Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of The Glorious Koran. An Explanatory Translation (1930)

SÛRAH XX

Ṭâ Hâ takes its name from the Arabic letters which form the first verse. As in the case of Sûrah XIX, the early date of revelation is established by a strong tradition.

Omar ibn ul-Khattâb, who afterwards became Caliph, was among the bitterest opponents of Islâm in early days. He set out one day, sword in hand, with the intention of killing the Prophet — “this Sabaean who has split the unity of Qureysh, calls their ideals foolish and their religion shameful, and blasphemes their gods” — when a friend who met him dissuaded him, reminding him that if he slew the Prophet he would have to reckon with the vengeance of a powerful clan: “Thinkest thou that the Banû ‘Abd Munâf would let thee walk on the earth if thou hadst slain Muhammad?” for tribal pride survived religious difference. “Is it not better for thee to return to the folk of thine own house and keep them straight?” Omar asked: “Which of the folk of my house?” “Thy brother-in-law and cousin, Sa‘îd ibn Zeyd, and thy sister, Fâtimah daughter of Al-Khattâb, for, by Allah, they are become Muslims and followers of Muhammad in his religion, so look thou to them.” Then Omar returned, enraged against his sister and brother-in-law, and there was with them in the house Khabâb ibn ‘Arit, having with him a leaf on which was written Ṭâ Hâ (this Sûrah) which he was reading aloud to them. When they heard the noise of Omar’s coming, Khabâb hid in a closet that they had in the house and Fâtimah took the leaf and hid it under her thigh. But Omar had heard the sound of Khabâb’s reading as he drew near the house, and when he entered he said: “What was that mumbling which I heard?” They said: “Thou heardest nothing.” Omar said: “Yea, by Allah! And I have already been informed that ye are become followers of Muhammad in his religion.” Then he attacked his brother-in-law Sa‘îd ibn Zeyd, but Fâtimah sprang to keep him off her husband and he struck and wounded her. And when he had done that, his sister and his brother-in-law said to him: “Yes, we are Muslims and we believe in Allah and His messenger, so do what thou wilt!” But when Omar saw the blood upon his sister he was sorry for what he had done, and he said to his sister: “Give me that leaf

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Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of The Glorious Koran. An Explanatory Translation, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, Consulted online at “Quran Archive - Texts and Studies on the Quran” on 02 Oct. 2022: http://quran-archive.org/explorer/marmaduke-pickthall/1930?page=322