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إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ جَآءُوا بِٱلإِفْكِ عُصْبَةٌ مِّنْكُمْ لاَ تَحْسَبُوهُ شَرّاً لَّكُمْ بَلْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ لِكُلِّ ٱمْرِىءٍ مِّنْهُمْ مَّا ٱكْتَسَبَ مِنَ ٱلإِثْمِ وَٱلَّذِي تَوَلَّىٰ كِبْرَهُ مِنْهُمْ لَهُ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
-An-Nûr ( النور )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

Truly those who initiated the slander, the worst calumny against ‘Ā’isha — mother of the believers, may God be pleased with her — accusing her [of fornication], are a band from among yourselves, a group from among the believers. She said [that these were] Hassān b. Thābit, ‘Abd Allāh b. Ubayy, Mistah [b. Uthātha], and Hamna bt. Jahsh. Do not suppose, O you believers other than the [mentioned] band, that it is bad for you; rather it is good for you, for God will reward you for it and reveal ‘Ā’isha’s innocence and [the innocence of] the one who [is supposed to have] committed it with her, namely, Safwān [b. al-Mu‘attal]. She [‘Ā’isha] related: ‘I accompanied the Prophet (s) during a raid, and this was after the [requirement to wear the] veil had been revealed. When he was through with it [the raid], he headed back [to the campsite] and one night, having drawn close to Medina, he announced that all should march off [home]. So I walked a distance [away from the campsite] and relieved myself. But when I came back to the campsite, [I realised that] my necklace (‘iqd meaning qilāda) had snapped. So I went back to look for it. In the meantime they had strapped my litter’ — in which one rides — ‘thinking that I was inside, for in those days women were slight and ate very small portions (‘ulqa). [Finally] I found my necklace, but when I went back to where I had been staying overnight, they had already departed. I sat in the place where I had camped; I assumed that the group would notice my absence and come back for me. But my eyes were overcome [by drowsiness] and I fell asleep. Safwān had pitched camp behind the army to rest for some of the night (‘arrasa), then set off while it was still night until he reached the site of the camp. He saw what looked like a person sleeping and recognised me when he [eventually] saw me, having seen me on numerous occasions before the [requirement of the] veil. I woke up to the sound of him saying, ‘To God we belong and to Him we shall surely return’ (innā li’Llāhi wa-innā ilayhi rāji‘ūn), for he had recognised me. So I concealed my face with my gown (jilbāb) — in other words, I covered it up with my wrap (mulā’a). By God he did not so much as say a word to me, nor did I hear him say anything other than the words, ‘To God we belong and to Him we shall surely return’, as he brought his camel to its knees and pressed with his foot against its foreleg [for me to mount it]. I then mounted it and he set off leading me back on the camel until we reached the army which had stopped because of the extreme midday heat; some had died [searching] for me. The one who bore the greater share of it [the sinful accusation] was ‘Abd Allāh b. Ubayy b. Salūl’ … her [‘Ā’isha’s] words end here; this was reported by the two Shaykhs [al-Bukhārī and Muslim]. God, exalted be He, says: Upon every man of them shall be the [onus of the] sin which he has earned, in this [affair], and as for him who bore the greater share thereof, that is, [him who] assumed most of [the responsibility for] it, having initiated it and made it public, namely, ‘Abd Allah b. Ubayy: there will be an awful chastisement for him, namely, the Fire in the Hereafter.

Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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