From Merchant to Messenger

A Teacher and His Star Pupil

From Merchant to Messenger87:6 We shall make you recite; so you will not forget;

87:7 Except what Allah wishes. He certainly knows what is proclaimed and what is hidden.

87:8 And We shall ease your travel on an easy course.

87:9 So remind, if the reminder will avail.

Allah as mentor and teacher took His job seriously and was careful to temper His Messenger’s enthusiasm for His Revelations so that He did not pass them on until he was thoroughly conversant with their content. Allah also revealed in 75:19 that is was the responsibility of the teacher “to expound clearly” to avoid any misunderstanding, one must assume.

20:113 Thus We have revealed it as an Arabic Qur’an and expounded therein in detail some of our warnings, so that they may fear God, and so that it may be a reminder for them.

20:114 Exalted be Allah, the True King. Do not hasten [to discuss] the Qur’an before its revelation to you is complete, and say: “Lord, increase me in knowledge.”


75:16 Do not wag your tongue with it (the Qur’an) to hurry on with it.

75:17 It is incumbent upon Us to put it together and to recite it.

75:18 Then, when We recite it, follow its recitation.

75:19 Then, it is incumbent upon Us to expound clearly.

Moududi’s comments on Allah’s caution to “not hasten [to discuss] the Qur’an before its revelation to you is complete” and revelations 75:16-19:

This sentence shows that this portion of Surah Ta Ha is one of the earliest Revelations, for we learn from the other early Surahs that the Holy Prophet tried to commit to memory the Qur'anic Revelation and Allah cautioned him against it. For instance in LXXV: 16-19, he was told: "Do not move your tongue over and over again in order to learn the Revelation, for it is Our responsibility to cause you to remember it by heart and recite it. Therefore when it is being recited to you, listen to it carefully. Then it is also Our responsibility to make its meanings clear to you.

The Pupil Admonished


80 At-Takwir

In the Name of Allah,

the Compassionate, the Merciful

80:1 He (Muhammad) frowned and turned his back;

80:2 When the blind man (‘Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum, a poor man anxious to learn the Qur’an, who importuned the Prophet) came to him.

80:3 How do you know? Perhaps he might cleanse himself.

80:4 Or remember, and remembrance then might profit him.

80:5 As for him who has grown wealthy,

80:6 You attend to him closely;

80:7 And it does not bother you if he does not cleanse himself.

80:8 Yet he who comes to you running,

80:9 While fearful,

80:10 You do not take any notice of him.

80:11 Yet, it (the Qur’an) is only a reminder,

80:12 Whoever wishes will remember it;

80:13 In scrolls highly honoured,

80:14 Lifted up and purified,

80:15 By the hands of scribes (this refers to the angels who were writing the scrolls of the Qur'an under the direct guidance of Allah, Moududi),

80:16 Honourable and pious.

The Prophet may have, if only indirectly, been reminded, based on Moududi’s explanation, to not believe everything he heard. The following revelation is from a Medinan surah when God’s Messenger was less likely to be singled out, as he was in The Coiling, a Meccan surah.

49:6 O believers, if a sinner brings you a piece of news, make sure you do not cause some people distress unwittingly, and so regret subsequently what you have done.


Most of the commentators have expressed the view that this verse was sent down concerning Walid bin 'Uqbah bin Abi Mu'ait. Its background is this: When the tribe of the Bani al-Mustaliq embraced Islam, the Holy Prophet sent Walid bin `Uqbah to collect the zakat from them. When he arrived in their territory, he became scared due to some reason and without visiting the people of the tribe returned to Madinah and complained to the Holy Prophet that they had refused to pay the zakat and had even wanted to kill him. On hearing this the Holy Prophet became very angry and he made up his mind to dispatch a contingent to punish those people … in the meantime the chief of the Bani al-Mustaliq, Harith bin Dirar (father of Juwairiyah, wife of the Holy Prophet), arrived at the head of a deputation, and submitted: "By God, we did not at alI see Walid; therefore, there could be no question of refusing to pay the zakat and wanting to kill him … At this, this verse was sent down.