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وَإِذَا نَادَيْتُمْ إِلَى ٱلصَّلاَةِ ٱتَّخَذُوهَا هُزُواً وَلَعِباً ذٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْقِلُونَ
-Al-Mâ’idah ( المائدة )

Asbab Al-Nuzul

(And when ye call to prayer they take it for a jest and sport…) [5:58]. Said al-Kalbi: “When the caller to prayer, appointed by the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, called to prayer, the Muslims stood up to perform it. Seeing this, the Jews used to comment: 'they stood up, may they never stand up! They prayed, may they never pray! They bowed down, may they never bow down!' They used to say this to mock the Muslims and make fun of them. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. Said al-Suddi: “This was revealed about a man from the helpers of Medina. Whenever he heard the caller to prayer say, 'I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah', he would say: 'May the liar be burnt!' One night, the servant of this man entered his house and brought some fire with him, while this man and his family were sleeping. A spark from this fire caused the whole house to burn down with the man and his family in it”. Other commentators said: “When the disbelievers heard the call to prayer, they resentfully envied the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and the Muslims for it. They said: 'O Muhammad, you have innovated something that we have never heard of amongst bygone nations. If you claim prophethood, then you have gone against the prophets who came before you with this matter that you have innovated. Had there been any good in this matter, the prophets and messengers before you would have had a better right to it. So from where did you get this cry which resembles the cry of camels? What an ugly sound and what a revolting disbelief!' And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse (And who is better in speech than him who prayeth unto his Lord and doeth right, and saith: Lo! I am of those who surrender (unto Him)) [41:33]”.

Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi , trans. Mokrane Guezzou