﴿49﴾ قَالُوا تَقَاسَمُوا بِاللَّهِ لَنُبَيّـِتَنَّهُ وَأَهْلَهُ ثُمَّ لَنَقُولَنَّ لِوَلِيّـِهِ مَا شَهِدْنَا مَهْلِكَ أَهْلِهِ وَإِنَّا لَصَادِقُونَ
49. “ They said: ‘Swear a mutual oath by Allah that surely we will make a sudden attack on him and his family by night, then we will tell his heir, we were not present at the slaughter of his household, and verily we are truthful’.”
The content of this holy verse is similar to the state of the pagans of Mecca who united by an oath and decided to surprise and kill the Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) in his bed while he was asleep, but the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) asked Hadrat Ali (a.s.) to sleep in his bed and thus the enemy’s plot was nullified.
Certainly by the appearance of Sāleh and his pure religion in the society, those groups were driven to extremities, and it was in that condition that, as the verse says:
will make a sudden attack on him and his family by night,
then we will tell his heir, we were not present at the
slaughter of his household, and verily we are truthful’.”
The Arabic word /taqāsamū/ (swear a mutual oath), in an imperative verb form, means: ‘everybody must participate in making an oath and promise to achieve this great plot’, a promise in which there is no change or return.
It is interesting that they made an oath by Allah. It indicates that, besides worshipping idols, they believed in Allah, the Creator of the skies and the earth, too. Therefore, they used to make an oath to Him in relation to important
matters. It also shows that they were so proud that they did this great crime of theirs by mentioning their names; as if they wanted to worship, or to do a godly service. This is the custom of haughty misguided disbelievers.
The Qur’ānic word /lanubayyitannahū/ (surely we will make a sudden attack on him) is derived from /tabyīt/ which means ‘to surprise and to attack suddenly by night’. The application of this meaning here shows that, in the meanwhile, they were afraid of the adherents of Sāleh and his tribe. Therefore, in order that they could reach their own goal and, in the meantime, they might not confront the anger of his followers, they designed the plot of a sudden attack at night and colluded that if Sāleh’s followers came to them, all of them with together take an oath that they had no role in that event absolutely, and even they were not present there nor had they witnessed it.
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