Seeking Refuge in the Prophet (s)


salam `alaykum Shaykh,

Allah swt says:

وَإِنْ أَحَدٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ اسْتَجَارَكَ فَأَجِرْهُ حَتَّى يَسْمَعَ كَلاَمَ اللّهِ ثُمَّ أَبْلِغْهُ مَأْمَنَهُ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْلَمُونَ

If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah. and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge.

Have you ever heard an interpretation that–since this verse is addressed to Sayyidina Muhammad (s)–it means:
1) someone may seek refuge in the Prophet (s) any time and place
2) the Prophet (s) is responsible to guide the mushrikeen who seek his assistance.

ie. it is support for seeking refuge in his death as in his life, and clear proof he will assist the seeker!


wa `alaykum salam,

This verse is used to give safe passage for individual non-Muslims who belong to a nation at war with the Muslims to travel within Muslim lands on missions or for business.

Following is Imam Qushayri’s tafsir and I think it hints to what you asked. Here Imam Qushayri compares the mushrik asking for refuge with the mumin asking the Prophet’s refuge. Whereas the mushrik asks for refuge on that day (al-yawm) the mumin seeks refuge with the Prophet (s) all his life (tool `umrihi).

إِذا استجار المُشْرِكُ – اليوم – فلا يُردُّ حتى يسمَع كلام الله، فإِذا استجار المؤمنُ طول عمره من الفراق – متى يُمْنَعُ من سماع كلام الله؟ ومتى يكون في زمرة مَنْ يقال لهم:
{ ٱخْسَئُواْ فِيهَا وَلاَ تُكَلِّمُونِ } [المؤمنون: 108].
وإذ قال – اليوم – عن أعدائه: { فَأَجِرْهُ حَتَّىٰ يَسْمَعَ كَلاَمَ ٱللَّهِ } فإِن لم يؤمن بعد سماع كلامه نُهِيَ عن تعرضه حيث قال: { ثُمَّ أَبْلِغْهُ مَأْمَنَهُ } – أترى أنه لا يُؤَمِّنُ أولياءَه – غداً – مِنْ فراقه، وقد عاشوا اليومَ على إيمانه ووفائه؟! كلا.. إنه يمتحنهم بذلك، قال تعالى:
{ لاَ يَحْزُنُهُمُ ٱلْفَزَعُ ٱلأَكْبَرُ } [الأنبياء: 103].
ثم قال: { ذٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَعْلَمُونَ } فإذا كان هذا بِرَّه بِمَنْ لا يَعْلَم فكيف بِرُّه بِمَنْ يعلم؟


And if any of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God seeks thy protection, grant him protection, so that he might [be able to] hear the word of God [from thee]; and thereupon convey him to a place where he can feel secure: this, because they [may be] people who [sin only because they] do not know [the truth]. (at-Tawba, 9:6)

And if the believer seeks refuge all his life, from being separated, when will he prevented from listening to the words of Allah? and when will he be amongst those to whom it has been said:

[But] He will say: “Away with you into this [ignominy]! And speak no more unto Me!” (Al-Mu’minun, 23:108)

And since Allah says today about His enemies: “give him refuge until he hears the Words of Allah” and if the enemy does not believe after hearing the Words of Allah, Allah forbade that we interfere with him and to let him go to a safe place.

So in light of this do you think that Allah will not give refuge to His friends tomorrow from being separated from Him, while today they have been living with His faith and loyalty? For sure No!  He is testing them with that:

The supreme awesomeness [of the Day of Resurrection] will cause them no grief, since the angels will receive them with the greeting. (Al-Anbiya, 21:103)

And then Allah mentioned:

because they [may be] people who [sin only because they] do not know [the truth]. (at-Tawba, 9:6)

So if this is how Allah cares for those who do not know so how will He care for those who know?

[end of passage from Imam al-Qushayri’s Tafsir]

Hajj Khalid Aboulela

About Khalid Aboulela

A Sudanese Egyptian living in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Hajj Khalid graduated from the American University in Cairo majoring in Chemistry and Imperial College, London with an MBA. He has studied under Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani and Shaykh Hisham Kabbani for almost 30 years. He is fluent in classical Arabic prose and poetry and has ijaza from Shaykh Nazim to lead dhikr, answer questions to students of Islamic sciences, and to interpret dreams.
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