Friday, October 9, 2015

The Qur'an Surah 60: The Woman Tested

The following is from a work-in-progress called The Qur'an: a Book Report, in which I read each surah of the Qur'an and write about what I learn.

This surah deals with socio-political events in Mecca and Medina between the years 628-630 C.E.  It was revealed between the Treaty of Hudaybiyya (which was between the Muslims of Medina and the non-Muslim Quraysh tribe in Mecca), and the occupation of Mecca.  The treaty sought to ease tensions, called for a ten-year peace, and allowed Muslims to take a pilgrimage to Mecca, known as The First Pilgrimage.

In the surah, instructions are given regarding loyalty--Muslims should not take as allies those Meccans (specifically the Quraysh) who drove them out of Mecca (leading to the Hijra, or migration, to Medina).  The title of the surah ("The Woman Tested") comes from instructions regarding how to deal with women who emigrated from Mecca to Medina, and vice versa.  For those who leave Mecca, Muslim men may marry them, provided they convert to Islam.

Thus, the context of the surah is one which acknowledges tensions, but foresees a kind of reconciliation.  The surah states, "God may still bring about affection between you and your [present] enemies--God is all powerful, God is most forgiving and merciful--and He does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with anyone who has not fought against you for your faith or driven you out of your homes: God loves the just." The Jewish patriarch Abraham is cited as a good example of faithfulness to God.

This is the translation of the Qur'an I'm reading.

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