Persons who asked troublesome questions were now rebuked. On the authority of
Muslim and other Traditionists, Nöldeke 1 says that when the command
for the Hajj was given, a man enquired of Muhammad whether he must go every
year. The Prophet being annoyed said, 'Yes, you may.' He then produced this
O believers, ask us not of things which if they were told might only pain
you. Sura Al-Ma'idah (v) 101.
This verse may, however, refer to the following verse which treats of some
Meccan superstitions. Some commentators say that it refers to general matters.
Baidawi has a good note on it (vol. i, p. 274).
Some of the disaffectedthe Hypocritesat Madina, who had not followed
the Prophet in this expedition, on his return home were severely rebuked.
Special revelations, which commentators agree in referring to the war of Tabuk,2
came to reprove them and the Arabs of the desert also, and to warn others:
O Believers! what possessed you, that when it was said to you, 'March forth
on the way of God,' ye sank heavily earthwards? What! prefer ye the life of this
world to the next?
Unless ye march forth, with a grievous chastisement will He chastise you, and He
will place another people in your stead, and ye shall in no way harm Him: for
over every thing God is potent.3