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NEW ARTICLE: Chapter 106, Quraish (Quraish Tribe)



What-is-Shariah.jpgThe title of this four-verse chapter is Quraish which refers
to the tribe of Quraish mentioned in the first verse.  The Quraish was the
ruling tribe in Mecca at the time of the birth of Prophet Muhammad, may the
mercy and blessings of God be upon him.  They were a tribe of merchants and
were the custodians of the Kaba.  The Quraish was made up of ten main clans
including Hashim, the clan to which the Prophet belonged.  The chapter Quraish
was revealed in Mecca and has a particularly close association with the
previous chapter The Elephant (Al-Fil).  In chapter 105, The Elephant, God
defeats the threat to Mecca from the Yemini King Abrahah, thus in Chapter 106,
Quraish, the trading and trading journeys carried out by the tribe of Quraish
are secure.   In fact, some of the early Muslims regarded these two chapters as
one chapter.  However, when compiling the Quran for future generations the scholars
of the time set chapters 105 and 106 down as two separate chapters.  Regardless
of whether they are one or two chapters there is little doubt that the latter
is a continuation of the former. 

Verses 1 2 Safety and security

God begins this chapter saying, for the convenience of
the Quraish, and to secure their winter and summer journeys.  This implies that
God destroyed the army of Abrahah for their benefit.  The Meccans relied
heavily on the trade with Yemen and therefore if Abrahah had been successful he
would either have taken over their business or would have prevented them from
entering Yemen.  Thus both the winter and summer trade journeys were secured.  The
Quraish sent caravans to Yemen in winter and to Syria in the summer.  They were
able to travel throughout the Arabian Peninsula and beyond in relative peace
and security.  They established themselves along the breadth of the two routes
and were met with generosity and admiration.

The security of the Quraish also meant security for the
Kaba, which is the focal point of Islam.  The Quraish were the custodians of
the Kaba.   As their position in the land was raised, due to God’s favor and their
trading expertise, the Kaba became safe from the usual marauding and plundering
that took place across the Peninsula.  The Quraish found themselves in an
exclusive position with a guaranteed means of sustenance.  This security was a
direct result of their custodianship of the Kaba; its sanctity is ordained and
preserved by God.  Thus it could be said that for the sake of Islam God
destroyed the Army of the Elephant and in doing so secured the future of the

Verses 3 4 Worship and be grateful

So let them worship the Lord of this house, the Kaba.  He
is the One who provides them with food to ward of hunger and provides them with
safety to ward off fear.  God reminds the Quraish of the blessings He provided
for them.  God provided them with food.  Their land is barren and infertile,
they would have starved if God had not provided them with a means by which to
feed and support themselves.  The life of the Quraish could have been one of
fear and apprehension but God granted them security and allayed their fears.  These
two verses serve as a reminder to the Quraish that their custodianship of the
Kaba has a great effect on their lives.  It was also an admonition exhorting
them to worship God in the way that He expects and deserves.

When Prophet Abraham had completed the rebuilding of the
Kaba, he prayed that He make this place a city of peace and sustain its
inhabitants with the fruits of the earth.  God answered the prayer of Prophet
Abraham, however, despite this many of the Quraish were not thankful or
grateful to God and still others were polytheists.  It is as if God is saying
if you cannot be grateful for all the blessings God has bestowed on you at
least show some gratitude for this one huge favor, namely sustenance and

The Quraish should have been gratefully worshipping
their Lord, the Lord of the Kaba, the one who provided them with sustenance and
security.  Their land was only a desert but it provided them with a livelihood,
and God protected them from all their enemies even their most formidable foe
Abrahah.  Instead of being grateful the Quraish persistently spoke and acted
against Prophet Muhammad and the message he preached.

This chapter is a clear admonition to the Quraish and a
warning that God could, if He so desired, destroy them as thoroughly as He had
destroyed and humiliated the Army of the Elephant.


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