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al-Hujurat (The Private Apartments, The Inner Apartments, The Chambers)
as rendered by Shabbir Ahmed

Shabbir Ahmed rendition of Surah The Private Apartments, The Inner Apartments, The Chambers(al-Hujurat)
49:1 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Be not forward in the presence of Allah and His Messenger, and be mindful of Allah. Verily, Allah is Hearer, Knower. (Desist from holding your opinions above that which Allah has revealed to His Messenger).
49:2 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor shall you speak loudly to him, as you would speak loudly to one another, lest your works be rendered vain while you perceive not. (In my opinion, this verse applies today as well. We must be respectful whenever we speak of or even think of him).
49:3 Behold, they who lower their voices in the presence of the Messenger of Allah, - it is they whose hearts Allah has primed to become righteous. Theirs will be the protection of forgiveness and a Supreme Reward.
49:4 Verily, as for those who call out to you from outside the private apartments, most of them lack understanding.
49:5 For, if they only had patience until you came forth unto them, it would certainly be better for them. And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
49:6 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! If a person, who is known to drift away from Moral Values, comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you hurt some folk in ignorance and then regret what you have done.
49:7 And be constantly aware that in your midst is Allah's Messenger. If he were to obey you in much of the governance, you will certainly be in chaos. But as it is, Allah has made belief dear to you and has beautified it in your hearts. And He has made disbelief, immoral conduct and disobedience detestable unto you. Such indeed are they who are rightly guided.
49:8 A Bounty and Bliss from Allah, and Allah is Knower, Wise.
49:9 And if two groups of believers fall into a fight, then make peace between them. But then, if one of the two wrongs the other, fight the one that wrongs until it reverts to Allah's Command (the decision that was made by the Central Authority). Once they revert, make peace between them with justice, and act equitably. Verily, Allah loves the equitable.
49:10 The believers are but a single Brotherhood. (They are members of one family, brothers and sisters unto one another). Hence, make peace between your brothers and be mindful of Allah so that you may attain Mercy.
49:11 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! No folk shall make mockery of other folk, for they may be better than they are. Nor shall any women ridicule other women, for they may be better than they are. And neither shall you defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. Bad is the immoral name after attaining faith. And whoever turns not, such are the wrongdoers.
49:12 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Avoid much suspicion and guesswork. For, behold, some of such suspicion and guesswork deplete your communal energy. And spy not upon one another, nor shall you backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, you would detest it! Be mindful of Allah. Verily, Allah is Relenting, Merciful.
49:13 O Mankind! Behold, We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes so that you might (affectionately) come to know one another. Verily, the most honored among you, in the Sight of Allah, is the one who lives most upright. Behold, Allah is Knower, Aware. ('Min zakarinwwa untha' = Of a kind that is male, and of a kind that is female = Male and female = Some of you are men and some of you are women. On this note I find myself in agreement with M. Pickthall).
49:14 The Bedouins say, "We have attained belief." Say (O Prophet), "You have not yet attained belief, but rather say, 'We have submitted (to the System)', for the Faith has not yet entered your hearts. Yet, if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not diminish (the reward of) any of your works. Verily, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."
49:15 The believers are only those who believe in Allah and His Messenger, and then, have left behind all doubt, and who strive with their belongings and their persons in the Cause of Allah. It is they, they who confirm their word with action.
49:16 Say, "Do you inform Allah of your religiousness when Allah knows all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth?" And Allah is Knower of all things.
49:17 Some people act as if they are doing you a favor by embracing Islam. Say, "Deem not that your Islam is a favor upon me. Nay, it is Allah Who bestows a favor upon you as He has led you to the Faith, if you be true and sincere."
49:18 Verily, Allah knows the Unseen of the heavens and the earth, and Allah is Seer of all that you do.


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