Saturday, 4 November 2017

Prophet (SWS) Did not Know Identity of Some Hypocrites (Sura 9:101)

Allah Most High says:

وَمِمَّنْ حَوْلَكُم مِّنَ الْأَعْرَابِ مُنَافِقُونَ ۖ وَمِنْ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ ۖ مَرَدُوا عَلَى النِّفَاقِ لَا تَعْلَمُهُمْ ۖ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُهُمْ ۚ سَنُعَذِّبُهُم مَّرَّتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَذَابٍ عَظِيمٍ

And among those around you of the bedouins are hypocrites, and also from the people of Madinah. They have become accustomed to hypocrisy. You, [O My Prophet], do not know them, but We know them. We will punish them twice; then they will be returned to a great punishment.

(Sura 9: 101)

It has been suggested by some that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him & his family) was later informed of the identity of the hypocrites described in this Ayah.

The truth is the Prophet (peace be upon him) was informed of the identity of some hypocrites, but certainly not all of them, as that would contravene the statement made in this Ayah, as the exegete Ibn Kathir has explained:

أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم أعلم حذيفة بأعيان أربعة عشر أو خمسة عشر منافقاً، وهذا تخصيص لا يقتضي أنه اطلع على أسمائهم وأعيانهم كلهم، والله أعلم

The Prophet (peace be upon him) informed Hudhayfah of the names of fourteen or fifteen hypocrites. This knowledge is specific in this case, not that he was informed of all their names, and Allah knows best.

Reference: Tafsir Ibn Kathir; v.4 p.204


Similarly, both Zamakhshari and Nasafi mention in their commentaries:

{ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُهُمْ } أي لا يعلمهم إلاّ الله، ولا يطلع على سرهم غيره، لأنهم يبطنون الكفر في سويداوات قلوبهم إبطاناً، ويبرزون لك ظاهراً كظاهر المخلصين من المؤمنين

(We know them) that is, no one knows them except Allah, nor is anyone else informed of their secret, because they bury disbelief in the depth of their hearts but appear to you, apparently, as manifestly sincere people from among the Believers.

Reference: Tafsir al-Kashshaf p.447; Tafsir al-Nasafi p.442

Concerning some of the hypocrites about whom the Prophet (peace be upon him) was informed of, it is narrated from Qays b. Ubad:

قُلْتُ لِعَمَّارٍ أَرَأَيْتُمْ صَنِيعَكُمْ هَذَا الَّذِي صَنَعْتُمْ فِي أَمْرِ عَلِيٍّ أَرَأْيًا رَأَيْتُمُوهُ أَوْ شَيْئًا عَهِدَهُ إِلَيْكُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ مَا عَهِدَ إِلَيْنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم شَيْئًا لَمْ يَعْهَدْهُ إِلَى النَّاسِ كَافَّةً وَلَكِنْ حُذَيْفَةُ أَخْبَرَنِي عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي أَصْحَابِي اثْنَا عَشَرَ مُنَافِقًا فِيهِمْ ثَمَانِيَةٌ لاَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّى يَلِجَ الْجَمَلُ فِي سَمِّ الْخِيَاطِ ثَمَانِيَةٌ مِنْهُمْ تَكْفِيكَهُمُ الدُّبَيْلَةُ ‏

I said to Ammar: What is your opinion about that which you have done in case (of your siding with Ali b. Abi Talib): Is it your personal opinion or something you got from Allah‘s Messenger ()? Ammar said: We have got nothing from Allah's Messenger () which people at large did not get, but Hudhaifa told me that Allah‘s Apostle () had especially told him that amongst his Companions there would be twelve hypocrites out of whom eight would not get into Paradise until a camel would be able to pass through the eye of the needle. The ulcer would be itself sufficient (to kill) eight. (Sahih Muslim) 

The context of this Hadith points to the fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was informed of the identity of hypocrites who ended up being opposed to sayyidina Ali b. Abi Talib (radi Allahu anhu), which is why Ammar b. Yasir (radi Allahu anhu) was determined to side with Amir-ul-Mu’minin (radi Allahu anhu).

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