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And when you recite the Qur’ān……..

{ وَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ ٱلْقُرآنَ جَعَلْنَا بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَ ٱلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱلآخِرَةِ حِجَاباً مَّسْتُوراً }
(Surah 17, Verse 45)

And when you recite the Qur’ān, We place between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter a hidden barrier, that is, one that hides you from them, so that they cannot see you —
this was revealed regarding those who wanted to assassinate him (s) [the Prophet].
Tafsir al-Jalalayn

(And when thou recitest the Qur’an) in Mecca (We place between thee, and those who believe not in the Hereafter) those who do not believe in resurrection after death, meaning:
Abu Jahl and his host (a hidden barrier) a veiled barrier.

Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbâs

Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said, “It is coverings over their hearts,” as Allah says:

[وَقَالُواْ قُلُوبُنَا فِى أَكِنَّةٍ مِمَّا تَدْعُونَا إِلَيْهِ وَفِى ءَاذانِنَا وَقْرٌ وَمِن بَيْنِنَا وَبَيْنِكَ حِجَابٌ]

The interpretation that Ibn Jarir (may Allah have mercy on him) thought was correct was that:
“this means there is something that is stopping and preventing your words from reaching us.

[حِجَابًا مَّسْتُورًا]

(an invisible veil.) meaning something which covers, or that cannot be seen,
so there is a barrier between them and guidance.”

(39:45) When Allah, the One and Only,
is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust and horror;
but when (gods) other than He are mentioned, behold, they are filled with joy!

(And when you make mention of your Lord Alone in the Qur’an,) Commenting on this Ayah,
Qatadah said that when the Muslims said La Ilaha Illallah, the idolators disliked this and found it intolerable. Iblis and his troops hated it, but Allah insisted on supporting it so that it would prevail over those who opposed it. Whoever uses it against his opponent will prevail,
and whoever fights for it will be victorious. Only the Muslims of the Arabian Peninsula,
which can be traversed by a rider in a few nights, knew it and accepted it, out of all mankind.

From Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Although a group of the Mufassirin explained this verse to mean that the aversion to and heedlessness of the Qur’an and Islam on the part of the disbelievers is the result of a barrier  that was placed on their hearts by Allah,
making them unable to comprehend or realize any of the wisdom contained therein….
various narrated incidents show that the verse carries an interpretation and meaning that is more literal to its wording; i.e., that one of the means by which Allah prevents his righteous servants  from being thrown into the clutches of the disbelievers  and being exposed to their harm is through the protection attained by the recitation of the Qur’an itself.

The following is collected from al-Qurtubi’s commentary on the above verse:

1 – Asma’ bint Abi Bakr said:

“When the chapter ‘al-Masad’ was revealed, al-‘Awra’ Umm Jamil bint Harb came looking for the Prophet with a stick in her hands while the Prophet was sitting in the courtyard of the mosque with Abu Bakr. So, when Abu Bakr saw her, he said to the Prophet: “She is coming, and I fear that she will see you!” So, the Messenger of Allah said: “She will not be able to see me,” and he recited the Qur’an, seeking a firm handhold by it. He recited: {“And when you recite the Qur’an, We put an invisible veil between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter.”}

So, she stood in front of Abu Bakr, and did not see the Messenger of Allah. She said: “O Abu Bakr! I have been informed that your companion has insulted me!” He said: “No, by the Lord of this House, he has not insulted you.”

So, she turned and walked away, saying: “Quraysh knows that I am the daughter of its most noble man!””

2 – Sa’id bin Jubayr said:

“When the verse {“May the hands of Abu Lahab perish, and may he perish!”} was revealed, the wife of Abu Lahab came to the Prophet while he was with Abu Bakr. So, Abu Bakr said: “Move away, so that you will not hear from her that which would hurt you, as she is a harsh woman!” So, the Prophet said: “A protection will be put for me from her,” and she was unable to see him. She said: “O Abu Bakr! Your companion has insulted me!” He said: “By Allah, he does not say poetry.” She said: “So, you believe in him?” and angrily walked away.

So, Abu Bakr said: “O Messenger of Allah! Did she not see you?”

The Prophet replied: “An Angel was standing between she and I, shielding me from her, until she went away.”

3 – Ka’b bin Malik said (in the Musnad of Abu Ya’la al-Mawsili):

“The Prophet used to shield himself from the disbelievers using three verses:

{“Truly, We have set veils over their hearts so that they do not understand this (Qur’an), and deafness in their ears…”} [al-Kahf; 57]
[ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبهمْ أَكِنَّة أَنْ يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِي آذَانهمْ وَقْرًا ” [ الْكَهْف : 57

{“They are those upon whose hearts, hearing, and sight Allah has set a seal.”
} [an-Nahl; 108]
[ أُولَئِكَ الَّذِينَ طَبَعَ اللَّه عَلَى قُلُوبهمْ وَسَمْعهمْ وَأَبْصَارهمْ ” [ النَّحْل : 108

{“Have you seen he who takes his own lust as his god, and Allah, knowing him as such, has left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight?”} [al-Jathiyah; 23]
[ أَفَرَأَيْت مَنْ اِتَّخَذَ إِلَهه هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّه عَلَى عِلْم وَخَتَمَ عَلَى سَمْعه وَقَلْبه وَجَعَلَ عَلَى بَصَره غِشَاوَة ” [ الْجَاثِيَة : 23

So, when the Prophet would recite them, he would be shielded from the polytheists.

I informed a man from Sham of this. He travelled to the lands of the Romans and was kept there for some time as a prisoner. After a while, he escaped from the Romans, and they went out to hunt him and bring him back as a captive. He recited these verses, and, although they were with him on the same road, they were never able to find him.”

4 – ath-Tha’labi said:

“I relayed the same information (regarding these three verses) to a man from the people of Ray. One time, he was imprisoned in Daylam, where he stayed there for some time before escaping. They went out searching for him, so, he recited these verses. When they finally caught up to where he was, and his clothing was touching their clothing, they were still unable to see him.”

5 – al-Qurtubi himself said:

“And a similar thing happened to me in our land of Andalusia, in Qurtubah (Cordova, Spain). I had escaped from in front of the enemy, rushing to a corner of his castle fortress where I could not be detected. So, two knights were sent out to search for me, while I was simply squatting on the ground with no protection of barrier between they and I. So, I began reciting: {“And We have put a barrier before them, and a barrier behind them, and We have covered them up, so, they cannot see.”} [Ya Sin; 9] and other verses from the Qur’an. The two knights approached me, looked around, and returned back from where they had came, with one of them saying to the other: “This man is a demon!”

So, Allah – the Mighty and Exalted – blinded them from seeing me, and all praise is due to Allah for this.”
[Taken from al-Qurtubi’s ‘al-Jami’ li Ahkam al-Qur’an’; 10/116-117]

I ask Allah to protect us all from the clutches of the kuffar, and being exposed to their harm. Ameen.



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