Surah Ahzab Ayat 33, 40 In Arabic
وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ ۖ وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا ﴿33﴾
مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِنْ رِجَالِكُمْ وَلَٰكِنْ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا ﴿40﴾
Surah Ahzab Ayat 33, 40 Transliteration
(33) Wa qarna fee bu yoo tikunna wa laa tabarrajna tabarrujal Jaahiliyyatil oolaa wa aqimnas Salaata wa aaateenaz Zakaata wa ati’nal laaha wa Rasoolah; innamaa yureedul laahu liyuzhiba ‘ankumur rijsa Ahlal Bayti wa yutahhirakum tatheeraa
(40) Maa kaana Muhammmadun abaaa ahadim mir rijaalikum wa laakir Rasoolal laahi wa Khaataman Nabiyyeen; wa kaanal laahu bikulli shai’in ‘Aleema (section 5)
Surah Ahzab Ayat 33, 40 Translation
(33) And stay in your houses. Bedizen not yourselves with the bedizenment of the Time of Ignorance. Be regular in prayer, and pay the poor-due, and obey Allah and His messenger. Allah’s wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing.
(40) Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets; and Allah is ever Aware of all things.
Surah Ahzab Ayat 33 Explanation
The verse quoted above refutes the contention of those people who, in accordance with the custom of the days of ignorance, used to call Sayyidna Zayd Ibn Harithah رضی الله تعالیٰ عنه as son of the Messenger of Allah and used to taunt at the nikah (marriage) of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) with Sayyidah Zainab (رض) ، after she had been divorced by Sayyidna Zayd Ibn Harithah (رض) that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) had married his son’s wife. It was enough to say in refutation that the father of Sayyidna Zayd (رض) is not the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) but Harithah (رض) . But in order to emphasis the matter, the statement has been generalized in the following words: مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ (Muhammad is not a father of any of your men). The sense is that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has no son at all. How can it be asserted against him that he has a son and that his divorced wife is forbidden to him because of being his son’s wife?
A brief expression for this statement could have been (Muhammad is not a father of any of you). But the wise Qur’an, by adding the word (مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ ) (any of your men) has removed a possible objection that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is father of four sons – three sons Qasim, Tayyib and Tahir (رض) born to Sayyidah Khadijah (رض) and Ibrahim born to Sayyidah Mariyah al- Qibtiyyah (رض) but all of them died during childhood and none of them reached manhood. It can also be said that at the time of revelation of this verse, none of his sons was alive, because Qasim, Tayyib and Tahir had died, while Ibrahim (رض) was not born at that time.
Although the objection of the opponents had been adequately replied by the above sentence, yet in order to remove other doubts as well, it is stated لَـٰكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّـهِ (but a messenger of Allah). The word لٰکِن lakin (but) is used in Arabic language to remove any doubt that could be raised about the preceding statement. In this case, a doubt could be raised against the negation of the statement that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is not a father of any one. One could say that every prophet and messenger is the father of every man and women of his Ummah, and therefore the negation of his fatherhood would be tantamount to negation of his prophethood. This doubt has been dispelled by لَـٰكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّـهِ )but a messenger of Allah) which means that the rules regarding permissibility or impermissibility of marriage are applicable to the real and biological fatherhood that is quite different from a spiritual fatherhood enjoyed by the prophets in relation to the members of their Ummah. In this relationship these laws do not apply. Now the meaning of the full sentence is that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is not the biological father of any of the men of the Ummah but he is the spiritual father of all of them.
This is also a rejoinder for another sarcasm that some Mushriks (polytheists) had uttered against the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) that (Allah forbid) he is اَبتَر (issueless) that is, since he has no male offspring to continue the lineage and to propagate his message further; after a few days the whole story would come to an end. The above words have made it clear that although he has no biological sons, yet the biological sons are not in any case essential to spread the message of prophethood or to maintain and propagate it. This function is normally performed by one’s followers who are his spiritual children, and since he is the spiritual father of the whole Ummah who are there to carry forward his mission, he excels all of you in the number of his (spiritual) children.
Then, once the prophethood and messenger-ship of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was mentioned here in which he carries a very special and distinct excellence over all other prophets, this distinctive eminence surpassing all other prophets has been indicated by the following words: وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ ( and the Last of the Prophets).
There are two ways to read the word Imam Hasan (رض) and ‘Asim read this word as خَاتَمَ khatam whereas other leading scholars read it as khatim. The meaning remains the same in both cases, that is, ‘the last of the prophets’. In both the cases, the word means the ‘last’ as well as the ‘seal’. The meaning of the seal is also the ‘last’ because the seal is applied to something when it is intended to be closed. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has been called the seal of the prophets because the process of sending new prophets has come to an end on his advent. This is the gist of the explanation given in Tafsir Ruh ul Ma’ ani, Tafsir of Al-Baydawi and Ahmadi. The fact that both the words ‘ khatam’ and ‘khatim’ carry the same meaning in this sentence has been affirmed by all the famous lexicons of the Arabic language.
Ibn Sidah, for example, in his Almuhkam states that the the words ‘khatim’ and ‘khatimah’ with regard to everything means its end and its termination.
The gist is that both readings of the verse (khatam and khatim) convey the same meaning, that is, the Holy Prophet has concluded the line of prophets; he has succeeded all the prophets and he is the last among all of them.
The Holy Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) attribute of being the last of all the prophets demonstrates his excellence and distinction in all the perfections of prophethood and messenger-ship, because in general, all things progress gradually reaching completion at the highest stage, and the end result is the real objective. The Holy Qur’an has stated this clearly in الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي (Today, I have perfected your religion for you and have completed My blessings upon you, – 5:3).
The religions of the previous prophets were also complete with regard to their respective times – none was defective. But absolute perfection was reached by the religion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad al-Mustafa (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) which is the authority for all the ancient and modern human beings and will continue to be so up to the Doomsday.
By adding the phrase ‘last of the prophets’ after negating his being a father of a male boy, another point has been clarified here. The polytheists used to pass negative remarks against the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) by saying that he has no son, and therefore his lineage would not continue. By saying that he is the last of the prophets it is indicated that these remarks are based on ignorance, because he is the spiritual father of the whole Ummah which follows him and being the last prophet, all the races and nations to come in this world till the Doomsday would be included in his Ummah; as such the number of persons in his Ummah would be more than in other Ummah and his spiritual sons would be more than those of other prophets.
The Holy Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) being the last prophet has also told us that his kindness and affection for his spiritual sons (i.e. for his Ummah) would be more than that of other prophets and he would be fully seized of the concern to identify and appreciate the needs which may arise till Doomsday because no prophet or wahy (Divine revelation) would come after him. The prophets preceding him did not have this concern because they knew that when the nation would deviate and adopt erring ways, other prophets would come after them and reform the nation. But the Last Prophet t was seized of the concern that he should impart instructions to the Ummah for all the situations that it may face uptill Doomsday. The ahadith of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) bear witness to the above, because he has told us even the names of most of those people who could be followed and who would come after him. Similarly, he has told us the details about the leaders who would misguide humanity in a manner that anybody who cares to ponder over those warnings would not have the slightest doubt left in his mind. That is why the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said تَرَکتُم علٰی شَرِیعَۃِ بَیضَآِء لَیلُھَا و نَھَارُھا سَوَاُء I have left (you) on such an illuminated path where it does not make any difference whether it is day or night; there is no danger of being misguided at any time.”
Another point to note in this verse is that Sayyidna Muhammad al-Mustafa (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has been referred to in the beginning of the sentence as a rasul (messenger) and as such it would have been apparently more appropriate to use the word khatam-ur-rusul or khatam-ul-mursalin (the last of the messengers ) for him. But the wise Qur’an has, instead, used the word khatam-un-nabiyyin (the last of the prophets). The reason is that according to the consensus of scholars, there is a difference between Nabi (prophet) and rasul (messenger). Nabi is that person whom Allah Ta’ ala (the Almighty) has selected for the reformation of His slaves and has honored him with His Wahy (revelation), irrespective of whether He has given him a Book and a new Shari’ah (set of revealed rules and precepts) or He has appointed him to guide the followers of a previous Nabi according to a previous Nabi’s Book and Shari’ah, like Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) was appointed to guide and reform his followers according to the Book and Shari’ah of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) . On the contrary, the word rasul (messenger) is used exclusively for a particular Nabi who has been given a Book and a new Shari’ah. As such Nabi is more general than Rasul.
So the meaning of this verse is that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، being the last of the prophets, has concluded the line of prophets and no prophet will come after him, irrespective of whether he is given a Book and a Shari’ah or he succeeds a previous Nabi to follow his Book and Shari’ah.
It is now very clear that all kinds of prophets appointed by Allah came to an end with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ; no prophet will be appointed after him.
Imam Ibn Kathir, in his Tafsir, says:
فَهَذِهِ الْآيَةُ نَصٌّ فِي أَنَّهُ لَا نَبِيَّ بَعْدَهُ، وَإِذَا كَانَ لَا نَبِيَّ بَعْدَهُ فَلَا رَسُولَ بعده بالطريق الْأَوْلَى وَالْأَحْرَى، لِأَنَّ مَقَامَ الرِّسَالَةِ أَخَصُّ مِنْ مَقَامِ النُّبُوَّةِ، فَإِنَّ كُلَّ رَسُولٍ نَبِيٌّ وَلَا يَنْعَكِسُ، وَبِذَلِكَ وَرَدَتِ الْأَحَادِيثُ الْمُتَوَاتِرَةُ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مِنْ حَدِيثِ جماعة من الصحابة رضي الله عنهم. تفسير ابن كثير ط العلمية (6/ 381)
“This verse is the unambiguous proof of the belief that there would be no Nab’ after the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and since there would be no Nabi , there is no question of there being any rasul after him because Nabi is a general term and rasul is particular. And this is the belief which is evidenced by mutawatir ahadith which have reached us through the reports of a very large number of the Noble Companions (رض) .”
The Literal explanation of this verse has been given here in considerable detail because one imposter by the name of Mirza Qadiyani, considering this verse to be a hindrance in his way, has distorted the meanings of the verse and has introduced a host of conjectures in its explanation. The foregoing, al-Hamdulillah, is a befitting reply.
The Issue of Termination of Prophethood
That the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was the last of the prophets who has sealed and thus terminated prophethood, and that no other prophet is to be appointed after him and every claimant to prophethood is a liar and an infidel are well-settled issues on which there has been complete unanimity and consensus right from the days of the noble companions upto the date. Therefore there was no need for a lengthy discussion on this subject. But the Qadiyani sect has put in a lot of effort to create doubts in the minds of Muslims on this issue; by publishing hundreds of pamphlets and books they have tried to misguide those Muslims who are not well versed in religious knowledge. So this humble author has written a book titled “Khatm-e-Nabuwwat” in which this issue has been fully detailed and clarified in the light of one hundred Qur’anic verses, more than two hundred ahadith and hundreds of dictum of the classic as well as later scholars and learned people; the Qadiyani deception and doubts created thereby have been fully refuted. Some important points from that book are being reproduced here.
The Holy Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) Being the Last Prophet does not negate the descent of Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) in the last days
It is proved from many verses of the Qur’an and from mutawatir ahadith that in the last days before the doomsday, Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) would come into this world again, kill Dajjal (the Antichrist) and bring all misguidance to an end. The detailed proofs of this fact are given in my Arabic book ‘At-tasrih’. Mirza Qadiyani, denying the descent of Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) has proclaimed himself to be the predicted Masih with the reasoning that if reappearance of Sayyidna ` Isa Ibn Maryam (عليهما السلام) who was a prophet of Israelites, is accepted, then it would negate the Holy Prophet’s t being the last of the prophets.
The clear reply is that the Holy Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) being the last prophet means that nobody would be appointed as a prophet after him; it does not imply that somebody who was appointed a prophet earlier would be dismissed from his prophethood or that such a prophet would not be able to return to this world. But, of course, the prophet who returns to this world for the reformation of the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) while maintaining his prophethood, would carry out the reforms in the Ummah in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، as clarified in authentic ahadith.
Imam Ibn Kathir, in explanation of this verse, has said:
والمراد بكونه عليه الصلاة والسّلام خاتمهم انقطاع حدوث وصف النبوة في أحد من الثقلين بعد تحليه عليه الصلاة والسّلام بها في هذه النشأة. ولا يقدح في ذلك ما أجمعت الأمة عليه واشتهرت فيه الأخبار ولعلها بلغت مبلغ التواتر المعنوي ونطق به الكتاب على قول ووجب الإيمان به وأكفر منكره كالفلاسفة من نزول عيسى عليه السّلام آخر الزمان لأنه كان نبيا قبل تحلي نبينا صلّى الله عليه وسلم بالنبوة في هذه النشأة. تفسير الألوسي = روح المعاني (11/ 213)
“The Holy Prophet being the last of the prophets means that the office of prophethood stands terminated after him. No one would get this office after him. But it does not have any effect on the fact of the descent and reappearance of Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) in the last days on which there is a consensus of the whole Ummah and which is proved by a large number of ahadith that are almost mutawatir and by the Qur’an itself according to some interpretations, because he had been given prophethood before the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .”
Distortion of the Meaning of Prophethood and invention of new kinds of Prophethood
This claimant of prophethood adopted a new trick to pave the way for his claim by inventing a new kind of prophethood which simply does not exist in Qur’an and Sunnah and neither is there any proof for it, but according to him this new kind of prophethood does not negate the decree of Qur’an regarding the termination of prophethood. Briefly, he has introduced in prophethood the concept of reincarnation, which is well known in Hinduism and other religions. His contention is that if a person is dyed in the color of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، by virtue of his complete obedience to him and by following his footsteps, his coming to this world is the coming of the Holy Prophet himself; such a person is in fact the shadow and incarnate demonstration of none else but the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . Therefore, his claim does not negate the belief in the termination of prophethood after him.
But how can this invented kind of prophethood find its way to Islamic beliefs? There is no proof of it. Besides, the belief in termination of prophethood is a basic belief of Islam and as such it has been so thoroughly clarified by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) under different topics at various times that no imposter can distort it. The full details can be seen in this author’s book referred to earlier, but only some necessary proofs of this belief are being presented here.
Sahih of Bukhari, Sahih of Muslim and almost all books of Hadith have reported from Sayyidna Abu Hurairah (رض) with authentic chain of narrators that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said,
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ: إِنَّ ” مَثَلِي وَمَثَلَ الأَنْبِيَاءِ مِنْ قَبْلِي، كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ بَنَى بَيْتًا فَأَحْسَنَهُ وَأَجْمَلَهُ، إِلَّا مَوْضِعَ لَبِنَةٍ مِنْ زَاوِيَةٍ، فَجَعَلَ النَّاسُ يَطُوفُونَ بِهِ، وَيَعْجَبُونَ لَهُ، وَيَقُولُونَ هَلَّا وُضِعَتْ هَذِهِ اللَّبِنَةُ؟ قَالَ: فَأَنَا اللَّبِنَةُ وَأَنَا خَاتِمُ النَّبِيِّينَ”. (صحيح البخاري: 3535، صحيح مسلم: 2286)
“The example of all the prophets before me and of myself is like a man has built a very strong and well decorated house in one corner wall of which space has been left vacant for one brick; people roam about in the home to see it and admire the construction but all of them say that why did not the builder put a brick in that space also which would have completed the construction. I am that last brick (of the palace of prophethood) ” and in some versions he said “I have filled up that vacant space and thus completed the palace of prophethood.”
The gist of this eloquent simile is that prophethood is like a grand palace composed of Prophets (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . This grand palace was complete in all respects before the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) except for the placement of one brick. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) completed this grand palace by filling up that vacant space for one brick. Now there is no more space for any prophet or messenger. Even if it is supposed that there are other kinds of prophets and messengers, there is just no more space for them in the palace of prophethood.
In another Hadith narrated by Sayyidna Abu Hurairah (رض) reported in Sahihs of Bukhari, Muslim, Musnad of Ahmad, etc., the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said:
عَنْ أَبِي حَازِمٍ، قَالَ: قَاعَدْتُ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ خَمْسَ سِنِينَ فَسَمِعْتُهُ يُحَدِّثُ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ: «كَانَتْ بَنُو إِسْرَائِيلَ تَسُوسُهُمُ الْأَنْبِيَاءُ، كُلَّمَا هَلَكَ نَبِيٌّ خَلَفَهُ نَبِيٌّ، وَإِنَّهُ لَا نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي، وَسَتَكُونُ خُلَفَاءُ فَتَكْثُرُ» (صحيح البخاري: 3455، صحيح مسلم: 1842)
“The politics and administration of Banu Isra’il was being handled by the prophets themselves. When one prophet expired, another prophet would take his place. And after me there is no prophet, but of course, there would be my khulafa’ (caliphs – successors) who would be numerous.”
This Hadith has made it clear that there would be no prophet after the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the education and instruction of the Ummah would be carried out by his Khulafa’. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has explicitly and clearly told us that there is no prophethood of any kind after him, otherwise he would have mentioned it in this Hadith where he has mentioned Khulafa’.
Sahih of Bukhari and Muslim have reported a Hadith narrated by Sayyidna Abu Hurairah
لَم یَبقَ مِن النُّبُوَّۃِ اِلَّا المُبَشِّرَات
“Nothing is left of prophethood except mubashshirat (true dreams ) “.
As reported in Musnad Ahmad, etc., Sayyidah Siddiqah ‘A’ ishah (رض) and Sayyidah Umm Kurz al- K’abiyyah (رض) have stated that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said:
لم يبق من النبوة إلا المبشرات، قالوا: يا رسول الله! وما المبشرات؟ قال: الرؤيا الصالحة. أخرجه البخاري كتاب التعبير 9/40. ص
“Nothing is left of prophethood after me except mubashshirat. The noble companions asked: 0 Holy Prophet ! What is mubashshirat? He replied, ‘True dreams that a Muslim sees himself or somebody else sees about him.”
This Hadith has so explicitly told that no kind of prophethood, either one with a new law or without it, either Zilli (shadowy) or Buruzi (incarnate), is possible after the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ; people would only have mubashshirat (true dreams) through which they would find out a few things.
Musnad of Ahmad and Tirmidhi carry a narration of Sayyidna Anas Ibn Malik (رض) wherein the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said:
إِنَّ الرِّسَالَةَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ قَدْ انْقَطَعَتْ فَلاَ رَسُولَ بَعْدِي وَلاَ نَبِيَّ، قَالَ: فَشَقَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَى النَّاسِ فَقَالَ: لَكِنِ الْمُبَشِّرَاتُ. قَالُوا: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ وَمَا الْمُبَشِّرَاتُ؟ قَالَ: رُؤْيَا الْمُسْلِمِ، وَهِيَ جُزْءٌ مِنْ أَجْزَاءِ النُّبُوَّةِ. (سنن الترمذي: 2272)
“No doubt risalah (messenger-ship) and nubuwwah (prophethood) stand terminated after me; after me there would neither be a rasul (messenger) nor a Nabi (prophet)
This Hadith has made it clear that prophethood even without a new law is simply not there after the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) what to say of zilli or buruzi prophethood which are neither any form of prophethood nor are they recognized as such in Islam.
The objective is not to collect here all the ahadith pertaining to the issue of termination of prophethood; more than two hundred ahadith on this subject have been put together in my book “Khatm-e-Nabuwwat”. The objective, by quoting a few of them is to advise that the categories of zilli and buruzi prophethood invented by Mirth Qadiyani is without any basis or proof, and moreover the ahadith quoted above have told explicitly that there is no kind of of prophethood whatsoever left to come after the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .
That is why, right from the days of the noble companions uptill today, all the schools of Muslim Ummah are unanimous on the belief that there cannot be any kind of Nabi or Rasul after the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and whoever claims to be so is a liar and denier of the Qur’an and is a disbeliever. The first general consensus of the noble companions had evolved on this very issue as a result of which a holy war (jihad) was fought with Musaylimah, the liar, the false claimant of prophethood, during the period of the first Khalifah Sayyidna Abu Bakr (رض) in which he (Musailimah) and his followers were killed.
The dictums and clarifications of the past Imams and wise scholars of the Ummah are reproduced in considerable detail in the book “Khatm-e-Nabuwwat”, some of them are being copied here also.
Ibn Kathir, in his tafsir, writes under this verse:
وَقَدْ أخبر الله تبارك وتعالى في كتابه ورسوله صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي السُّنَّةِ الْمُتَوَاتِرَةِ عَنْهُ أَنَّهُ لَا نَبِيَّ بَعْدَهُ، لِيَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ كُلَّ مَنِ ادَّعَى هَذَا المقام بعده فهو كذاب وأفاك دجال ضال مضل، لو تَخَرَّقَ وَشَعْبَذَ وَأَتَى بِأَنْوَاعِ السِّحْرِ وَالطَّلَاسِمِ وَالنَّيْرَجِيَّاتِ فَكُلُّهَا مُحَالٌ وَضَلَالٌ عِنْدَ أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ كَمَا أَجْرَى اللَّهُ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى عَلَى يَدِ الْأَسْوَدِ الْعَنْسِيِّ بِالْيَمَنِ وَمُسَيْلِمَةَ الْكَذَّابِ بِالْيَمَامَةِ مِنَ الْأَحْوَالِ الْفَاسِدَةِ وَالْأَقْوَالِ الْبَارِدَةِ مَا عَلِمَ كُلُّ ذِي لُبٍّ وَفَهْمٍ وَحِجًى أَنَّهُمَا كَاذِبَانِ ضَالَّانِ لَعَنَهُمَا اللَّهُ، وَكَذَلِكَ كُلُّ مُدَّعٍ لِذَلِكَ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ حَتَّى يُخْتَمُوا بِالْمَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ. تفسير ابن كثير ط العلمية (6/ 384)
“Allah Ta’ ala in this Book and the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) in successive ahadith has informed that there is no Nabi after the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) so that people should know that whoever claims to be a prophet after him is a liar, a cheat, an imposter, a deviator who misguides others, no matter how many conjuring tricks he shows, magic spells he binds or talismanic wonders and sorceries he performs which are, in fact, sheer fallacies recognized as such by the people who have knowledge and understanding. Allah Ta’ ala had let such perverse acts and utterances manifested at the hands of Aswad Al-‘Ansi (claimant of prophethood) in Yemen and Musaylimah, the liar, (another claimant of prophethood) in Yamamah in a way that every intelligent and comprehending person, after hearing and seeing them, knew that both of them were liars and misguided. May Allah curse them. In the same way anyone who claims to be a prophet upto the Doomsday is a liar and an infidel and this stream of claimants of prophethood would end at Dajjal, the Anti-Christ.”
Imam Ghazzali, while explaining the above mentioned verse and discussing the belief in the termination of prophethood, has observed in his book ‘Al-Iqtisad fil I’tiqad’ الاقتصاد في الاعتقاد للغزالي (ص: 137) as follows,
“The entire Ummah has unanimously understood from these words and from circumstantial evidences that there will never be a prophet after him ever, nor will ever come a messenger of Allah. These words (of the verse) can neither be interpreted in any other sense, nor can their generality be restricted.”
Qadi ` Iyad in his book ‘Ash-shifa’, after declaring that a person who claims to prophethood after the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is a liar and an infidel who does not believe in this verse, has observed as follows:
وَأَجْمَعَتِ الْأُمَّةُ عَلَى حَمْلِ هَذَا الْكَلَامِ على ظاهره، وأن مفهومه المراد به دُونَ تَأْوِيلٍ وَلَا تَخْصِيصٍ فَلَا شَكَّ فِي كُفْرِ هَؤُلَاءِ الطَّوَائِفِ كُلِّهَا قَطْعًا إِجْمَاعًا وَسَمْعًا. الشفا بتعريف حقوق المصطفى (2/ 610)
“The Ummah holds by consensus that this discourse bears the obvious meaning and that this verse means what it says, without any other interpretation or any exception. Therefore, there is no doubt in the kufr (infidelity) of all those sects (who follow any claim out of prophethood) rather their kufr stands absolutely proved in view of the consensus of the Ummah and the express texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Surah Ahzab Ayat 40 Explanation
The Second Instruction
This concerns the observance of full hijab (purdah or veil). It was said: وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ (And remain in your homes, and do not display (your) beauty as it used to be displayed in the days of earlier ignorance – 33). Here, the expression: الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ (the days of earlier ignorance ) means the Jahiliyyah which prevailed in the world before the advent of Islam. Embedded in this expression is the hint that later than it there is to come yet another Jahiliyyah, a period of another ignorance in which a similar display of immodesty and disregard for proper covering of bodies would become rampant. That, probably, is the Jahiliyyah of modern times, something visible everywhere.
In this verse, the essential injunction about hijab is that women stay at home (that is, do not go out without the need as admissible in the Shari’ah). Along with it, it was also said that they should not go out moving around in public without hijab, as it used to be the wont of women in the earlier period of Jahiliyyah. The word: تَبَرُّجَ (tabarruj) essentially means manifestation or display and, at this place, it means the display of personal embellishment before non-Mahram men – as it appears in another verse: غَيْرَ مُتَبَرِّجَاتٍ بِزِينَةٍ (not displaying embellishment – An-Nur, 24:60).
As said earlier, a full discussion of the hijab or pardah of women and the injunctions related with it will follow within this Surah. Our present comments shall remain restricted to the explanation of the cited verse. The verse tells us two things about hijab:
(1) For women, the real thing desirable with Allah is that they should not go out of their homes. Their creation is an answer to whatever needs to be done at home. Let them stay involved in it. As for the real hijab desirable in the Shari’ah, it is a hijab that stands achieved by their staying at home, that is, the home becomes their veil or cover حجَاب بِالبُیُوت al-hijab-bil-buyut).
(2) The other thing it tells us is: If a woman has to go out of the home to take care of some need, let her not go out with any display of embellishment. Instead, she should wear what covers her whole body, a burqa’, or jilbab (women’s gown, garment or cloak) – as in the verse of this very Surah Al-Ahzab: يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ (bring down over themselves part of their outer garments – 33:59), the details about which shall appear later, insha’Allah Ta’ ala.
Occasions of need have been exempted from the obligation of ‘staying in homes.’
In the opening sentence of verse 33: وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ ) (And remain in your homes), staying in homes was made obligatory (wajib) which apparently purports that it should be absolutely prohibited and Haram for a woman to go out of her home, but verse has, at the first place, already indicated through the use of the words: وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ (And do not display your beauty) within this verse that going out as needed is not prohibited in an absolute sense. Instead, what is prohibited is going out in a manner which displays embellishment. Then, there is the injunction of: يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِن جَلَابِيبِهِنَّ (bring down over themselves part of their outer garments – 33:59) to appear later in Surah Al-Ahzab. This injunction is itself telling us that to a certain degree women do have the permission to go out of the home, of course on condition that they go out in hijab wearing an outer garment like burqa’ etc.
In addition to that, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has himself clarified that occasions of need are exempt from this injunction, as in a Hadith where, while addressing the blessed wives, he is reported to have said: قَد اُذِنَ لَکُنَّ اَن تخرُجنَ لِحَاجَتِکُنَ (You are permitted to go out for your needs – reported by Muslim). Then, the conduct of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) after the revelation of the verse of hijab proves that women have the permission to go out of homes on occasions of need, as the going of the blessed wives with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) for Hajj and ` Umrah stands confirmed on the authority of sound and authentic Ahadith. Similarly, their going with him in many battles stands proved. Then, there are many narrations of Hadith which also prove that the blessed wives (رض) used to go out of their homes to visit their parents, did their duty by calling on the sick among relatives and offering condolence on the death of someone among them. And during the blessed time of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، they also had the permission to go to the Masajid.
And not only that it happened in the company of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) or in his time alone, but even after his passing away, it is a confirmed fact that the all his blessed wives went for Hajj and ` Umrah – with the exception of Sayyidah Saudah (رض) and Sayyidah Zainab bint Jahsh (رض) etc. No reproach or disapproval (nakair) thereupon has been reported from any of the noble Sahabah. In fact, Sayyidna ` Umar (رض) sent the blessed wives of the Messenger of Allah for Hajj under arrangements specially made for them – he sent Sayyidna ` Uthman al-Ghani (رض) and Sayyidna ` Abd ur-Rahman Ibn al-‘Awf (رض) with them to supervise and manage their pilgrimage. And as for the incidence of Ummul-Mu’minin Sayyidah Saudah and Sayyidah Zainab bint Jahsh (رض) not going for Hajj and ` Umrah after the passing away of the noble Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، it was not on the basis of this verse, instead, it was on the basis of a Hadith. That is, when on the occasion of the Last Hajj (Hajjatul-Wadaa), the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) helped his blessed wives perform their Hajj with him personally, the remark that he made on return was: ھٰذِہٖ ثُمَّ لُزُومُ الحُضُر (This is it. After that, should stick to the mats at home).
The first word: ھٰذِہٖ (hadhihi: translated here as ‘this is it’ ) refers to this very Hajj and حُصُر (husur) is the plural form of حَصَیر (hasiir) which means a mat (of straw, a modest version of other floor spreads such as rug, carpet, daree etc.). In essence, the Hadith is saying: Your going out for this alone is done. After that, you stick to the mats of your homes necessarily without having to part therefrom. Sayyidah Saudah bint Zam’ah (رض) and Sayyidah Zainab bint Jahsh (رض) took this Hadith to mean: Your going out was permissible for this very Last Hajj. Beyond that, it is not.’ The other blessed wives – including a jurist of the class of Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) – unanimously interpreted these words of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) to mean that ‘your going out of your homes is permissible for this kind of journey which aims at performing a recognized act of worship, otherwise you should stay at home’ In gist, from the sense of the verse: وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ (And remain in your homes – 33) – as supported by the indicators of the Qur’an, the practice of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and the consensus of the noble Sahabah – occasions of need are exempted which include religious obligations of Hajj and ` Umrah, taking care of the natural duties towards parents, visiting Mahram relatives in health and sickness and attending to other requirements of this nature. Similarly, if a woman has no arrangement for her living expenses, then, it is also permissible for her to go out in hijab in order to earn an honorable living. However, going out on occasions of need is subject to the condition that one does not go out to display personal embellishment. Instead, one should go out properly covered with burqa’ or jilbab (full mantle or chadar).
The offensive lapses of the Rawafid about the journey of Ummul-Mu’minin Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) to Basrah and the event of the battle of Jamal:
It has been made amply clear in the previous paragraph that the sense of the imperative of وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ ‘remain in your homes’ (33) as proved from the very indicators, rather, expressions of the Qur’an, as well as from the practice of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and after him from the consensus of the noble Sahabah, it is confirmed that occasions of need are exempt from it – which includes going for religious needs of Hajj and ` Umrah etc. Sayyidah ` A’ishah along with Sayyidah Umm Salamah and Sayyidah Safiyyah, may Allah be pleased with all of them, had gone for Hajj. There they heard about the martyrdom of Sayyidna ` Uthman (رض) and about the incidents of rebellion against him. They were intensely grieved. The apprehension of an ill-omened disorder counter to unity among Muslims was weighing heavy on their minds.
Under these circumstances, Sayyidna Talhah, Zubair, Nu` man Ibn Bashir, Ka’b Ibn` Ujrah and some other noble Sahabah escaped from Madinah and reached Makkah al-Mu’azzamah because the killers of Sayyidna ` Uthman (رض) wanted to kill them too. These people were not with the rebels. In fact, they had tried to dissuade them from acting in that manner. So, as they were after them as well, these people saved their lives by escaping to Makkah al-Mu’azzamah. Once there, they presented themselves before Ummul-Mu’minin Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) and sought her good counsel. She advised them not to go to Madinah until such time the rebels are gathered around Sayyidna ` Ali (رض) and he is exercising restraint against taking Qisas (retaliation) from them, lest the situation is aggravated further. In this situation, they should go to live for a few days at a place where they find themselves safe and the Amir al-Mu’minin succeeds in controlling the law and order situation in Madinah. As for making whatever efforts they can, the best they can do is to try that these people converged around the Amir al-Mu’minin get scattered and he is enabled to exercise his authority to exact Qisas (retaliation) or revenge from them.
To this, they agreed and thought of leaving for Basrah because at that time Muslim forces were converged there. Once their plan to go was firm, they also requested Ummul-Mu’minin Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) to stay at Basrah along with them until such time that the government resumes its normal function.
And the fact of the power and dominance of the killers of Sayyidna ` Uthman (رض) ، as well as of the leaders of disorder, and the lack of Sayyidna ‘Ali’s (رض) power to enforce the Islamic legal punishment against them is something clearly proven from the report of Nahjul-Balaghah itself.(1) It should be borne in mind that Nahjul-Balaghah is regarded to be authentic by Shiites. It appears in Nahjul-Balaghah: ‘To the noble Amir (Amir al-Mu’minin Sayyidna ` Ali), some of his companions and colleagues themselves said: If you punish the people who attacked ` Uthman (رض) ، it will be better. Thereupon, the noble Amir said: My brother, I am not unaware of this thing you are talking about. But, how can this be done when these very people are there all over Madinah – and your slaves and the Bedouins of the adjoining areas have also joined them. If, under these circumstances, I were to issue the orders for their punishment, how would these be implemented?
(1) Nahjul-Balaghah is a compilation of the lectures of Sayyidna ` Ali (رض) held by the Shiites as authentic.
On one side, Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) realized the helplessness of Sayyidna ` Ali (رض) in this matter while, on the other, she also knew that the hearts of Muslims were wounded in the face of the shahadah of Sayyidna ` Uthman (رض) . Moreover, the delay in taking the due revenge from his killers on the part of Sayyidna ` Ali (رض) was being watched as his helplessness while the killers of Sayyidna ` Uthman (رض) also used to participate in the meetings of the Amir al-Mu’minin. People who were not aware of his helplessness had found their reason for complaint against him as well. It was possible that this kind of complaint may trigger some other trial. Therefore, it was to exhort people to observe patience, to strengthen the hands of Amir al-Mu’minin for the purpose of stabilizing the rule of law in the state, to remove mutual complaints and to achieve the objective of making things work better among people that Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) decided to embark on the journey to Basrah.
In this journey, her Mahram nephew, Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Zubair (رض) and others were with her. She had herself stated the purpose of this journey before Sayyidna Qa` qa` (رض) as it would appear later. And it is also obvious that the mission of conciliation and betterment among believers at the time of such a terrible trial was really a significant religious service. If, for this purpose, the Ummul-Mu’minin (رض) took to the journey of Basrah while accompanied by her Mahrams and seated in a metal-framed camel litter, why would the Shiites and Rawafid raise such a dust storm about it and say that the Ummul-Mu’minin contravened the injunctions of the Qur’an? What justification is there for it?
Later on the war-like situation, created by the mischief of the hypocrites and the agent provocateurs of disorder, was something even the thought of which had never crossed the mind of Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) . For the explanation of this verse, this much is enough. Onwards from here, this is not the occasion for going into the details of the event of the battle of Jamal. But, in order to make the reality clear in brief, a few lines follow.
Circumstances that one confronts in this world at the time of mutual discord simply cannot be neglected by people of insight and experience. The same circumstances developed here too when the journey of Basrah undertaken by Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) in the company of the noble Sahabah who had come from Madinah was reported before Sayyidna ` Ali (رض) in a totally deformed manner by the hypocrites and the manipulators of disorder. The version they gave to him was that all those people were going to Basrah to join up with forces stationed there and from where they would come out to confront him. If he was the Amir of the time, they instigated, it was his duty to preempt this threat and stop them by going to where they were, lest the danger increases any further. There were noble Sahabah of the stature of Sayyidna Hasan and Husain (رض) ، ` Abdullah Ibn Ja’far and ` Abdullah Ibn ` Abbas رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہم who even differed with this line of action. The advice they gave was that he should not throw his forces against them until such time that he had the correct assessment of the prevailing situation before him. But, the majority present there was of those who had tendered the first option. Sayyidna ` Ali, also tilting towards the same option, came out with the armed forces, and along with him, came these wicked votaries of disorder and rebellion.
When these gentlemen reached the environs of Basrah, they sent Sayyidna Qa` qa` (رض) to Ummul-Mu’minin Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) to find out the circumstances of her visit. They asked her, ‘0 Mother of the Believers, what was the reason that brought you here?’ Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) said, اَی بُنَیَّ الاِصلَاحُ بَین النَّاس (My dear son, [ I am here to seek nothing but ] the betterment of relations between people) ‘. Then, she also called Sayyidna Talhah and Sayyidna Zubair (رض) in this meeting with Sayyidna Qa` qa`. He asked them, ‘What do you want?’ They submitted, ‘We want nothing but that the Islamic legal punishment be enforced against the killers of ` Uthman (رض) .’ In response, Sayyidna Qa’qa’ (رض) explained by saying, ‘This thing cannot be done until Muslim forces are organized and firmly established. Therefore, at this time, it is necessary that you take to a stance of conciliation.’
These blessed souls submitted to the advice. Sayyidna Qa` qa` (رض) went to Sayyidna ` Ali (رض) and told him about it. He too was very pleased, and satisfied. Everyone decided to go back. For three days, they stayed on the camping grounds in a state that no one had any doubt about the forthcoming declaration of truce between the two parties. And, on the fourth day, this announcement was going to be made and a meeting between Sayyidna ` Ali and Sayyidna Talhah and Zubair (رض) was due to take place – in which these killers of Sayyidna ` Uthman (رض) were not included. This thing was too hard for them to take.
They made a plan. They told their colleagues, ‘First you go into the group around Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) and unleash a spate of killing and pillage so that she and her compatriots think that the pledge was broken from the side of Sayyidna Ali (رض) ، as a result of which, becoming victims of this misunderstanding, they would hurl themselves against the armed forces of Sayyidna ` Ali (رض) .’ This shaitanic device engineered by them worked. So, when the attack on the group accompanying Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) came from the side of the agents of disorder who had infiltrated the forces of Sayyidna ` Ali (رض) ، they were excusable in taking this attack to have come from the forces of the Amir al-Mu’minin – and thus began their counter action in defence. When Sayyidna ` Ali (رض) saw this state of affairs, he had no option left but to fight. And the unintended mishap of mutual infighting that was to occur did occur. إِنَّا لِلَّـهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ ! It is exactly like this that this event has been reported by at-Tabari and other reliable historians from the narrations of Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Ja’far, Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Abbas and others (رض) (Ruh u1-Ma` ani).
In short, as a result of the wickedness of the agent provocateurs of disorder, this event of fighting between two revered groups came to pass unconsciously. And when this fitnah subsided, these very two revered personalities were the ones who were intensely grieved over it. Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) ، when recalled this event, would weep so much that her scarf became all wet with her tears. Similarly, Sayyidna ` Ali b was also terribly shocked over this event. When, after the fitnah had subsided, he went to see the dead bodies of those killed, he beat his thighs with his hands and said, ‘Would that, much before this happened, I were dead, forgotten, lost!’
And according to some narrations, when Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) would recite the verse: وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ And stay in your homes – 33) in the Holy Qur’an, she used to break into tears until her scarf would be all wet with tears. (Reported by ` Abdullah Ibn Ahmad in Zawa’iduz-Zuhd and Ibn ul-Mundhir and Ibn Abi Shaibah from Masruq, (Ruh ul-Ma` ani)
That she wept on the recital of the cited verse was neither because the contravention of the command of ‘staying in homes’ was a sin in her sight nor because the journey was prohibited. Instead of all that, the serious and unwelcome event that came to pass was the cause of her natural grief. (All these narrations and the subject matter have been taken from Tafsir (Ruh ul-Ma` ani)
The third, fourth and fifth instruction of the Qur’an to the blessed wives
Two instructions have appeared in detail earlier. They related to the avoidance of addressing non-Mahram men softly and tenderly and of going out of homes unnecessarily. Now, the other three instructions are contained in the next sentence of verse 33: وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُ (and establish Salah, and pay Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger). These are a total of five instructions. For women, these are matters of great consequences.
These five instructions apply to all Muslims universally
At least in the case of the later instructions mentioned above, no one can presume that they could be special to the blessed wives. These are Salah, Zakah and Obedience to Allah and His Messenger. How can any Muslim anywhere be taken as exempted from these? As for the first two instructions which relate to the hijab or pardah of women, a little deliberation would make it clear that they too are not special to the blessed wives. In fact, the same injunction applies to all Muslim women. The only question that has to be answered is that the Holy Qur’an has said before these instructions,: لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ (32) that is, the blessed wives are not like common women, if they take to Taqwa. This sentence apparently indicates to the speciality of the blessed wives. A clear answer to this doubt is that the speciality seen here does not mean that these injunctions are restricted to them, instead, it revolves round the care and concern to be observed in acting in accordance with them. In other words, it means that the blessed wives are not like common women, because the state of their dignity is the highest of all. Therefore, they should show the highest care and concern for following the injunctions made obligatory for all Muslim women. And Allah subhanahu wa Ta’ ala knows best.
We now move to the last sentence of verse 33 which says: إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّـهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا (Allah only intends to keep (all sorts of) filth away from you, 0 members of the family (of the prophet), and to make you pure through a perfect purification. – 33). In the verses previous to this, the instructions given to the blessed wives by addressing them directly were, though, not special to them in person, rather, the entire Muslim community is obligated with these injunctions, yet the blessed wives were addressed particularly for the reason that they, in consonance with their dignity and the sanctity of the home of the Prophet, would be showing added care and concern for deeds that match their two singularities. Given in this verse is the wisdom of this particular address, that is, by the special instruction of the betterment of deeds, Allah intends to bless the household of the Messenger of Allah with an ideal state of purity by removing everything counter to it.
The word: الرِّجْسَ (ar-rijs) has been used in the Qur’an for several meanings. At one place, ar-rijs has appeared in the sense of idols: فَاجْتَنِبُوا الرِّجْسَ مِنَ الْأَوْثَانِ (So refrain from the filth of idols – 22:30) and on other occasions, it is used in the sense of sin in absolute terms and at times it is employed to carry the meaning of punishment or impurity or filth. The outcome is that everything which is legally or naturally (or rationally) considered detestable is ar-rijs. In the present verse, the word: الرِّجْسَ ar¬rijs) appears in this very general sense. (A1-Bahr u1-Muhit)
[From Ma’ariful Quran English by Mufti Taqi Uthmani]
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