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Interpretation of Sura an-Nur - Verse 53

Adopted from the book: "The Light of the Holy Qur'an - Interpretation of Sura an-Nur" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani & a Group of Muslim Scholars"

53. "They have sworn by Allah the most earnest oaths (that), if you order them, they will certainly go forth. Say: 'Do not swear; (better than this is) honourable obedience. Verily Allah is aware of what you do'."

Commentary

Do not trust any swear and oath, because hypocrites often abuse the sacred things, and prevent hypocrites' abuse by not accepting their oath and swear.

The occasion of revelation that is mentioned about this verse and the next one in some commentaries denotes that some hypocrites became very upset after the descending of the pervious verses and their severe reprimand. They went to the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and swore their oath of obedience to his command, and then the holy Qur'an answered them decisively by saying:

"They have sworn by Allah the most earnest oaths (that), if you order them, they will certainly go forth. Say: 'Do not swear; (better than this is honourable obedience. Verily Allah is aware of what you do'."

Many commentators think that the purpose of the Qur'anic phrase /layaxrujunna/ ("... they will certainly go forth ...") is going out for Holy Struggle, while some others think that it means: leaving one's house and family, or going with the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) everywhere and to be at his service'.

Of course, the Arabic word /xuruj/ or its derivatives are used in the holy Qur'an in the sense of: both going out for Holy Struggle and leaving home,affairs, and family. However, consistency with the previous holy verses, that mentioned the judgment of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) about the conflicting issues, necessitates that we accept the second commentary;

meaning that: they came to the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and declared their yielding to his judgments and they swore that they not only would give a part of their property, but also they would leave all their property and family entirely, if command was issued. Nevertheless, it causes no problem if both of the meanings are included in the verse, that is, they are ready both for leaving family and property with the command of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and for going to Holy Struggle.

But, in view of the fact that those who are hypocritical sometimes change their appearance when they encounter unfavourable atmosphere of society and resort to very strong oaths and sometimes their oath itself indicates their falsehood, the holy Qur'an answers them explicitly, indicating that they need not swear, it is better they do sincere and frank obedience in action. By the way, Allah is informed of what they have in their mind and He knows that whether they are swearing false oath or they have really changed their way.

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