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The Verse of Udhun or al-Udhun Verse (Arabic: آیة الأُذُن, literally, the Verse of Ear) is in the Qur'an 9:61, also known as al-Taṣdīq Verse (Arabic: آیَة التَصْدیق, literally, the Verse of Believing). The verse was revealed about a number of hypocrites (munafiqun) who abused the Prophet (s) with their words, saying that he was an "ear", that is, credulous. The verse responds by saying that the Prophet's (s) being a good listener was a good characteristic of him as the leader of the community, since in this way people will be respected and their reputation will be protected.

The verse has been appealed to for the reliability of al-Khabar al-Wahid.

Contents

Text and its Translation

Occasion of Revelation

Al-Udhun Verse was revealed about a group of hypocrites who abused the Prophet (s) with their words. When some of them prohibited the others from doing so since the Prophet (s) could know about it and punish them, a person called "Jullas b. Suwayd", or on other accounts, "Nabtal b. Harth", said, "We say whatever we wish about Muhammad (s) and then we go to him and swear that we did not say these things. He will believe us, since he as an ear, that is credulous." It was then that the verse was revealed. There are other accounts of this verse's occasion of the revelation as well.

Content

The Qur'an 9:61 is known as "al-Udhun Verse" (the Ear Verse) or "al-Tasdiq Verse" (the Verse of Believing). The word, "udhun", in this verse means ear, which is metaphorical language for a person who accepts or believes whatever he hears. According to this verse, hypocrites referred to the Prophet (s) as an "ear", meaning to say that he was credulous, believing whatever he heard.

In this verse God addresses the hypocrites by saying that he is "An ear that is good for you", where "good ear" implies that the Prophet (s) was a great listener, which is a good characteristic of the leader of a community in two respects. On the one hand, he hears God's revelations and advice by Muslims, which is good for the society, and on the other hand, he listens to irrelevant remarks by hypocrites out of respect and in order to protect the utterer's reputation.

According to Tafsir-i Nimuna, a good characteristic of leaders, including the Prophet (s), is to be a good listener, which is a grace for the society. This way, people's secrets will be kept and their reputations and the unity of the society will be protected, although hypocrites considered this great characteristic of the Prophet (s) as a weakness.

At the end of the verse, it is pointed out that although hypocrites have abused the Prophet (s) with their words and he refused to decry them, it does not mean that they will not be punished for what they did. Indeed, they will face a humiliating punishment on the Day of Resurrection.

Appealing to the Verse in Principles of Jurisprudence

In principles of jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh), al-Udhun Verse was appealed to by some scholars in order to establish the reliability of al-Khabar al-Wahid (report by one person). Here is how the reasoning proceeds, "According to this verse, the Prophet (s) "has faith in Allah and trusts the faithful[1], thus trusting the believers is praised and is deemed equivalent to believing in God by the Prophet (s). Now trusting a believer implies the reliability of his reports. Therefore, if a righteous person reports about something, he should be trusted. The argument has been subject to many objections. Thus, the majority of scholars maintain that the verse does not imply the reliability of al-khabar al-wahid.

Notes

  1. The Qur'an 9: 61

References