی اصلاح کر لی تو یقیناً اللہ بہت بخشنے والا (اور) بار بار رحم کرنے والا ہے۔

[24:7]   
English
And as for those who calumniate their wives, and have not witnesses except themselves — the evidence of any one of such people shall suffice if he bears witness four times in the name of Allah saying that he is surely of those who speak the truth.
اُردو
اور وہ لوگ جو اپنی بیویوں پر تہمت لگاتے ہیں اور ان کے پاس اپنی ذات کے سوا اور کوئی گواہ نہ ہوں تو ان میں سے ہر ایک کواللہ کی قسم کھاکر چار بار گواہی دینی ہوگی کہ یقیناً وہ سچوں میں سے ہے۔

[24:8]   
English
And his fifth oath shall be to say that Allah’s curse be upon him if he be of the liars.
اُردو
اور پانچویں مرتبہ یہ (کہنا ہوگا) کہ اللہ کی اس پر لعنت ہو اگر وہ جھوٹوں میں سے ہے۔

[24:9]   
English
But it shall avert the punishment from her if she bears witness four times in the name of Allah saying that he is of the liars.
اُردو
اور اس (عورت) سے یہ بات سزا ٹال دے گی کہ وہ اللہ کی قسم کھا کر چار بار گواہی دے کہ یقیناً وہ (مرد) جھوٹوں میں سے ہے۔

[24:10]   
English
And her fifth oath shall be to say that the wrath of Allah be upon her if he speaks the truth.
اُردو
اور پانچویں بار یہ (کہنا ہوگا) کہ اس (یعنی عورت) پر اللہ کا غضب نازل ہو اگر وہ (مرد) سچوں میں سے ہو۔