English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 33: Al-Ahzab — The Allies (Revealed at Makkah: 9 sections, 73 verses)


By the Allies are meant the Quraish, allied with other idolatrous tribes and tribes of the Jews, who besieged Madinah in 4 A.H. That battle is known as the battle of the Allies, and this chapter deals with it. It begins by referring to the spiritual relationship of the Holy Prophet Muhammad with the faithful, and then covers the topic of the attack of the Allies on the Muslims. It goes on to deal with the Holy Prophet’s domestic life and shows that, despite becoming a ruler of his people, he and his wives lived in the utmost simplicity and he told his wives that to stay with him they would have to give up worldly comforts. Then it refutes some objections relating to his domestic life and teaches Muslims certain rules of conduct in domestic relations. Finally, it denounces those who spread evil reports against innocent persons and teaches Muslims to avoid such behaviour. Most of this chapter was revealed in 4 A.H. while some verses were revealed later, up to 7 A.H.

List of Sections (Rukus):

  1. Spiritual and Physical Relationship (Verses 33:1–33:8)
  2. The Allies’ Attack on Madinah (Verses 33:9–33:20)
  3. Allies’ Flight (Verses 33:21–33:27)
  4. Prophet’s Domestic Simplicity (Verses 33:28–33:34)
  5. Prophet’s Marriage with Zainab (Verses 33:35–33:40)
  6. The Prophet’s Marriages (Verses 33:41–33:52)
  7. Rules of Conduct in Domestic Relations (Verses 33:53–33:58)
  8. Those who Spread Evil Reports (Verses 33:59–33:68)
  9. An Exhortation to the Faithful (Verses 33:69–33:73)