Download PDF: [S] How Surah Munafiqun was Revealed
In the 5th year of Hijrah, there was a serious argument which occurred between an Ansari and a Muhaajir. It was a minor issue but threatened to turn very ugly. Each person joined his own clan and it was very near that a full scale war would break out.
However, there were a few eminent people from both sides who resolved the matter and this argument died down. At the same time, one cannot underestimate the evil role of the famous Munaafiq, Abdullah bin Abi Ubay, in this matter. Since he acted outwardly as a Muslim, it was difficult to point a finger at him or to attack him openly. When he came to hear about the incident, he insulted some of the people in Madina Shareef and said that it was because of their welcoming the Muhaajir matters had reached this point.
Abdullah bin Abi Ubay mentioned that if these people divorce themselves from the Muhaajir, they would be forced to return to Mecca. He also made a statement which was to haunt him later. Abdullah bin Abi Ubay mentioned that, “If my Lord wishes, when we arrive in Madina, the people of respect will remove the lowly people from Madina.” (In other words, he considered himself and his supporters as high class people while the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and his supporters as low class people, Ma’azzallah)
At that time Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid bin Arqam – may Allah be pleased with him, who still a young boy, was present when this Munaafiq was making this statement. He could not restrain and shouted at this person, “I swear by Allah that you are a disgrace and lowly person. No one supports you while the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – is someone who is supported and loved by everyone. He has given respect by His Creator and is fully supported by the Muslims.”
When Abdullah ibn Ubay heard the words of this young man, he laughed and said that he was only joking.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid – may Allah be pleased with him – appeared in front of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and revealed what this Munaafiq had said. When Hadrat ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – heard these words and he was also in this meeting, he asked permission to kill this person. However, the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – displayed caution and refrained him.
When Abdullah ibn Ubay heard what had happened, he came to the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and swore that he had never said these words. Some of the Ansaar also mentioned that this person was one of the leaders in the community and perhaps the young man had heard differently or perhaps he had misunderstood the words which were said. The Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – accepted the version of Abdullah ibn Ubay and remained silent.
When Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid – may Allah be pleased with him – heard that his version was not accepted, out of embarrassment, he remained indoors. He also did not want to be insulted by others in front of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. Nevertheless, finally, Surah Munifiqun was revealed in which Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid – may Allah be pleased with him – was proven correct and truthful while Abdullah bin Ubay was proven as a liar. When this happened, the status and stature of the young man was instantly raised in the eyes of the Muslims and they displayed immense respect and love for him. At the same time, the true evil of Abdullah ibn Ubay was also revealed.
It is also mentioned that when this person arrived near Madina Shareef, he was refused entry into the blessed city by his own son whose name was also Abdullah. His son stood outside the city limits with a sword in his hand waiting for his father. When he appeared in front of his son, his son informed him, “I will not allow you to enter Madina Shareef until and unless you do not admit that you are a disgrace and the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – is most noble and respected.”
Only when he publicly mentioned these words, did his sons allow him to enter Madina Shareef.
In another report, it is mentioned that when Surah Munifiqun was revealed, he called Hadrat Sayyiduna Zaid – may Allah be pleased with him – to him and he rubbed his ears with this blessed hands and said smilingly, “Your ears were indeed true and the Allah Almighty has also testified to your truth.” (Tafseer ibn Katheer)
In fact, these were those blessed people who did not even show respect to their own family when it came to the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. This is unlike the people of today, who will sit and eat with Munaafiqs and consider it their greatest Me’raj.