This Surah consists of 177 verses, 3,045 sentences, 16,030 letters and 24 Ruku's.
Name : It takes its name from the word 'Nisa' which appears in the first verse.
This Surah comprises several discourses which were revealed on different occasions during the period ranging probably between the end of A.H. 3 and the end of A.H. 4 or the beginning of A.H. 5. Though it is difficult to determine the exact dates of their revelations, it is possible to assign to them a fairly correct period with the help of the Commandments and the events mentioned therein and the Traditions concerning them. A few instances are given below by way of illustration.
1. We know that the instructions about the division of inheritance of the martyrs and for the safeguard of the rights of the orphans were sent down after the Battle of Uhud in which 70 Muslims were killed. Then naturally the question of the division of the inheritance of the martyrs and the safeguard of the rights of their orphans arose in many families at Al-Madinah. From this we conclude that vv. 1-28 were revealed on that occasion.
2. We learn from the Traditions that the Commandment about salat during war time was given on the occasion of Zat-ur-Riqa'a, an expedition which took place in A.H. 4. From this we conclude that the discourse containing v. 102 was revealed on that occasion.
3. The last warning (v. 47) to the Jews was given before the Banu Nadir were exiled from Al-Madinah in Rabi'-ul Awwal, A.H. 4. From this it may safely be concluded that the discourse containing v. 47 must have been revealed some time before that date.
4. The permission abouttayammum (the performance of ablutions with pure dust, in case no water be available) was given during the Bani-al-Mustaliq expedition, which took place in A.H. 5. Therefore the probable period of the revelation of the discourse containing v. 43 was A.H. 5.
Let us now consider the social and historical ssues of the period in order to understand the Surah. All the discourses in this Surah deal with three main problems which confronted the Holy Prophet at the time. First of all, he was engaged in bringing about an all round development of the Islamic Community that had been formed at the time of his migration to Al-Madinah. For this purpose he was introducing new moral, cultural, social, economic and political ways in place of the old ones of the pre-Islamic period. The second thing that occupied his attention and efforts was the bitter struggle that was going on with the mushrik Arabs, the Jewish clans and the hypocrites who were opposing tooth and nail his mission of reform. Above all he had to propagate Islam in the face of the bitter opposition of these powers of evil with a view to capturing more and more minds and hearts.
Accordingly, detailed instructions have been given for consolidation and strengthening of Islamic Community in continuation of those given in Al-Baqarah. Principles for the smooth running of family life have been laid down and ways of settling family disputes have been taught. Rules have been prescribed for marriage and rights of wife and husband have been apportioned fairly and equitably. The status of women in the society has been determined and the declaration of the rights of orphans has been made laws and regulations have been laid down for the division of inheritance, and instructions have been given to reform economic affairs. The foundation of the penal code has been laid down, drinking has been prohibited, and instructions have been given for cleanliness and purity. The Muslims have been taught the kind of relations good men should have with their Allah and fellow men. Instructions have been given for the maintenance of discipline in the Muslim Community.
The moral and religious condition of the people of the Book has been reviewed to teach lessons to the Muslims and to forewarn them to refrain from following in their footsteps. The conduct of the hypocrites has been criticized and the distinctive features of hypocrisy and true faith have been clearly marked off to enable the Muslims to distinguish between the two. In order to cope with the aftermath of the Battle of Uhud, inspiring discourses were sent down to urge the Muslims to face the enemy bravely, for the defeat in the Battle had so emboldened the mushrik Arab clans and the neighbouring Jews and the hypocrites at home that they were threatening the Muslims on all sides. At this critical juncture, Allah filled the Muslims with courage and gave them such instructions as were needed during that period of war clouds. In order to counteract the fearful rumours that were being spread by the hypocrites and the Muslims of weak faith, they were asked to make a thorough enquiry into them and to inform the responsible people about them. Then they were experiencing some difficulties in offering their salat during the expeditions to some places where no water was available for performing their ablutions, etc. In such cases they were allowed to cleanse themselves with pure earth and to shorten the salat or to offer the "Salat of Fear", when they were faced with danger. Instructions were also given for the solution of the puzzling problem of those Mus!ims who were scattered among the unbelieving Arab clans and were often involved in war. They were asked to migrate to Al-Madinah, the abode of Islam.
This Surah also deals with the case of Bani Nadir who were showing a hostile and menacing attitude, in spite of the peace treaties they had made with the Muslims. They were openly siding with the enemies of Islam and hatching plots against the Holy Prophet and the Muslim Community even at Al-Madinah itself. They were taken to task for their inimical behaviour and given a final warning to change their attitude, and were at last exiled from Al-Madinah on account of their misconduct.
The problem of the hypocrites, who had become very troublesome at that time, was involving the Believers in difficulties. Therefore they were divided into different categories to enable the Muslims to deal with them appropriately. Clear instructions were also given regarding the attitude they should adopt towards the non-belligerent clans. The most important thing needed at that time was to prepare the Muslims for the bitter struggle with the opponents of Islam. For this purpose greatest importance was attached to their character building, for it was obvious that the small Muslim Community could only come out successful, nay, survive, if the Muslims possessed high moral character. They were, therefore, enjoined to adopt the highest moral qualities and were severely criticized whenever any moral weakness was detected in them.
Though this Surah mainly deals with the moral and social reforms, yet due attention has been paid to propagation of Islam. On the one hand, the superiority of the Islamic morality and culture has been established over that of the Jews, Christians and mushriks; on the other hand, their wrong religious conceptions, their wrong morality and their evil acts have been criticized to prepare the ground for inviting them to the way of the Truth.
Subject: Consolidation of the Islamic Community
The main object of this Surah is to teach the Muslims the ways that unite a people and make them firm and strong. Introductions for the stability of family, which is the nucleus of community have been given. Then they have been urged to prepare themselves for defence. Side by side with these, they have been taught the importance of the propagation of Islam. Above all, the importance of the highest moral character in the scheme of consolidation of the Community has been impressed.
IMPORTANT: Please note that the Digest is based upon these outstanding translations and they have been reproduced here for the benefit of serious readers of the Quríaan; the copyrights of these works are held by their respective authors/publishers from whom they can be purchased by anyone interested in acquiring them and we ardently hope that no offence will be taken by their inclusion.
Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
4 : 1
1. Ya ayyuha alnnasu ittaqoo rabbakumu allathee khalaqakum min nafsin wahidatin wakhalaqa minha zawjaha wabaththa minhuma rijalan katheeran wanisaan waittaqoo Allaha allathee tasaaloona bihi waal-arhama inna Allaha kana AAalaykum raqeeban
O mankind! Fear Allah Who created you from a single soul and from it He created its mate and then from the two of them proliferated you into countless men and women. Be Fearful of Allah in whose name you seek to satisfy your mutual rights, and respect the wombs that sustained you! Verily Allah is constantly perusing all your deeds!
(At the very outset men are exhorted to 'respect the wombs which sustained them'; to hold women in the esteem which they deserve, give them a lot more than what we take from them, to be just in our dealings with them, to recognize and appreciate the good which they do for us as our mothers, as our sisters and as our wives).
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Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when a Muslim who was in charge of the assets of his minor and orphaned nephew, refused to return them when the nephew reached the age of maturity and wanted them back.
4 : 2
2. Waatoo alyatama amwalahum wala tatabaddaloo alkhabeetha bialttayyibi wala ta/kuloo amwalahum ila amwalikum innahu kana hooban kabeeran
Return the wealth that belongs to the orphans and replace not the clean with the unclean nor mingle their wealth with your wealth nor purloin it, for verily that would be an heinous sin!
(Replace not that which belongs to you and is therefore clean for you, - however much inferior it may be, - with that which belongs to the others and is therefore unclean for you, - however much superior it may be, - nor amalgamate the property of the orphan with your own for the sole purpose of misappropriating it or exploiting it to your advantage.
The spirit of Islam has always been to stand up for the under-dog, to help those who are in dire need of help, to protect the interests of those who cannot protect themselves, to release them from the clutches of those who habitually exploit them and give them a proper, well recognizable and well elevated place in society, relieved of shackles which restrain their freedom and put a toll upon their existence.
To this end, the Qur'aan is rich in admonitions and ordinances, aimed both at the believers at the disbelievers, often aimed at mankind as a whole, pushing them hard for a change in attitudes and in actions
The above verse is one of many steps taken by the Qur'aan in this direction, exhorting the ruthless men who replace the assets belonging to the orphans with theirs, if the assets of the orphans are better, stooping to cheat the gullible out of their meagre resources).
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4 : 3
3. Wa-in khiftum alla tuqsitoo fee alyatama fainkihoo ma taba lakum mina alnnisa-i mathna wathulatha warubaAAa fa-in khiftum alla taAAdiloo fawahidatan aw ma malakat aymanukum thalika adna alla taAAooloo
If you fear that you may not be able to deal in a fair manner with orphaned girls, then wed those amongst them who appeal to you, - two, or three, or four; but if you fear that you may not be able to treat them with equality, marry only one. Or, marry from captives whom your right hands possess; it is better than causing them grief.
(During the times of paganism, orphaned girls in the care of powerful patriarchs who ruled their families with an iron fist used to receive a raw deal from their guardians, especially if they had some wealth of their own. As soon as the girls came of age, they married them, not out of love but out of sheer greed so that they could own their wealth as well, and then subjected them to all sorts of indignities, hoping they would soon die and leave their wealth behind for their tormentors to lawfully inherit.
Then there were those who dared not purloin the wealth belonging to the orphaned girls in their care from fear of its social ramifications, but exploited them in many other ways, such as sexual gratification and physical abuse, forcing them into a life of sin and depravity, then selling them off to the merchants who were in the market for 'flesh trade'.
There were also those who married them without regard to numbers, nor to their ability to treat them with fairness and equality, their interests cantered only around the weath they owned and would become legally theirs as a result of marriage.
The revelation of the above verse put an end to all these nefarious practices. The guardians of orphaned girls were required to marry the girls who appealed to them instead of forcing them into fornication, up to a maximum of four, subject to the stringent condition that they had the ability to treat them with fairness and equality, and then manage their finances for them without the fear of attracting opprobrium from the community.
Fairness in dealings and equality in treatment were no longer a matter of choice but became a condition of wedlock by making it incumbent on men who were not sure of extending this basic courtesy to their wives not to marry more than one, or more than what they could cope with.
Equality in treatment applies to matters of food, articles of clothing, quality of shelter and the extent of conjugal relations.
It should be noted that, though Islam makes provision for polygamous marriages, it is not an option too often taken up by most Muslims, in view of the above mentioned stipulation, except where there are extenuating circumstances.
Examples of these circumstances are : if the husband is a hereditary title-holder such as a prince, an Emir or a Quazi, which could lapse in the absence of issues, and the woman is incapable of bearing him offspring due to her infertility, a second marriage, preferably with her consent, is deemed better than divorcing her and throwing her out in the cold.
Another example is, if the woman is suffering from an infectious decease such as leprosy on account of which normal conjugal relationship between the spouses is impossible to prevail, it is better for the husband to take another wife, preferably with her consent, rather than divorce her and throw her out in the cold.
Another example is, in times of war, when there is a shortage of men and an abundance of women, which quite often happens, it is better for the surplus women to live as wives along with other wives, rather than remain unwed and fall a prey to solecism.
In this context it should be borne in mind that, if a Muslim is residing in a secular state where polygamous marriages are forbidden by law, the laws of the realm take precedence over the Islamic Law, for obvious reasons.
In India, the priest empowered to perform Muslim marriages is also a Civil Servant like all the other Civil Registrars of Marriages are, and is required to register marriages performed by him in a State owned Register, so that they are governed by prevalent legislation).
4 : 4
4. Waatoo alnnisaa saduqatihinna nihlatan fa-in tibna lakum AAan shay-in minhu nafsan fakuloohu hanee-an maree-an
And give women their dowry without duress; but if they offer to relinquish a part of it by their own free will, then you may accept it.
(This verse makes it clear that the dowry is payable to the wife and not to her guardians nor her parents. If they have obtained the dowry from the husband for one reason or another, it is incumbent upon them to return it to her.
The dowry under Islam becomes payable on demand following the nuptials, unless the wife agrees either to defer it until a future date or to waive it altogether. In any event, the dowry is a liability against the husband's estate and has the same effect on it as a debt, which can be recovered through Courts of Judicature in the event of a dispute.
While the wife has the right to defer the dowry or waive it, it is an offence for the man to pressurize her into forgoing what is her divine portion in his earthly assets).
4 : 5
5. Wala tu/too alssufahaa amwalakumu allatee jaAAala Allahu lakum qiyaman waorzuqoohum feeha waoksoohum waqooloo lahum qawlan maAAroofan
Give not to your imbecile wives their wealth which Allah has placed in your safe-keeping and has given you for your sustenance, but feed and clothe them from it and be courteous to them.
(If the wife is either an imbecile or is still a minor and is potentially incapable of managing her finances on account of it, take charge of her assets and manage them on her behalf with honesty because you have the right to do so, but making sure that she is kept aware of what is happening and is fed and clothed with due propriety and is treated with courtesy and decorum at all times)
4 : 6
6. Waibtaloo alyatama hatta itha balaghoo alnnikaha fa-in anastum minhum rushdan faidfaAAoo ilayhim amwalahum wala ta/kulooha israfan wabidaran an yakbaroo waman kana ghaniyyan falyastaAAfif waman kana faqeeran falya/kul bialmaAAroofi fa-itha dafaAAtum ilayhim amwalahum faashhidoo AAalayhim wakafa biAllahi haseeban
Watch over orphans until they are old enough to be married. If you feel that they have become competent enough to manage their affairs, hand over their wealth to them. Be not in a hurry to squander or swallow what is theirs lest they grew up and you lost control over it. Let he who has no need avoid spending from it, while he who has a need spend no more than what is reasonable. And when you hand over their wealth to them, have the transfer witnessed in their presence, even though Allah suffices for rendering accounts.
4 : 7
7. Lilrrijali naseebun mimma taraka alwalidani waal-aqraboona walilnnisa-i naseebun mimma taraka alwalidani waal-aqraboona mimma qalla minhu aw kathura naseeban mafroodan
Men have a share in what their parents and relatives leave behind and women have a share in what their parents and relatives leave behind, be it modest or be it abundant, a share which is their due.
(During the times of paganism, women did not have the right to inherit a share in the estate of a deceased person, whether they were their mothers or wives or daughters because women were treated as 'property' belonging to other men who married them, and would expect the wealth of their wives to be handed over to them after wedlock.
The above verse established in no uncertain terms that women have the same rights as men and are entitled to inherit from the estate of a deceased relative, the extent of their shares as elaborated in the verses which follow).
4 : 8
8. Wa-itha hadara alqismata oloo alqurba waalyatama waalmasakeenu faorzuqoohum minhu waqooloo lahum qawlan maAAroofan
If a relative or an orphan or a person in need exists among his folks, give some of it to them and when you are dividing up the bequest, accost them with due courtesy.
(The above verse makes it mandatory upon those probating the Will of a deceased person to allocate a reasonable portion of the estate to any distant relatives or orphans or destitute who may be a part of his wider family.
This gesture of compassion was ordained so that, if there were any grievances harboured by them against the deceased for a wrong which he might have done in the life of this world, it is much better for him to be forgiven here rather than his being brought to book in the Hereafter).
4 : 9
9. Walyakhsha allatheena law tarakoo min khalfihim thurriyyatan diAAafan khafoo AAalayhim falyattaqoo Allaha walyaqooloo qawlan sadeedan
And let those (authorized to probate the Will) use caution in safeguarding the children (of the testator) as they would safeguard their own kith, if they were leaving behind any vulnerable children. Let them be fearful of Allah and be forthright in their speech.
(The above verse imposes a further obligation on those probating the Will of a deceased person to protect the interests of his young and vulnerable children in the same way as they protect the interests of their own vulnerable children, if they had any).
4 : 10
10. Inna allatheena ya/kuloona amwala alyatama thulman innama ya/kuloona fee butoonihim naran wasayaslawna saAAeeran
Those who wrongfully purloin the wealth belonging to the orphans swallow fire into their bellies and will surely be cast in the ferocious flames of Hell! (R)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:
1. O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear All‚h through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, All‚h is Ever an All≠Watcher over you.
2. And give unto orphans their property and do not exchange (your) bad things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by adding it) to your substance. Surely, this is a great sin.
3. And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan≠girls, then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or (the captives and the slaves) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice.
4. And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart, but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm (as All‚h has made it lawful).
5. And give not unto the foolish your property which All‚h has made a means of support for you, but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.
6. And try orphans (as regards their intelligence) until they reach the age of marriage; if then you find sound judgement in them, release their property to them, but consume it not wastefully, and hastily fearing that they should grow up, and whoever amongst guardians is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his work). And when you release their property to them, take witness in their presence; and All‚h is All≠Sufficient in taking account.
7. There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related, whether, the property be small or large - a legal share.
8. And when the relatives and the orphans and Al≠Mas‚kin (the poor) are present at the time of division, give them out of the property, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.
9. And let those (executors and guardians) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own, if they had left weak offspring behind. So let them fear All‚h and speak right words.
10. Verily, those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, they eat up only a fire into their bellies, and they will be burnt in the blazing Fire!
YUSUFALI: O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;- reverence Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (That bore you): for Allah ever watches over you.
PICKTHAL: O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom ye claim (your rights) of one another, and toward the wombs (that bare you). Lo! Allah hath been a watcher over you.
SHAKIR: O people! be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two, many men and women; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you.
YUSUFALI: To orphans restore their property (When they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your own. For this is indeed a great sin.
PICKTHAL: Give unto orphans their wealth. Exchange not the good for the bad (in your management thereof) nor absorb their wealth into your own wealth. Lo! that would be a great sin.
SHAKIR: And give to the orphans their property, and do not substitute worthless (things) for (their) good (ones), and do not devour their property (as an addition) to your own property; this is surely a great crime.
YUSUFALI: If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.
PICKTHAL: And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will not do injustice.
SHAKIR: And if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one or what your right hands possess; this is more proper, that you may not deviate from the right course.
YUSUFALI: And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, Take it and enjoy it with right good cheer.
PICKTHAL: And give unto the women (whom ye marry) free gift of their marriage portions; but if they of their own accord remit unto you a part thereof, then ye are welcome to absorb it (in your wealth).
SHAKIR: And give women their dowries as a free gift, but if they of themselves be pleased to give up to you a portion of it, then eat it with enjoyment and with wholesome result.
YUSUFALI: To those weak of understanding Make not over your property, which Allah hath made a means of support for you, but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.
PICKTHAL: Give not unto the foolish (what is in) your (keeping of their) wealth, which Allah hath given you to maintain; but feed and clothe them from it, and speak kindly unto them.
SHAKIR: And do not give away your property which Allah has made for you a (means of) support to the weak of understanding, and maintain them out of (the profits of) it, and clothe them and speak to them words of honest advice.
YUSUFALI: Make trial of orphans until they reach the age of marriage; if then ye find sound judgment in them, release their property to them; but consume it not wastefully, nor in haste against their growing up. If the guardian is well-off, Let him claim no remuneration, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable. When ye release their property to them, take witnesses in their presence: But all-sufficient is Allah in taking account.
PICKTHAL: Prove orphans till they reach the marriageable age; then, if ye find them of sound judgment, deliver over unto them their fortune; and devour it not by squandering and in haste lest they should grow up Whoso (of the guardians) is rich, let him abstain generously (from taking of the property of orphans); and whoso is poor let him take thereof in reason (for his guardianship). And when ye deliver up their fortune unto orphans, have (the transaction) witnessed in their presence. Allah sufficeth as a Reckoner.
SHAKIR: And test the orphans until they attain puberty; then if you find in them maturity of intellect, make over to them their property, and do not consume it extravagantly and hastily, lest they attain to full age; and whoever is rich, let him abstain altogether, and whoever is poor, let him eat reasonably; then when you make over to them their property, call witnesses in their presence; and Allah is enough as a Reckoner.
YUSUFALI: From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large,-a determinate share.
PICKTHAL: Unto the men (of a family) belongeth a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, and unto the women a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, whether it be little or much - a legal share.
SHAKIR: Men shall have a portion of what the parents and the near relatives leave, and women shall have a portion of what the parents and the near relatives leave, whether there is little or much of it; a stated portion.
YUSUFALI: But if at the time of division other relatives, or orphans or poor, are present, feed them out of the (property), and speak to them words of kindness and justice.
PICKTHAL: And when kinsfolk and orphans and the needy are present at the division (of the heritage), bestow on them therefrom and speak kindly unto them.
SHAKIR: And when there are present at the division the relatives and the orphans and the needy, give them (something) out of it and speak to them kind words.
YUSUFALI: Let those (disposing of an estate) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own if they had left a helpless family behind: Let them fear Allah, and speak words of appropriate (comfort).
PICKTHAL: And let those fear (in their behaviour toward orphans) who if they left behind them weak offspring would be afraid for them. So let them mind their duty to Allah, and speak justly.
SHAKIR: And let those fear who, should they leave behind them weakly offspring, would fear on their account, so let them be careful of (their duty to) Allah, and let them speak right words.
YUSUFALI: Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a Fire into their own bodies: They will soon be enduring a Blazing Fire!
PICKTHAL: Lo! Those who devour the wealth of orphans wrongfully, they do but swallow fire into their bellies, and they will be exposed to burning flame.
SHAKIR: (As for) those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustly, surely they only swallow fire into their bellies and they shall enter burning fire.
4 : 11
11. Yooseekumu Allahu fee awladikum lilththakari mithlu haththi alonthayayni fa-in kunna nisaan fawqa ithnatayni falahunna thulutha ma taraka wa-in kanat wahidatan falaha alnnisfu wali-abawayhi likulli wahidin minhuma alssudusu mimma taraka in kana lahu waladun fa-in lam yakun lahu waladun wawarithahu abawahu fali-ommihi alththuluthu fa-in kana lahu ikhwatun fali-ommihi alssudusu min baAAdi wasiyyatin yoosee biha aw daynin abaokum waabnaokum la tadroona ayyuhum aqrabu lakum nafAAan fareedatan mina Allahi inna Allaha kana AAaleeman hakeeman
Allah lays down rules for you regarding inheritance of your children : the share of one son to be equal to the shares of two daughters; and if there are only daughters and they are more than two, two thirds of the net estate; and if there is one daughter, then half of the estate. To the parents of the deceased, one sixth of the estate each, provided he has issues; if he has no issues and the parents are his sole heirs, then a third to his mother; but if he has several brothers and sisters, one sixth to the mother, - after the administration of debts and bequests. Since you have no way of knowing who would be more helpful to you between your father and your sons, these shares have been determined for you by Allah. Verily Allah is Erudite and Wise!
(The Mohammedans Law of Inheritance, based on this and many other verses covering the same subject, is widely practised in Islamic states all over the world as well as secular states with a substantial Muslim population, such as India. Muslims living in any part of the world follow the same rules, except if they are challenged in a Court, in which case the Laws of the realm take precedence.
The salient features of the Ordinance pertaining to ascendants and descendants are :
i) If the deceased has sons and daughters, sons inherit twice the share of daughters.
This is because, in a strictly patriarchal family as envisaged by Islam, men shoulder most of the financial burdens of their dependants, who often include parents of both spouses, their siblings in need, their own children, orphans within the inner family, consanguines from the wider family, their education, their marriages, their medical bills etc.
ii) If the deceased has no sons but is survived by daughters only, two or more, they inherit two thirds of the estate after deducting all valid bequests and outstanding debts and the rest is divided between other relatives;
iii) If the deceased has one daughter, she inherits half the estate after deductions as above and the rest is divided between other relatives;
iv) If the deceased has children as well as both the parents, the parents inherit one sixth of the estate each, and the remainder goes to the children after the deductions as above;
v) If the deceased has no children, the mother inherits one third and the father inherits the rest of the residual estate after deductions as above;
vi) If the deceased has brothers and sisters, the mother inherits one sixth and the rest of the residual estate goes to the brothers and sisters after the deductions as above).
4 : 12
12. Walakum nisfu ma taraka azwajukum in lam yakun lahunna waladun fa-in kana lahunna waladun falakumu alrrubuAAu mimma tarakna min baAAdi wasiyyatin yooseena biha aw daynin walahunna alrrubuAAu mimma taraktum in lam yakun lakum waladun fa-in kana lakum waladun falahunna alththumunu mimma taraktum min baAAdi wasiyyatin toosoona biha aw daynin wa-in kana rajulun yoorathu kalalatan awi imraatun walahu akhun aw okhtun falikulli wahidin minhuma alssudusu fa-in kanoo akthara min thalika fahum shurakao fee alththuluthi min baAAdi wasiyyatin yoosa biha aw daynin ghayra mudarrin wasiyyatan mina Allahi waAllahu AAaleemun haleemun
Whatever your wives leave behind, you have half the share in it, provided they have no children. If they have children, then your share is one fourth after deduction of their bequests and debts. And their share in your net estate is (also) one fourth, provided there are no issues. If there are, their share is one eighth after deducting bequests and debts. If the estate is of a man or a woman without parents or children, and there is a sister or a brother from mother's side, each gets a sixth. If they are more than one brother and sister, they share a third after the deduction of bequests and debts, provided the bequests have not adversely affected these shares by being in excess of a third of the total estate. This is Allah's Commandment, and Allah is Erudite and Generous!
(This verse deals with the shares of husbands in the estate left behind by wives and shares of wives in the estate left behind by husbands, and its salient features are :
i) If a wife is survived by her husband and there are no children, he inherits one half of her estate after deductions of valid bequests and outstanding debts; but if there are children, he inherits one fourth.
ii) If the husband is survived by one or more wives, and there are no children, they share equally one fourth of the estate after deductions of valid bequests and outstanding debts; but if there are children, they share only one eighth of the estate;
iii) If the deceased has no surviving parents or wives or children, but there are cousins from the mother's side, they inherit one sixth of the estate each; but if there are more than two of them, they share one third of the estate after deduction of valid bequests and outstanding debts.
It should be borne in mind that, while most secular states allow the deceased to bequeath the whole of her or his estate by means of a Will, Islam puts a ceiling on bequests which limits how much can be given away in order to ensure that those legally entitled to a share in the estate are not deprived of it.
It should also be noted that, in general, no Muslim knowingly exceeds the limits imposed upon him by Allah, by making such a bequest as would deprive other heirs of their legal share in the estate, thereby incurring Allah's wrath).
4 : 13
13. Tilka hudoodu Allahi waman yutiAAi Allaha warasoolahu yudkhilhu jannatin tajree min tahtiha al-anharu khalideena feeha wathalika alfawzu alAAatheemu
These are limits imposed by Allah! Those who obey Allah and His Messenger, He will enter them into Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they shall abide forever! This is the supreme triumph.
(The above verse contains good tidings for those who restrict themselves to the perimeters imposed by Allah that they will be entered into Gardens bedecked with trickling streams of cool and refreshing water, assuring them that their sojourn in it will last forever).
4 : 14
14. Waman yaAAsi Allaha warasoolahu wayataAAadda hudoodahu yudkhilhu naran khalidan feeha walahu AAathabun muheenun
And those who defy Allah and His Messenger and transgress these limits, Allah will cast them into Hell wherein they will abide forever! For them awaits a humiliating castigation! (R)
(The above verse, in sharp contrast to the one which preceded it, warns those who exceed the limits imposed on them by Allah of everlasting torment in the raging fires of hell, giving these limits full backing of His wrath in order to make sure that His ordinances are strictly adhered to by those who fear Him and believe in Him).
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
11. All‚h commands you as regards your children's (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females; if (there are) only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is half. For parents, a sixth share of inheritance to each if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers or (sisters), the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts. You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are nearest to you in benefit, (these fixed shares) are ordained by All‚h. And All‚h is Ever All≠Knower, All≠Wise.
12. In that which your wives leave, your share is a half if they have no child; but if they leave a child, you get a fourth of that which they leave after payment of legacies that they may have bequeathed or debts. In that which you leave, their (your wives) share is a fourth if you leave no child; but if you leave a child, they get an eighth of that which you leave after payment of legacies that you may have bequeathed or debts. If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question has left neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third; after payment of lagacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused (to anyone). This is a Commandment from All‚h; and All‚h is Ever All≠Knowing, Most≠Forbearing.
13. These are the limits (set by) All‚h (or ordainments as regards laws of inheritance), and whosoever obeys All‚h and His Messenger (Muhammad SAW) will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide therein, and that will be the great success.
14. And whosoever disobeys All‚h and His Messenger (Muhammad SAW), and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment.
YUSUFALI: Allah (thus) directs you as regards your Children's (Inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased Left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases ('s) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-knowing, Al-wise.
PICKTHAL: Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females, and if there be women more than two, then theirs is two-thirds of the inheritance, and if there be one (only) then the half. And to each of his parents a sixth of the inheritance, if he have a son; and if he have no son and his parents are his heirs, then to his mother appertaineth the third; and if he have brethren, then to his mother appertaineth the sixth, after any legacy he may have bequeathed, or debt (hath been paid). Your parents and your children: Ye know not which of them is nearer unto you in usefulness. It is an injunction from Allah. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise.
SHAKIR: Allah enjoins you concerning your children: The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females; then if they are more than two females, they shall have two-thirds of what the deceased has left, and if there is one, she shall have the half; and as for his parents, each of them shall have the sixth of what he has left if he has a child, but if he has no child and (only) his two parents inherit him, then his mother shall have the third; but if he has brothers, then his mother shall have the sixth after (the payment of) a bequest he may have bequeathed or a debt; your parents and your children, you know not which of them is the nearer to you in usefulness; this is an ordinance from Allah: Surely Allah is Knowing, Wise.
YUSUFALI: In what your wives leave, your share is a half, if they leave no child; but if they leave a child, ye get a fourth; after payment of legacies and debts. In what ye leave, their share is a fourth, if ye leave no child; but if ye leave a child, they get an eighth; after payment of legacies and debts. If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question, has left neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third; after payment of legacies and debts; so that no loss is caused (to any one). Thus is it ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-knowing, Most Forbearing.
PICKTHAL: And unto you belongeth a half of that which your wives leave, if they have no child; but if they have a child then unto you the fourth of that which they leave, after any legacy they may have bequeathed, or debt (they may have contracted, hath been paid). And unto them belongeth the fourth of that which ye leave if ye have no child, but if ye have a child then the eighth of that which ye leave, after any legacy ye may have bequeathed, or debt (ye may have contracted, hath been paid). And if a man or a woman have a distant heir (having left neither parent nor child), and he (or she) have a brother or a sister (only on the mother's side) then to each of them twain (the brother and the sister) the sixth, and if they be more than two, then they shall be sharers in the third, after any legacy that may have been bequeathed or debt (contracted) not injuring (the heirs by willing away more than a third of the heritage) hath been paid. A commandment from Allah. Allah is Knower, Indulgent.
SHAKIR: And you shall have half of what your wives leave if they have no child, but if they have a child, then you shall have a fourth of what they leave after (payment of) any bequest they may have bequeathed or a debt; and they shall have the fourth of what you leave if you have no child, but if you have a child then they shall have the eighth of what you leave after (payment of) a bequest you may have bequeathed or a debt; and if a man or a woman leaves property to be inherited by neither parents nor offspring, and he (or she) has a brother or a sister, then each of them two shall have the sixth, but if they are more than that, they shall be sharers in the third after (payment of) any bequest that may have been bequeathed or a debt that does not harm (others); this is an ordinance from Allah: and Allah is Knowing, Forbearing.
YUSUFALI: Those are limits set by Allah: those who obey Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, to abide therein (for ever) and that will be the supreme achievement.
PICKTHAL: These are the limits (imposed by) Allah. Whoso obeyeth Allah and His messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow, where such will dwell for ever. That will be the great success.
SHAKIR: These are Allah's limits, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will cause him to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them; and this is the great achievement.
YUSUFALI: But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire, to abide therein: And they shall have a humiliating punishment.
PICKTHAL: And whoso disobeyeth Allah and His messenger and transgresseth His limits, He will make him enter Fire, where he will dwell for ever; his will be a shameful doom.
SHAKIR: And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger and goes beyond His limits, He will cause him to enter fire to abide in it, and he shall have an abasing chastisement.
4 : 15
15. Waallatee ya/teena alfahishata min nisa-ikum faistashhidoo AAalayhinna arbaAAatan minkum fa-in shahidoo faamsikoohunna fee albuyooti hatta yatawaffahunna almawtu aw yajAAala Allahu lahunna sabeelan
If your women are guilty of misconduct, obtain testimony from four witnesses of your confidence. If they testify against them, then restrict them to the house until they either die or until Allah finds a way out for them.
4 : 16
16. Waallathani ya/tiyaniha minkum faathoohuma fa-in taba waaslaha faaAAridoo AAanhuma inna Allaha kana tawwaban raheeman
If the man and the woman are both guilty of misconduct, punish them with rebuke. If they repent and make amends, then stop persecuting them. Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful.
(Moving away from Civil matters, the focus now shifts to Criminal matters :
The first of the above two verses deals with the crime of adultery committed by a married woman, the procedure to be followed for establishing her culpability and the punishment it attracts.
The second verse addresses the crime of extra-marital sex, or fornication between men and women, not married either to each other or to others, and prescribes a punishment that was, at this stage, moderate.
However, since the rules for punishing these offenders were subsequently tightened, some commentators say that the above verses were repealed and replaced by verse 2 of Surah 'Nur').
4 : 17
17. Innama alttawbatu AAala Allahi lillatheena yaAAmaloona alssoo-a bijahalatin thumma yatooboona min qareebin faola-ika yatoobu Allahu AAalayhim wakana Allahu AAaleeman hakeeman
Forgiveness with which Allah binds Himself appertains only to those who err in ignorance and repent at once, for Allah treats the gullible with compassion. Allah is Erudite and Wise!
4 : 18
18. Walaysati alttawbatu lillatheena yaAAmaloona alssayyi-ati hatta itha hadara ahadahumu almawtu qala innee tubtu al-ana wala allatheena yamootoona wahum kuffarun ola-ika aAAtadna lahum AAathaban aleeman
Forgiveness is not for those who persist in offending until the moment of death approaches them at which stage they say : 'Now I repent!' Nor for those who die as disbelievers. For them, We have kept in store an acerbic castigation.
(Although it is left to us to punish the guilty amongst us in accordance with the Ordinances provided by Allah, over and above us prevails the dispensation of Divine justice whereby Allah punishes whom He will and forgives whom He will. Even after we pay our debts to society for crimes or indiscretions which we commit, there still remains the issue of facing our Maker one Day.
And on that Day, the promise of forgiveness with which He has bound Himself does not appertain to those who offend and re-offend, despite penitence and pledges of reform, but only to those who commit a random act of indiscretion and as soon as they realize their error, repent at once and never repeat the same error again).
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed regarding men who have no qualms about treating women like chattel and 'inheriting' the widows of departed relatives along with their estate.
4 : 19
19. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la yahillu lakum an tarithoo alnnisaa karhan wala taAAduloohunna litathhaboo bibaAAdi ma ataytumoohunna illa an ya/teena bifahishatin mubayyinatin waAAashiroohunna bialmaAAroofi fa-in karihtumoohunna faAAasa an takrahoo shay-an wayajAAala Allahu feehi khayran katheeran
O those of you who believe! It is not lawful for you to forcibly become heirs to
women, nor prevent them from leaving you with the intention of recovering some
of the dowry they have received, except if they have committed an act of gross
indecency. Treat them courteously even if they no longer please you, for it is
possible that you are despising what is good for you!
(During the days of paganism, it was a standard practice with the Arabs to add to the estate of a deceased person his widows and 'inherit' them as though they were a part of his assets. Whether they consented or not, they were forced into marriages without dowry, or isolated from outside world to stop them from forming alliances of matrimony with other men, or persecuted inside the house until they ransomed themselves by giving up the dowry they received from their deceased husbands and the portion which they inherited from their estates. Such was the abysmal state of their plight that many of them were driven to suicide, and the ones who did manage to break out of their virtual imprisonment fell victim to foul play at the hands of other men who took advantage of their helplessness and turned them into prostitutes or sold them off as slaves. This verse put an end to these nefarious traditions.
The verse also prohibited believers from placing hurdles of any kind in the way of women who wished to sever the marriage tie and leave, with the sole intention of recovering from them the dowry which they may have paid, except if there was evidence of inappropriate behaviour on their part, and admonished men to respect their wives even if they no longer appealed to them).
* * *
4 : 20
20. Wa-in aradtumu istibdala zawjin makana zawjin waataytum ihdahunna qintaran fala ta/khuthoo minhu shay-an ata/khuthoonahu buhtanan wa-ithman mubeenan
If you wish to divorce one wife in order to marry another, and you have given her a great deal of dowry, do not take it back from her. Would you take anything back from anyone resorting to false imputations and blatant lies?
(During the times of paganism, it was yet another common custom in the Arab tribes that, if a man wished to divorce one wife in order to marry another, he would traduce her with false accusations until she got fed up and either waived her dowry or returned it to him in order to spare herself the torment. Islam made it unlawful for the believers to thus disgrace the women whom they had once adored and honoured).
4 : 21
21. Wakayfa ta/khuthoonahu waqad afda baAAdukum ila baAAdin waakhathna minkum meethaqan ghaleethan
How could you take it back when one of you has penetrated the other and they have taken from you a pledge of loyalty in return?
(The verse reminds us that there are certain things in life that cannot be reversed. Once a woman has submitted herself to a man as his wife, and sexual intercourse took place between them in the expectation that they were going to remain loyal to each other for the rest of their lives, there is no way in which this situation can be reversed and the clocks put backwards. The Qur'aan, therefore, makes it incumbent upon the husband to bear this in mind when severing his bonds, even if it was brought about at her behest, and compensate her irrecoverable loss by at least letting her keep whatever he had given her as her dowry).
4 : 22
22. Wala tankihoo ma nakaha abaokum mina alnnisa-i illa ma qad salafa innahu kana fahishatan wamaqtan wasaa sabeelan
And wed not women who were married to your father or your grandfather, except if such a marriage has already taken place. It is a deplorable deed to perpetrate and a foul example to follow. (R)
(The pagan Arabs saw no wrong in marrying the wives of their fathers, except those who had given them birth. Not only did this verse proscribe marriage between step-mothers and step-sons, it also included women with whom the father may have cohabited, even if it was an illicit relationship).
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
15. And those of your women who commit illegal sexual intercourse, take the evidence of four witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them (i.e. women) to houses until death comes to them or All‚h ordains for them some (other) way.
16. And the two persons (man and woman) among you who commit illegal sexual intercourse, punish them both. And if they repent (promise All‚h that they will never repeat, i.e. commit illegal sexual intercourse and other similar sins) and do righteous good deeds, leave them alone. Surely, All‚h is Ever the One Who accepts repentance, (and He is) Most Merciful.
17. All‚h accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they to whom All‚h will forgive and All‚h is Ever All≠Knower, All≠Wise.
18. And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: "Now I repent;" nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful torment.
19. O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honourably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and All‚h brings through it a great deal of good.
20. But if you intend to replace a wife by another and you have given one of them a Cantar (of gold i.e. a great amount) as Mahr, take not the least bit of it back; would you take it wrongfully without a right and (with) a manifest sin?
21. And how could you take it (back) while you have gone in unto each other, and they have taken from you a firm and strong covenant?
22. And marry not women whom your fathers married, except what has already passed; indeed it was shameful and most hateful, and an evil way.
YUSUFALI: If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way.
PICKTHAL: As for those of your women who are guilty of lewdness, call to witness four of you against them. And if they testify (to the truth of the allegation) then confine them to the houses until death take them or (until) Allah appoint for them a way (through new legislation).
SHAKIR: And as for those who are guilty of an indecency from among your women, call to witnesses against them four (witnesses) from among you; then if they bear witness confine them to the houses until death takes them away or Allah opens some way for them.
YUSUFALI: If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: And as for the two of you who are guilty thereof, punish them both. And if they repent and improve, then let them be. Lo! Allah is ever relenting, Merciful.
SHAKIR: And as for the two who are guilty of indecency from among you, give them both a punishment; then if they repent and amend, turn aside from them; surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.
YUSUFALI: Allah accept the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will Allah turn in mercy: For Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.
PICKTHAL: Forgiveness is only incumbent on Allah toward those who do evil in ignorance (and) then turn quickly (in repentance) to Allah. These are they toward whom Allah relenteth. Allah is ever Knower, Wise.
SHAKIR: Repentance with Allah is only for those who do evil in ignorance, then turn (to Allah) soon, so these it is to whom Allah turns (mercifully), and Allah is ever Knowing, Wise.
YUSUFALI: Of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil, until death faces one of them, and he says, "Now have I repented indeed;" nor of those who die rejecting Faith: for them have We prepared a punishment most grievous.
PICKTHAL: The forgiveness is not for those who do ill-deeds until, when death attendeth upon one of them, he saith: Lo! I repent now; nor yet for those who die while they are disbelievers. For such We have prepared a painful doom.
SHAKIR: And repentance is not for those who go on doing evil deeds, until when death comes to one of them, he says: Surely now I repent; nor (for) those who die while they are unbelievers. These are they for whom We have prepared a painful chastisement.
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of the dower ye have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! It is not lawful for you forcibly to inherit the women (of your deceased kinsmen), nor (that) ye should put constraint upon them that ye may take away a part of that which ye have given them, unless they be guilty of flagrant lewdness. But consort with them in kindness, for if ye hate them it may happen that ye hate a thing wherein Allah hath placed much good.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! it is not lawful for you that you should take women as heritage against (their) will, and do not straiten them m order that you may take part of what you have given them, unless they are guilty of manifest indecency, and treat them kindly; then if you hate them, it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah has placed abundant good in it.
YUSUFALI: But if ye decide to take one wife in place of another, even if ye had given the latter a whole treasure for dower, Take not the least bit of it back: Would ye take it by slander and manifest wrong?
PICKTHAL: And if ye wish to exchange one wife for another and ye have given unto one of them a sum of money (however great), take nothing from it. Would ye take it by the way of calumny and open wrong?
SHAKIR: And if you wish to have (one) wife in place of another and you have given one of them a heap of gold, then take not from it anything; would you take it by slandering (her) and (doing her) manifest wrong?
YUSUFALI: And how could ye take it when ye have gone in unto each other, and they have Taken from you a solemn covenant?
PICKTHAL: How can ye take it (back) after one of you hath gone in unto the other, and they have taken a strong pledge from you?
SHAKIR: And how can you take it when one of you has already gone in to the other and they have made with you a firm covenant?
YUSUFALI: And marry not women whom your fathers married,- except what is past: It was shameful and odious,- an abominable custom indeed.
PICKTHAL: And marry not those women whom your fathers married, except what hath already happened (of that nature) in the past. Lo! it was ever lewdness and abomination, and an evil way.
SHAKIR: And marry not woman whom your fathers married, except what has already passed; this surely is indecent and hateful, and it is an evil way.
4 : 23
23. Hurrimat AAalaykum ommahatukum wabanatukum waakhawatukum waAAammatukum wakhalatukum wabanatu al-akhi wabanatu al-okhti waommahatukumu allatee ardaAAnakum waakhawatukum mina alrradaAAati waommahatu nisa-ikum waraba-ibukumu allatee fee hujoorikum min nisa-ikumu allatee dakhaltum bihinna fa-in lam takoonoo dakhaltum bihinna fala junaha AAalaykum wahala-ilu abna-ikumu allatheena min aslabikum waan tajmaAAoo bayna al-okhtayni illa ma qad salafa inna Allaha kana ghafooran raheeman
And forbidden to you are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father's sisters, your mother's sisters, your brother's daughters, your sister's daughters, your foster mothers and your foster sisters, your mothers-in-law, your step-daughters growing up in your arms and born of wives with whom you have consummated your marriage, - but if you have not, it is no sin for you to wed your step-daughters, - and the wives of sons born of your own blood, and two sisters together, except if such a marriage has already taken effect. In which case, then Allah is indeed Magnanimous and Merciful!
verse contains an exhaustive list of men and women between whom marriage is
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when the Muslims requested the Prophet to guide them about women who were captured in the war and became a part of the Spoils, but their husbands were still alive.
4 : 24
24. Waalmuhsanatu mina alnnisa-i illa ma malakat aymanukum kitaba Allahi AAalaykum waohilla lakum ma waraa thalikum an tabtaghoo bi-amwalikum muhsineena ghayra musafiheena fama istamtaAAtum bihi minhunna faatoohunna ojoorahunna fareedatan wala junaha AAalaykum feema taradaytum bihi min baAAdi alfareedati inna Allaha kana AAaleeman hakeeman
And forbidden to you are all married women save the (captives) who came to you in your share of Spoils. It is a Decree of Allah for you. Lawful to you are rest of them so that you seek them with your wealth in holy wedlock and not for fornication; and women whom you wish to wed, give them their dowries as a matter of priority. There is no sin for you in what you do by mutual consent once this duty is discharged. Verily Allah is Erudite and Wise!
(Subject to the exclusions contained in verse 23, all other women were made lawful for the believers to seek in holy wedlock, - and not for casual sex or fornication, - excluding those married to other men but including the captives brought in as a part of the Spoils, even if they were married to other men and their husbands were still alive.
The pros and cons of marriages between believers and disbelieving wives of the disbelievers, and their procedures and pre-requisites are discussed at length in Surah 8 entitled 'Spoils').
* * *
4 : 25
25. Waman lam yastatiAA minkum tawlan an yankiha almuhsanati almu/minati famin ma malakat aymanukum min fatayatikumu almu/minati waAllahu aAAlamu bi-eemanikum baAAdukum min baAAdin fainkihoohunna bi-ithni ahlihinna waatoohunna ojoorahunna bialmaAAroofi muhsanatin ghayra masafihatin wala muttakhithati akhdanin fa-itha ohsinna fa-in atayna bifahishatin faAAalayhinna nisfu ma AAala almuhsanati mina alAAathabi thalika liman khashiya alAAanata minkum waan tasbiroo khayrun lakum waAllahu ghafoorun raheemun
Those of you who lack the means to marry from free believing women, marry from believing slaves whom your right hands possess. Allah is best aware of your faith, - after all, you did emerge from one another! So marry them with the consent of their folks, giving them their dowries in fairness, provided they are sincere to you without being salacious or of easy virtue. But after submitting to wedlock, if they continue to flirt, their punishment will be half the punishment of a free woman for the same offence. This is for those of you who fear they might be driven to sin (without wedlock), though self-restraint is better for you. Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful! (R)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
23. Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father's sisters, your mother's sisters, your brother's daughters, your sister's daughters, your foster mother who gave you suck, your foster milk suckling sisters, your wives' mothers, your step daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom you have gone in - but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in them (to marry their daughters), - the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins, and two sisters in wedlock at the same time, except for what has already passed; verily, All‚h is Oft≠Forgiving, Most Merciful.
24. Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those (captives and slaves) whom your right hands possess. Thus has All‚h ordained for you. All others are lawful, provided you seek (them in marriage) with Mahr (bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) from your property, desiring chastity, not committing illegal sexual intercourse, so with those of whom you have enjoyed sexual relations, give them their Mahr as prescribed; but if after a Mahr is prescribed, you agree mutually (to give more), there is no sin on you. Surely, All‚h is Ever All≠Knowing, All≠Wise.
25. And whoever of you have not the means wherewith to wed free, believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those (captives and slaves) whom your right hands possess, and All‚h has full knowledge about your Faith, you are one from another. Wed them with the permission of their own folk (guardians, Auliy‚' or masters) and give them their Mahr according to what is reasonable; they (the above said captive and slave-girls) should be chaste, not adulterous, nor taking boy-friends. And after they have been taken in wedlock, if they commit illegal sexual intercourse, their punishment is half that for free (unmarried) women. This is for him among you who is afraid of being harmed in his religion or in his body; but it is better for you that you practise self≠restraint, and All‚h is Oft≠Forgiving, Most Merciful.
YUSUFALI: Prohibited to you (For marriage) are:- Your mothers, daughters, sisters; father's sisters, Mother's sisters; brother's daughters, sister's daughters; foster-mothers (Who gave you suck), foster-sisters; your wives' mothers; your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom ye have gone in,- no prohibition if ye have not gone in;- (Those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at one and the same time, except for what is past; for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful;-
PICKTHAL: Forbidden unto you are your mothers, and your daughters, and your sisters, and your father's sisters, and your mother's sisters, and your brother's daughters and your sister's daughters, and your foster-mothers, and your foster-sisters, and your mothers-in-law, and your step-daughters who are under your protection (born) of your women unto whom ye have gone in - but if ye have not gone in unto them, then it is no sin for you (to marry their daughters) - and the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins. And (it is forbidden unto you) that ye should have two sisters together, except what hath already happened (of that nature) in the past. Lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: Forbidden to you are your mothers and your daughters and your sisters and your paternal aunts and your maternal aunts and brothers' daughters and sisters' daughters and your mothers that have suckled you and your foster-sisters and mothers of your wives and your step-daughters who are in your guardianship, (born) of your wives to whom you have gone in, but if you have not gone in to them, there is no blame on you (in marrying them), and the wives of your sons who are of your own loins and that you should have two sisters together, except what has already passed; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
YUSUFALI: Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath Allah ordained (Prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property,- desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree Mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and Allah is All-knowing, All-wise.
PICKTHAL: And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you. Lawful unto you are all beyond those mentioned, so that ye seek them with your wealth in honest wedlock, not debauchery. And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty. And there is no sin for you in what ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done). Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Wise.
SHAKIR: And all married women except those whom your right hands possess (this is) Allah's ordinance to you, and lawful for you are (all women) besides those, provided that you seek (them) with your property, taking (them) in marriage not committing fornication. Then as to those whom you profit by, give them their dowries as appointed; and there is no blame on you about what you mutually agree after what is appointed; surely Allah is Knowing, Wise.
YUSUFALI: If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess: And Allah hath full knowledge about your faith. Ye are one from another: Wed them with the leave of their owners, and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable: They should be chaste, not lustful, nor taking paramours: when they are taken in wedlock, if they fall into shame, their punishment is half that for free women. This (permission) is for those among you who fear sin; but it is better for you that ye practise self-restraint. And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: And whoso is not able to afford to marry free, believing women, let them marry from the believing maids whom your right hands possess. Allah knoweth best (concerning) your faith. Ye (proceed) one from another; so wed them by permission of their folk, and give unto them their portions in kindness, they being honest, not debauched nor of loose conduct. And if when they are honourably married they commit lewdness they shall incur the half of the punishment (prescribed) for free women (in that case). This is for him among you who feareth to commit sin. But to have patience would be better for you. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: And whoever among you has not within his power ampleness of means to marry free believing women, then (he may marry) of those whom your right hands possess from among your believing maidens; and Allah knows best your faith: you are (sprung) the one from the other; so marry them with the permission of their masters, and give them their dowries justly, they being chaste, not fornicating, nor receiving paramours; and when they are taken in marriage, then if they are guilty of indecency, they shall suffer half the punishment which is (inflicted) upon free women. This is for him among you who fears falling into evil; and that you abstain is better for you, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
4 : 26
26. Yureedu Allahu liyubayyina lakum wayahdiyakum sunana allatheena min qablikum wayatooba AAalaykum waAllahu AAaleemun hakeemun
Allah's intention is to make you understand and guide you by giving you examples of others who came before you, and to relent towards you. Allah is Erudite and Wise!
4 : 27
27. WaAllahu yureedu an yatooba AAalaykum wayureedu allatheena yattabiAAoona alshshahawati an tameeloo maylan AAatheeman
Whereas Allah's intention is to relent towards you, the intention of those who pursue their own lusts is to drive you farthest away from the path of righteousness.
4 : 28
28. Yureedu Allahu an yukhaffifa AAankum wakhuliqa al-insanu daAAeefan
Allah's intention is to lighten your load, for man has been created weak.
(In the above three verses it is emphasized that the intention of Allah is to help mankind lead a virtuous and contented life, free of all constraints and hurdles. Allah's lenience towards us is reflected in very many ordinances governing our earthly and spiritual obligations, such as fasting, food, pilgrimage, ablution, worship, business and marriages; how generous allowances have been made for our failings and our shortcomings; how, if we forget to say 'Inshallah', we are asked to say it as soon as we remember it; if we get delayed at the time of prayer, we are allowed to offer it as soon as we find the time; if we are unable to observe our fasts during the month set aside for fasting, we are allowed to observe them whenever the situation permits; if we are unable to find lawful food, we are allowed to eat forbidden food to stay alive; if there is no water within reach for performing ablution, we are allowed to use clean soil instead of water at least for notional cleanliness! Thus Allah helps to Ďease our burdensí and forgives us our errors and gives us a more than reasonable latitude in the performance of our duties, based upon the principle that 'to err is human and to forgive Divine!').
4 : 29
29. Yaayyuha allatheena amanoo la ta/kuloo amwalakum baynakum bialbatili illa an takoona tijaratan AAan taradin minkum wala taqtuloo anfusakum inna Allaha kana bikum raheeman
O those of you who believe! Imperil not each others possessions in risky enterprises except those which you launch with mutual consent and for mutual benefit, nor put your own lives in jeopardy. Verily Allah is favourably disposed towards you!
4 : 30
30. Waman yafAAal thalika AAudwanan wathulman fasawfa nusleehi naran wakana thalika AAala Allahi yaseeran
Whoever does so with force and aggression, We shall throw him in the Fire, and this is easy for Allah to do!
(The above two verses take in their fold any enterprise based on gambling, robbery, fraud, graft, usury, - the deeds forbidden by the Qur'aan, - even if there are fortunes to be made in such projects.
'Putting lives in jeopardy' either specifically applies to committing suicide or to all 'suicidal activities'.
The punishment for those who perpetrate these evil deeds with aggression and bullying is nothing less than the Fire of hell).
4 : 31
31. In tajtaniboo kaba-ira ma tunhawna AAanhu nukaffir AAankum sayyi-atikum wanudkhilkum mudkhalan kareeman
If you refrain from committing cardinal sins that are forbidden to you, We will exculpate you of your other sins and lead you to the Abode of Esteem.
(In this verse, a clear distinction is made between cardinal sins that are above remission and minor offences which Allah is gracious enough to forgive. There is no exculpation for the crime of vituperating Allah's hegemony nor for assigning to Him partners.
As for the crime of murder, Allah has clearly declared in ordinances yet to come that íhe who takes the life of one innocent person is as guilty in His eyes as he who has taken the lives of the entire mankind', so there can be no forgiveness for this either Fornication, adultery, incest, rape, child molesting and infanticide are deemed major sins by virtue of their gravity.
In short, there is no exculpation for crimes that yield an irreversible outcome.
As for the rest, if repentance has been followed by restitution and they are never repeated again, Allah will forgive them, - if it pleases Him).
* * *
Context of Revelation : When it was ordained that men should inherit twice the share of women in the wealth left behind by their parents, men thought they would receive twice the reward from Allah for righteous deeds, whilst women thought they would get half the punishment imposed on men for their sins. This verse was revealed to straighten out the misconception.
4 : 32
32. Wala tatamannaw ma faddala Allahu bihi baAAdakum AAala baAAdin lilrrijali naseebun mimma iktasaboo walilnnisa-i naseebun mimma iktasabna wais-aloo Allaha min fadlihi inna Allaha kana bikulli shay-in AAaleeman
And aspire not for the things in which Allah has given a degree of superiority to one sex over the other. For men, there is a share in that which they earned; and for women, there is a share in that which they earned. It is better for you to aspire for Allah's bounty than compete with one another! Verily Allah is in the know of everything.
(In a much broader sense, the verse addresses the issue of envy. Allah has blessed every man and woman with their own misfortunes and fortunes. Some are born in squalor while there are others who are born with silver spoons in their mouths; some are destined to die without going beyond the stage of infancy while others are made to drag their heels until they are put out of their misery by death; some walk on cinder paths while others walk on velvet carpets; some wear glittering crowns on their heads and some hang on the gallows! Such is the order of things as devised by Allah for us before we were even born and is irreversible. We should, therefore, count our blessings as we go along and thank Him for what He has given us rather than complain to Him about what He has given to others; we should seek of His Grace that which has not been included in our Destiny and, if there is veracity in our invocation, integrity in our faith and resolve in our own inner selves, there is no reason why we should not be granted what we seek.
This verse also responds to a comment made by a believing woman of high social standing that 'if women could take up arms like men do and strive for the Cause of Allah with their lives in the battlefields, they would surely have done so', and reassures her that, if women cannot take up arms and strive for the cause of Allah, they are entitled to the same reward as men by being loyal, dedicated and supportive towards those who are striving for the Cause of Allah : their fathers, their husbands, their brothers, their sons and their grandsons).
* * *
4 : 33
33. Walikullin jaAAalna mawaliya mimma taraka alwalidani waal-aqraboona waallatheena AAaqadat aymanukum faatoohum naseebahum inna Allaha kana AAala kulli shay-in shaheedan
And to each of you We have designated heirs to inherit that which their parents and near kindred have left behind. However, as for those with whom you have entered into a pact of honour, it is incumbent on you that you fulfil it. Assuredly, everything is within the purview of Allah! (R)
(The pact of honour mentioned in this verse refers to an ancient custom among the Arab tribes according to which, if a person who has no issues nor consanguines to inherit his estate says to another that he shall be the heir to his assets and liabilities upon his death and the other person accepts, it becomes a contract binding upon both).
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
26. All‚h wishes to make clear (what is lawful and what is unlawful) to you, and to show you the ways of those before you, and accept your repentance, and All‚h is All≠Knower, All≠Wise.
27. All‚h wishes to accept your repentance, but those who follow their lusts, wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away from the Right Path.
28. All‚h wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak (cannot be patient to leave sexual intercourse with woman).
29. O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, All‚h is Most Merciful to you.
30. And whoever commits that through aggression and injustice, We shall cast him into the Fire, and that is easy for All‚h.
31. If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise).
32. And wish not for the things in which All‚h has made some of you to excel others. For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned, and ask All‚h of His Bounty. Surely, All‚h is Ever All≠Knower of everything.
33. And to everyone, We have appointed heirs of that (property) left by parents and relatives. To those also with whom you have made a pledge (brotherhood), give them their due portion (by Wasiya ≠ wills, etc.). Truly, All‚h is Ever a Witness over all things.
YUSUFALI: Allah doth wish to make clear to you and to show you the ordinances of those before you; and (He doth wish to) turn to you (In Mercy): And Allah is All-knowing, All-wise.
PICKTHAL: Allah would explain to you and guide you by the examples of those who were before you, and would turn to you in mercy. Allah is Knower, Wise.
SHAKIR: Allah desires to explain to you, and to guide you into the ways of those before you, and to turn to you (mercifully), and Allah is Knowing, Wise.
YUSUFALI: Allah doth wish to Turn to you, but the wish of those who follow their lusts is that ye should turn away (from Him),- far, far away.
PICKTHAL: And Allah would turn to you in mercy; but those who follow vain desires would have you go tremendously astray.
SHAKIR: And Allah desires that He should turn to you (mercifully), and those who follow (their) lusts desire that you should deviate (with) a great deviation.
YUSUFALI: Allah doth wish to lighten your (difficulties): For man was created Weak (in flesh).
PICKTHAL: Allah would make the burden light for you, for man was created weak.
SHAKIR: Allah desires that He should make light your burdens, and man is created weak.
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: But let there be amongst you Traffic and trade by mutual good-will: Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily Allah hath been to you Most Merciful!
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Squander not your wealth among yourselves in vanity, except it be a trade by mutual consent, and kill not one another. Lo! Allah is ever Merciful unto you.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! do not devour your property among yourselves falsely, except that it be trading by your mutual consent; and do not kill your people; surely Allah is Merciful to you.
YUSUFALI: If any do that in rancour and injustice,- soon shall We cast them into the Fire: And easy it is for Allah.
PICKTHAL: Whoso doeth that through aggression and injustice, we shall cast him into Fire, and that is ever easy for Allah.
SHAKIR: And whoever does this aggressively and unjustly, We will soon cast him into fire; and this is easy to Allah.
YUSUFALI: If ye (but) eschew the most heinous of the things which ye are forbidden to do, We shall expel out of you all the evil in you, and admit you to a gate of great honour.
PICKTHAL: If ye avoid the great (things) which ye are forbidden, We will remit from you your evil deeds and make you enter at a noble gate.
SHAKIR: If you shun the great sins which you are forbidden, We will do away with your small sins and cause you to enter an honorable place of entering.
YUSUFALI: And in no wise covet those things in which Allah Hath bestowed His gifts More freely on some of you than on others: To men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn: But ask Allah of His bounty. For Allah hath full knowledge of all things.
PICKTHAL: And covet not the thing in which Allah hath made some of you excel others. Unto men a fortune from that which they have earned, and unto women a fortune from that which they have earned. (Envy not one another) but ask Allah of His bounty. Lo! Allah is ever Knower of all things.
SHAKIR: And do not covet that by which Allah has made some of you excel others; men shall have the benefit of what they earn and women shall have the benefit of what they earn; and ask Allah of His grace; surely Allah knows all things.
YUSUFALI: To (benefit) every one, We have appointed shares and heirs to property left by parents and relatives. To those, also, to whom your right hand was pledged, give their due portion. For truly Allah is witness to all things.
PICKTHAL: And unto each We have appointed heirs of that which parents and near kindred leave; and as for those with whom your right hands have made a covenant, give them their due. Lo! Allah is ever Witness over all things.
SHAKIR: And to every one We have appointed heirs of what parents and near relatives leave; and as to those with whom your rights hands have ratified agreements, give them their portion; surely Allah is a witness over all things.
Context of revelation : The following verse was revealed when a husband slapped his wife over a mistake which she made, but her father took exception to it and lodged a complaint with the Prophet for adjudication.
4 : 34
34. Alrrijalu qawwamoona AAala alnnisa-i bima faddala Allahu baAAdahum AAala baAAdin wabima anfaqoo min amwalihim faalssalihatu qanitatun hafithatun lilghaybi bima hafitha Allahu waallatee takhafoona nushoozahunna faAAithoohunna waohjuroohunna fee almadajiAAi waidriboohunna fa-in ataAAnakum fala tabghoo AAalayhinna sabeelan inna Allaha kana AAaliyyan kabeeran
And men do have authority over women because Allah made them stronger and because they spend their wealth on them towards their maintenance. Virtuous women respect husbands and guard in their absence that which Allah has intended to be guarded. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, reason with them, or make them sleep apart, or thrash them. If they become obedient to you, then do not set out on a collision course with them. Verily Allah is Lofty and Exalted!
(Men, regardless of which religion they subscribe to and which society they live in, Islam or Christianity, Hinduism or Heathenism, in the East or in the West, now or in the past, have always occupied a place of eminence and superiority over women, by virtue of their physical strength at least, not to mention the traditional role they play as the breadwinners in the family.
At the same time, if a family is to succeed as a unit in the midst of all the pressures it faces in every aspect of life, it is important that authority should emanate from one central source at the top, so that the rules of co-existence are laid down and followed; those in need of guidance are guided; those in need of help are helped; those who require to be restrained are restrained; those who must be protected are protected. The ground rules remain the same whether we are referring to a society, a community, a state, a sovereignty, or a commonwealth, - any organization under which civilized human beings unite in order to pursue a common goal.
Islam, which promotes strict leadership and tacit obedience, empowers the husband to play that role of leadership and ordains the wife to extend to him her tacit obedience, so long as there is no evidence of abuse. This, in effect, renders his power benevolent and her loyalty conditional.
If, in the performance of these roles, the use of reasonable force becomes necessary, he is entitled to resort to it; and if in subjecting herself to his authority, the option of disregarding him becomes an inevitability for the well being of the family, she is entitled to resort to disobedience. Where there are privileges in place, there are stipulations to balance them out; where there are rights, there are duties; where there is power, there are stringent rules for exercising it.
If women seem poised towards belligerence and insubordination, the man should reason with her first, impressing upon her the consequential damage which her inflexibility could do to the family as a whole, and to her own prospects of absolution on the Day of Judgement by flouting the Divine admonition.
Punishment resulting from a lack of response to it should be mild remonstration, or use of reasonable force in the form of a thrashing, or at its worst, sleeping apart for for short periods until commonsense prevails.
When that happens, and she admits to her fault and offers her apologies, forgive her in the same lofty manner in which Allah forgives you your failings and your shortcomings, rather than persist with the nagging.
However, if common sense does not prevail and the conflict between them escalates, then the course of action as set out below should be resorted to and the matter left in the hands of Allah in the hope that He would achieve what the humans could not by bringing about a change of heart and reconciliation between them, for He knows and He cares).
4 : 35
35. Wa-in khiftum shiqaqa baynihima faibAAathoo hakaman min ahlihi wahakaman min ahliha in yureeda islahan yuwaffiqi Allahu baynahuma inna Allaha kana AAaleeman khabeeran
If you suspect that the conflict between husband and wife is becoming implacable, appoint an arbiter from his side and an arbiter from her side. And if they can succeed in persuading them to amicably resolve their conflicts, Allah will ensure a reconciliation between them. Verily Allah is Erudite and Aware.
* * *
4 : 36
36. WaoAAbudoo Allaha wala tushrikoo bihi shay-an wabialwalidayni ihsanan wabithee alqurba waalyatama waalmasakeeni waaljari thee alqurba waaljari aljunubi waalssahibi bialjanbi waibni alssabeeli wama malakat aymanukum inna Allaha la yuhibbu man kana mukhtalan fakhooran
Obey Allah and ascribe nothing as partner to Him. Be kind to your parents and to your kindred, and to the orphan and to the destitute, and to the neighbour who is related to you and to the neighbour who is not related to you, and to your friend and the wayfarer, and to your maids and your slaves. Verily Allah does not cherish the vainglorious and the conceited -
4 : 37
37. Allatheena yabkhaloona waya/muroona alnnasa bialbukhli wayaktumoona ma atahumu Allahu min fadlihi waaAAtadna lilkafireena AAathaban muheenan
Who stash away their wealth and encourage others to be parsimonious and conceal that which Allah has bestowed upon them of His grace! As for the disbelievers, We have kept in store for them an opprobrious punishment -
4 : 38
38. Waallatheena yunfiqoona amwalahum ri-aa alnnasi wala yu/minoona biAllahi wala bialyawmi al-akhiri waman yakuni alshshaytanu lahu qareenan fasaa qareenan
For those who spend their wealth for ostentation only and do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day but have chosen the devil to be their consort, - what an awful consort they have chosen!
(The admonitions contained in the above three verses form part of the Code of Conduct preached by Islam to all its adherents :
Of paramount importance to all Muslims is surrendering to the Will of Allah and not ascribing to Him any partners, neither from the living, such as Jesus, nor from the insensate such as the idols.
The second most crucial priority is to serve our parents by being respectful towards them, being available to them when they need us and spending some of our wealth on them according to our means and their requirements
With reference to this particular context, once our beloved Prophet is reported to have said that he who is blessed by Allah with ageing parents and has yet failed to earn for himself a place in the Garden by caring for them shall rise on the Day of Resurrection with his spout soiled!
Being kind and generously disposed towards our consanguines, respecting our neighbours, - far and near - tending to the needs of orphans and caring for the destitute forms an integral part of this Code.
Our beloved Prophet said : 'He who is generously disposed towards his consanguines will be blessed by Allah with a long life and prosperity.
Our beloved Prophet said : 'I and he who tends to the needs of the orphans shall remain as close to each other as the index finger is to the middle finger.'
Our beloved Prophet said : 'He who goes out of his way to help the widows and to help those who are too modest to seek help has the same status as a warrior who strives for the Cause of Allah with his life'.
Our beloved Prophet said : 'I was so consistently exhorted by the Archangel to look after my neighbours that at times it seemed as though they were my next of kin!'
Our beloved Prophet said : 'He who believes in Allah and in the Last Day should always be hospitable towards his guests and compassionate towards the wayfarer.'
Verses 37 and 38 deal with parsimony and profligacy respectively.
The worst of the parsimonious are those who not only refuse to share their wealth with the others but also persuade the others to be parsimonious like themselves and hide that which Allah has given them of His Grace.
Our beloved Prophet said that Allah prefers His bondsmen to make manifest to the others, without being conceited, the affluence which has been bestowed on them by their Lord. It is, therefore, a way of life with Muslims all over the world to clad themselves in the finest apparel which is lawful and affordable to them, especially during social events such as weddings, festivals, mass congregations, etc.
However, having made this recommendation, we are also warned against the temptation of profligacy, which often results from affluence, - not to waste our wealth on ostentation and pomposity just to impress others rather than spending it on worthwhile causes.
This verse also has implications for those who send a generous cheque to an orphanage, if it enhances their social standing, such as their name being mentioned in the media or on the podium, while rudely turning away from their door a beggar who has knocked on it for a morsel of bread!
who spend their wealth without believing in Allah or in the Last Day but merely
to show themselves off are sycophants of the devil and hence have no right to
expect a reward from Allah towards a charity which is devoid of conviction).
4 : 39
39. Wamatha AAalayhim law amanoo biAllahi waalyawmi al-akhiri waanfaqoo mimma razaqahumu Allahu wakana Allahu bihim AAaleeman
What have they to lose if they believe in Allah and the Last Day and spend in His way some of that which Allah has bestowed upon them? Allah is best aware of them!
(Far from losing anything by believing in Allah and the Last Day and spending out of the provision which He has made for us something in His way, we have everything to gain, - a lasting place in the Abode of the Hereafter, His abounding benefactions, His propinquity, His love, His hospitality, - priceless riches which no treasures could buy for us in the life of this world, available at no extra cost in return for a little faith, a little compassion and a little generosity, no more than what we can easily afford, guaranteed in writing as can be seen in the next verse).
4 : 40
40. Inna Allaha la yathlimu mithqala tharratin wa-in taku hasanatan yudaAAifha wayu/ti min ladunhu ajran AAatheeman
Allah wrongs not anyone, not even an atom's worth; and if you perform a righteous deed, He doubles the reward by adding to it a bounteous guerdon from His presence.
4 : 41
41. Fakayfa itha ji/na min kulli ommatin bishaheedin waji/na bika AAala haola-i shaheedan
So, what then would their predicament be when We bring forth a witness from every nation to vouch for their people, and appoint you (O Mohammed) as a witness to vouch for those who bear witness for them?
4 : 42
42. Yawma-ithin yawaddu allatheena kafaroo waAAasawoo alrrasoola law tusawwa bihimu al-ardu wala yaktumoona Allaha hadeethan
On that Day, those who vituperated Allah and disobeyed the Messenger would wish that they were level with the ground! They will not be able to keep any secrets from Allah! (R)
(On the Day of Judgement, Allah will summon the messengers whom He had sent to their respective nations with His message and ask them to testify against those who rejected it; who refused to discard their false deities; who ridiculed the concept of accountability to their Lord as a far-fetched notion; who tampered with the Divine ordinances without warrant and, in some cases, even murdered the messengers who were sent to them.
He will then summon Mohammed, may Allah's peace be upon him, to bear witness that the messengers did discharge their duty in full and delivered to the people the message which they were asked to deliver.
This is because, being the Last Prophet, he is best equipped to speak for all the other messengers who preceded him.
What will their plight be when charge after charge is brought against them before the Judge of judges, by the very messengers whom they once rejected and repudiated?
If they dared to plead not guilty to any of those charges, it is a promise of Allah that their mouths will be sealed off and their limbs will be given mouths with which to testify against them so that the real truth about their deeds is brought out into the open!
What will they do? How will they cope? where will they hide? Who will defend them? Who will intercede for them? What will they have in their possession with which to ransom their guilty souls on the Day when no burdened soul shall be allowed to share the burden of another burdened soul, when mothers will ignore their children and brothers will ignore their brothers and wives will avoid their husbands and friends will ditch their friends?)
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
34. Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because All‚h has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to All‚h and to their husbands), and guard in the husband's absence what All‚h orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband's property, etc.). As to those women on whose part you see ill≠conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful), but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, All‚h is Ever Most High, Most Great.
35. If you fear a breach between them twain (the man and his wife), appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family and the other from her's; if they both wish for peace, All‚h will cause their reconciliation. Indeed All‚h is Ever All≠Knower, Well≠Acquainted with all things.
36. Worship All‚h and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Mas‚kin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, All‚h does not like such as are proud and boastful;
37. Those who are miserly and enjoin miserliness on other men and hide what All‚h has bestowed upon them of His Bounties. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a disgraceful torment.
38. And (also) those who spend of their substance to be seen of men, and believe not in All‚h and the Last Day [they are the friends of Shait‚n (Satan)], and whoever takes Shait‚n (Satan) as an intimate; then what a dreadful intimate he has!
39. And what loss have they if they had believed in All‚h and in the Last Day, and they spend out of what All‚h has given them for sustenance? And All‚h is Ever All≠Knower of them.
40. Surely! All‚h wrongs not even of the weight of an atom (or a small ant), but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward.
41. How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad SAW) as a witness against these people?
42. On that day those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) will wish that they were buried in the earth, but they will never be able to hide a single fact from All‚h.
YUSUFALI: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).
PICKTHAL: Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
SHAKIR: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.
YUSUFALI: If ye fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family, and the other from hers; if they wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation: For Allah hath full knowledge, and is acquainted with all things.
PICKTHAL: And if ye fear a breach between them twain (the man and wife), appoint an arbiter from his folk and an arbiter from her folk. If they desire amendment Allah will make them of one mind. Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Aware.
SHAKIR: And if you fear a breach between the two, then appoint judge from his people and a judge from her people; if they both desire agreement, Allah will effect harmony between them, surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.
YUSUFALI: Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious;-
PICKTHAL: And serve Allah. Ascribe no thing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and unto the neighbour who is of kin (unto you) and the neighbour who is not of kin, and the fellow-traveller and the wayfarer and (the slaves) whom your right hands possess. Lo! Allah loveth not such as are proud and boastful,
SHAKIR: And serve Allah and do not associate any thing with Him and be good to the parents and to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the neighbor of (your) kin and the alien neighbor, and the companion in a journey and the wayfarer and those whom your right hands possess; surely Allah does not love him who is proud, boastful;
YUSUFALI: (Nor) those who are niggardly or enjoin niggardliness on others, or hide the bounties which Allah hath bestowed on them; for We have prepared, for those who resist Faith, a punishment that steeps them in contempt;-
PICKTHAL: Who hoard their wealth and enjoin avarice on others, and hide that which Allah hath bestowed upon them of His bounty. For disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom;
SHAKIR: Those who are niggardly and bid people to be niggardly and hide what Allah has given them out of His grace; and We have prepared for the unbelievers a disgraceful chastisement.
YUSUFALI: Not those who spend of their substance, to be seen of men, but have no faith in Allah and the Last Day: If any take the Evil One for their intimate, what a dreadful intimate he is!
PICKTHAL: And (also) those who spend their wealth in order to be seen of men, and believe not in Allah nor the Last Day. Whoso taketh Satan for a comrade, a bad comrade hath he.
SHAKIR: And those who spend their property (in alms) to be seen of the people and do not believe in Allah nor in the last day; and as for him whose associate is the Shaitan, an evil associate is he!
YUSUFALI: And what burden Were it on them if they had faith in Allah and in the Last Day, and they spent out of what Allah hath given them for sustenance? For Allah hath full knowledge of them.
PICKTHAL: What have they (to fear) if they believe in Allah and the Last Day and spend (aright) of that which Allah hath bestowed upon them, when Allah is ever Aware of them (and all they do)?
SHAKIR: And what (harm) would it have done them if they had believed in Allah and the last day and spent (benevolently) of what Allah had given them? And Allah knows them.
YUSUFALI: Allah is never unjust in the least degree: If there is any good (done), He doubleth it, and giveth from His own presence a great reward.
PICKTHAL: Lo! Allah wrongeth not even of the weight of an ant; and if there is a good deed, He will double it and will give (the doer) from His presence an immense reward.
SHAKIR: Surely Allah does not do injustice to the weight of an atom, and if it is a good deed He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward.
YUSUFALI: How then if We brought from each people a witness, and We brought thee as a witness against these people!
PICKTHAL: But how (will it be with them) when We bring of every people a witness, and We bring thee (O Muhammad) a witness against these?
SHAKIR: How will it be, then, when We bring from every people a witness and bring you as a witness against these?
YUSUFALI: On that day those who reject Faith and disobey the messenger will wish that the earth Were made one with them: But never will they hide a single fact from Allah!
PICKTHAL: On that day those who disbelieved and disobeyed the messenger will wish that they were level with the ground, and they can hide no fact from Allah.
SHAKIR: On that day will those who disbelieve and disobey the Messenger desire that the earth were levelled with them, and they shall not hide any word from Allah.
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when a priest led a mass after a feast in which wine was served and committed several errors in recitation on account of inebriation, which resulted in a total ban on consumption of intoxicating beverages.
4 : 43
43. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la taqraboo alssalata waantum sukara hatta taAAlamoo ma taqooloona wala junuban illa AAabiree sabeelin hatta taghtasiloo wa-in kuntum marda aw AAala safarin aw jaa ahadun minkum mina algha-iti aw lamastumu alnnisaa falam tajidoo maan fatayammamoo saAAeedan tayyiban faimsahoo biwujoohikum waaydeekum inna Allaha kana AAafuwwan ghafooran
O those of you who believe! If you are in a state of inebriation, do not approach your prayers until you know what you are saying; nor if you are in a state of uncleanness until you have bathed, except if you are journeying. If you are ill or are travelling or you have visited the toilet or have touched a member of the opposite sex but have no access to water, find some clean soil and rub it in your faces and hands. Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful!
(Islam places a great emphasis on cleanliness, which is broadly of three kinds :
Spiritual cleanliness : This is a constant state of being in which we are required to keep our souls cleansed of all forms of impurities of thoughts, feelings and actions. This state is not bound by time limits, which means we should keep a firm hold on what we think, how we feel towards others and what sort of deeds we perpetrate at all times.
For instance, if a youth beholds a desirable woman, it is quite possible that his passionate heart would entrance his mind into building unbecoming scenarios about her and him, which violates the state of our spiritual cleanliness and pollutes our souls.
Physical cleanliness : This is an extrinsic form of cleanliness in which we are asked to keep our bodies cleansed of all kinds of physical impurities at all times. It can be maintained by regular bathing, especially subsequent to erotic dreams resulting in bed-wetting among youths, or any form of self-abuse after the onset of puberty among young girls, or sexual intercourse between adults, or menstruation in women.
Ablution before offering prayers, or reciting or even touching the Qur'aan, or when visiting cemeteries or mausoleums, is as essential for maintaining physical cleanliness as bathing is. Even if we have had a bath and our bodies are in a state of immaculacy, ablution is nonetheless indispensable before we commence our prayers to give us a psychological sense of satisfaction that we are spiritually and physically clean enough to present ourselves before the Purest and the most Immaculate of all.
Ablution ceases to be if we visit the closet, touch a member of the opposite sex, entertain any salacious thoughts or feelings, witness a profanity or nudity, accidentally touch or scratch our organs of modesty, even so much as break wind, and needs to be revived with fresh ablution before we return to the erstwhile state of total cleanliness.
Notional cleanliness : As has been pointed out on several prior occasions, it is the ardent desire of Allah that being a good Muslim is made as easy for His bondsmen as possible.
with this commitment, not only is the unexpected anticipated but also overcome.
In the event that there is no access to water, or there is physical impairment
which prevents us from performing ablution even if there is access to water, or
if there is a fear of attack from an enemy or a wild beast, a dispensation is
provided for the genuinely restrained person in the form of
Tayammum whereby we can touch a clean
stone or soil with our hands and go through the symbolic motions of performing
ablution by running our palm over our face and hands and bodies and legs to
attain a notional sense of
cleanliness in addition to spiritual sense of cleanliness).
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed with reference to the Jews who used to be deliberately rude to the Prophet in their conversation and then brag about it in front of their fellow Jews as though by being verbally discourteous to him, they had accomplished a great feat
4 : 44
44. Alam tara ila allatheena ootoo naseeban mina alkitabi yashtaroona alddalalata wayureedoona an tadilloo alssabeela
Seen you not how those who received a part of the Scripture purchase error and ardently wish that you too strayed away from the straight path?
4 : 45
45. WaAllahu aAAlamu bi-aAAda-ikum wakafa biAllahi waliyyan wakafa biAllahi naseeran
Allah is well aware of who your enemies are, and Allah suffices you as your Guardian, and Allah suffices you as your Champion.
(Both the above verses are aimed at the Jews who deliberately introduced changes in the text of the Torah wherever it dealt with the prophesy of the Last Prophet chosen to receive the Last Divine Revelation from Allah and guide all mankind on to the path of righteousness, their main grievance being that a descendant of the Children of Ishmeal was chosen for this enviable accolade instead of a descendant of the Children of Israel, as they had expected all along.
Verse 45 contains a warning for the prevaricators that Allah is well aware of who they are, and a reassurance for the believers that His guidance and His guardianship are more than enough for them).
* * *
4 : 46
46. Mina allatheena hadoo yuharrifoona alkalima AAan mawadiAAihi wayaqooloona samiAAna waAAasayna waismaAA ghayra musmaAAin waraAAina layyan bi-alsinatihim wataAAnan fee alddeeni walaw annahum qaloo samiAAna waataAAna waismaAA waonthurna lakana khayran lahum waaqwama walakin laAAanahumu Allahu bikufrihim fala yu/minoona illa qaleelan
There are some Jews who shift their words around out of context and say : 'We hear you but we disobey!' or 'you hear like one who is not really hearing' or 'Hear us!', twisting their tongues and tainting religion with innuendoes. Instead, had they said : 'We hear and we obey!' or 'Hear us' or 'Look at us!' it would have been much better for them and more appropriate. But Allah has cursed them on account of their apostasy, which is why they believe not, except a few.
(This verse was aimed at Jews who seldom passed up an opportunity of denigrating the Prophet by cleverly playing on the dual meaning of certain commonly used phrases that convey one sense in Arabic and a different sense in Hebrew, the latter often derogatory.
For instance, the Arabic word raa 'inaa as illustrated in this verse, when used in a context of reverence, means 'please hear us', but when used in Hebrew in a derogatory context, it can also mean : 'O evil man!')
4 : 47
47. Ya ayyuha allatheena ootoo alkitaba aminoo bima nazzalna musaddiqan lima maAAakum min qabli an natmisa wujoohan fanaruddaha AAala adbariha aw nalAAanahum kama laAAanna as-haba alssabti wakana amru Allahi mafAAoolan
O peoples of the Scripture! Believe in what We have now revealed confirming that
which you possess, before We contort some faces, or spin some heads around from
front to back, or put a curse upon you as We put a curse on those who violated
the Sabbath in the past! Allah's command will surely come to pass!
(As for the punishment of distorting their faces and turning their heads from front to back is concerned, opinions differ. Some commentators say that this punishment will take effect in the life of this world; some say that it will land upon them on the Day they are brought before their Lord for the rendition of accounts; some say that the curse and the punishment have already landed on them; some say it is impending and some say it would have landed upon them if they had rejected Islam altogether, but since many amongst them have embraced it, the curse has been withdrawn and the punishment averted.
When Abdallah ibn As-Salam, a Jewish pedagogue of a high social and intellectual standing heard this verse, he was on his way home from Syria. He felt so scared by the warning that he went straight to the Prophet as soon as reaching Madina and embraced Islam.
So did Ka'b Ahbar, another Jew of an equally prominent standing, both of whom were true believers in the Torah and accepted that Prophet Mohammed was, indeed, the Last Prophet prophesied in it)
4 : 48
48. Inna Allaha la yaghfiru an yushraka bihi wayaghfiru ma doona thalika liman yashao waman yushrik biAllahi faqadi iftara ithman AAatheeman
Verily Allah will not forgive those who ascribe partners to Him. He forgives whom He will for anything else, but they who ascribe partners to Allah commit a serious crime.
unequivocally declares that vituperating Allah's hegemony is a cardinal sin and
hence beyond the scope of exculpation. Relenting towards believers who erred in
other ways, even if they did not repent, is a matter of Allah's Mercy; but
repudiation and deification would not be tolerated nor exempted).
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed with reference to the claims made by the Jews and the Christians that, in order to enter Paradise, one would have to be either a Jew or a Christian because Allah purified the Jews by virtue of their being the adherents of Moses, a cherished Prophet, and He purified the Christians by virtue of their being the adherents of 'His own Son!'
4 : 49
49. Alam tara ila allatheena yuzakkoona anfusahum bali Allahu yuzakkee man yashao wala yuthlamoona fateelan
Have you not seen those who indulge in self-approbation over their purity? Nay! Allah purifies whom He will, and none will ever be wronged worth the down on a date stone!
4 : 50
50. Onthur kayfa yaftaroona AAala Allahi alkathiba wakafa bihi ithman mubeenan
Watch how they assign lies to Allah! That by itself is enough to constitute a cardinal sin (R)
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
43. O you who believe! Approach not As≠Sal‚t (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter, nor when you are in a state of Jan‚ba, (i.e. in a state of sexual impurity and have not yet taken a bath) except when travelling on the road (without enough water, or just passing through a mosque), till you wash your whole body. And if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes after answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (by sexual relations) and you find no water, perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands (Tayammum). Truly, All‚h is Ever Oft≠Pardoning, Oft≠Forgiving.
44. Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the book (the Jews), purchasing the wrong path, and wish that you should go astray from the Right Path.
45. All‚h has full knowledge of your enemies, and All‚h is Sufficient as a WalÓ (Protector), and All‚h is Sufficient as a Helper.
46. Among those who are Jews, there are some who displace words from (their) right places and say: "We hear your word (O Muhammad SAW ) and disobey," and "Hear and let you (O Muhammad SAW) hear nothing." And R‚'ina with a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion (Isl‚m). And if only they had said: "We hear and obey", and "Do make us understand," it would have been better for them, and more proper, but All‚h has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not except a few.
47. O you who have been given the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Believe in what We have revealed (to Muhammad SAW) confirming what is (already) with you, before We efface faces (by making them like the back of necks; without nose, mouth, eyes, etc.) and turn them hindwards, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath≠breakers. And the Commandment of All‚h is always executed.
48. Verily, All‚h forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with All‚h in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.
49. Have you not seen those who claim sanctity for themselves. Nay - but All‚h sanctifies whom He pleases, and they will not be dealt with injustice even equal to the extent of a Fatil‚ (A scalish thread in the long slit of a date≠stone).
50. Look, how they invent a lie against All‚h, and enough is that as a manifest sin.
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged, until ye can understand all that ye say,- nor in a state of ceremonial impurity (Except when travelling on the road), until after washing your whole body. If ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands. For Allah doth blot out sins and forgive again and again.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Draw not near unto prayer when ye are drunken, till ye know that which ye utter, nor when ye are polluted, save when journeying upon the road, till ye have bathed. And if ye be ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have touched women, and ye find not water, then go to high clean soil and rub your faces and your hands (therewith). Lo! Allah is Benign, Forgiving.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! do not go near prayer when you are Intoxicated until you know (well) what you say, nor when you are under an obligation to perform a bath-- unless (you are) travelling on the road-- until you have washed yourselves; and if you are sick, or on a journey, or one of you come from the privy or you have touched the women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth, then wipe your faces and your hands; surely Allah is Pardoning, Forgiving.
YUSUFALI: Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who were given a portion of the Book? they traffic in error, and wish that ye should lose the right path.
PICKTHAL: Seest thou not those unto whom a portion of the Scripture hath been given, how they purchase error, and seek to make you (Muslims) err from the right way?
SHAKIR: Have you not considered those to whom a portion of the Book has been given? They buy error and desire that you should go astray from the way.
YUSUFALI: But Allah hath full knowledge of your enemies: Allah is enough for a protector, and Allah is enough for a Helper.
PICKTHAL: Allah knoweth best (who are) your enemies. Allah is sufficient as a Guardian, and Allah is sufficient as a Supporter.
SHAKIR: And Allah best knows your enemies; and Allah suffices as a Guardian, and Allah suffices as a Helper.
YUSUFALI: Of the Jews there are those who displace words from their (right) places, and say: "We hear and we disobey"; and "Hear what is not Heard"; and "Ra'ina"; with a twist of their tongues and a slander to Faith. If only they had said: "What hear and we obey"; and "Do hear"; and "Do look at us"; it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah hath cursed them for their Unbelief; and but few of them will believe.
PICKTHAL: Some of those who are Jews change words from their context and say: "We hear and disobey; hear thou as one who heareth not" and "Listen to us!" distorting with their tongues and slandering religion. If they had said: "We hear and we obey: hear thou, and look at us" it had been better for them, and more upright. But Allah hath cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not, save a few.
SHAKIR: Of those who are Jews (there are those who) alter words from their places and say: We have heard and we disobey and: Hear, may you not be made to hear! and: Raina, distorting (the word) with their tongues and taunting about religion; and if they had said (instead): We have heard and we obey, and hearken, and unzurna it would have been better for them and more upright; but Allah has cursed them on account of their unbelief, so they do not believe but a little.
YUSUFALI: O ye People of the Book! believe in what We have (now) revealed, confirming what was (already) with you, before We change the face and fame of some (of you) beyond all recognition, and turn them hindwards, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers, for the decision of Allah Must be carried out.
PICKTHAL: O ye unto whom the Scripture hath been given! Believe in what We have revealed confirming that which ye possess, before We destroy countenances so as to confound them, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers (of old time). The commandment of Allah is always executed.
SHAKIR: O you who have been given the Book! believe that which We have revealed, verifying what you have, before We alter faces then turn them on their backs, or curse them as We cursed the violaters of the Sabbath, and the command of Allah shall be executed.
YUSUFALI: Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed.
PICKTHAL: Lo! Allah forgiveth not that a partner should be ascribed unto Him. He forgiveth (all) save that to whom He will. Whoso ascribeth partners to Allah, he hath indeed invented a tremendous sin.
SHAKIR: Surely Allah does not forgive that anything should be associated with Him, and forgives what is besides that to whomsoever He pleases; and whoever associates anything with Allah, he devises indeed a great sin.
YUSUFALI: Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who claim sanctity for themselves? Nay-but Allah Doth sanctify whom He pleaseth. But never will they fail to receive justice in the least little thing.
PICKTHAL: Hast thou not seen those who praise themselves for purity? Nay, Allah purifieth whom He will, and they will not be wronged even the hair upon a date-stone.
SHAKIR: Have you not considered those who attribute purity to themselves? Nay, Allah purifies whom He pleases; and they shall not be wronged the husk of a date stone.
YUSUFALI: Behold! how they invent a lie against Allah! but that by itself is a manifest sin!
PICKTHAL: See, how they invent lies about Allah! That of itself is flagrant sin.
SHAKIR: See how they forge the lie against Allah, and this is sufficient as a manifest sin.
Context of Revelatio: The following verse was revealed when a delegation of prominent Jews, led by K'ab ibn Al-Ashraf, approached the idolaters of Mecca and offered to team up with them in their battle against Muslims and, as a gesture of solidarity, prostrated before their idols.
4 : 51
51. Alam tara ila allatheena ootoo naseeban mina alkitabi yu/minoona bialjibti waalttaghooti wayaqooloona lillatheena kafaroo haola-i ahda mina allatheena amanoo sabeelan
Have you not seen those to whom only a portion of the Scripture had been given, how they succumb to the idols and false deities and say to other disbelievers: 'We did find the idolaters to be more rightly guided than the believers!'
4 : 52
52. Ola-ika allatheena laAAanahumu Allahu waman yalAAani Allahu falan tajida lahu naseeran
These are the people upon whom Allah has put a curse! And those upon whom Allah has put a curse, you (O Mohammed) will never be able to find any cohorts for them!
* * *
4 : 53
53. Am lahum naseebun mina almulki fa-ithan la yu/toona alnnasa naqeeran
Or assume they that they have a share in the Kingdom? If they had, they would not spare even a speck of it to the rest of mankind!
4 : 54
54. Am yahsudoona alnnasa AAala ma atahumu Allahu min fadlihi faqad atayna ala ibraheema alkitaba waalhikmata waataynahum mulkan AAatheeman
Or, are they merely jealous of what Allah has given to mankind of His Grace? For it was to the descendants of Abraham that We gave the Scripture in the past, and the Wisdom and a mighty Kingdom!
(Such as the mighty kingdom bestowed upon Joseph and David and Solomon, descendants of Abraham, who is the most cherished Prophet of Allah)
4 : 55
55. Faminhum man amana bihi waminhum man sadda AAanhu wakafa bijahannama saAAeeran
And among them there are some who believed in it and among them there are some who vituperated it, and Hell suffices those who vituperate!
(Among them are great intellectuals like Abdallah ibn As-Salam and his companions who embraced Islam soon after Verse 47 was revealed; and among them there are also others who chose to deprive themselves the opportunity of self-amelioration through the blessings of the Holy Qur'aan)
4 : 56
56. Inna allatheena kafaroo bi-ayatina sawfa nusleehim naran kullama nadijat julooduhum baddalnahum juloodan ghayraha liyathooqoo alAAathaba inna Allaha kana AAazeezan hakeeman
Those who vituperate Our revelations, We shall cast them in the Fire! And as and when their skins singe, We shall replace them with fresh layers of skin so that they keep tasting the fiery torment uninterrupted. Verily Allah is Meritorious and Sagacious
4 : 57
57. Waallatheena amanoo waAAamiloo alssalihati sanudkhiluhum jannatin tajree min tahtiha al-anharu khalideena feeha abadan lahum feeha azwajun mutahharatun wanudkhiluhum thillan thaleelan
As for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, We will enter them in Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they shall abide forever, and wherein they shall be paired with chaste companions and taken to where the shades are at their densest!
4 : 58
58. Inna Allaha ya/murukum an tu-addoo al-amanati ila ahliha wa-itha hakamtum bayna alnnasi an tahkumoo bialAAadli inna Allaha niAAimma yaAAithukum bihi inna Allaha kana sameeAAan baseeran
Allah commands you that you restore to their lawful owners whatever you held in trust for them and that, if you judge between mankind, be fair in your judgement! Allah gives you an admirable admonishment, for He hears and sees everything.
(The two admonishments contained in the above verse: that we should hand over to their lawful owners whatever we had held in Trust for them; and that, if we are invited to judge in any dispute between two individuals, we should be fair and impartial in our judgements, -are exhortations which form an integral part of the Code of Conduct as preached by Islam.
According to men of wisdom, the element of impartiality in the proceedings of a trial can be achieved by adhering to five essentials of justice : (i) equal access; (ii) equal latitude; (iii) equal attention (iv) equal opportunity; (v) equal justice.
According to commentators, the above verse was revealed on the momentous occasion of the triumphant Invasion of Mecca by the Muslims, when a man called Uthman ibn Talha, the keeper of Ka'ba, refused to surrender the keys to the Prophet until he was overcome by Hadrath Ali and forced into giving them up.
However, there is evidence to support other commentators who state that Uthman willingly handed over the keys to the Prophet because, by then, he had already embraced Islam).
4 : 59
59. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo ateeAAoo Allaha waateeAAoo alrrasoola waolee al-amri minkum fa-in tanazaAAtum fee shay-in faruddoohu ila Allahi waalrrasooli in kuntum tu/minoona biAllahi waalyawmi al-akhiri thalika khayrun waahsanu ta/weelan
O those of you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those who wield authority over you. In the event of a dispute arising between you, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you truly believe in Allah and in the Last Day! That is a far better course of action for you to take and its outcome bound to be the best for all. (R)
(In the above verse, it is made mandatory for the citizens of a nation to pay tacit obedience to their rulers, and for the rulers to be diligent in the exercise of their power by subjecting their authority to: (i) Divine Law, as made manifest in the Qur'aan; (ii) its interpretation by the Prophet, as envisaged in the Sunna; (iii) its application as is reflected in the 'Fatwas' of the learned men who are empowered to pronounce them; and (iv) rulings and precedents, as established in the past
Our Prophet said: 'He who obeys me, he obeys Allah; and he who disobeys me disobeys Allah; he who obeys his ruler, he obeys me; and he who disobeys his ruler disobeys me)!'
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
51. Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They believe in Jibt and T‚ghŻt and say to the disbelievers that they are better guided as regards the way than the believers (Muslims).
52. They are those whom All‚h has cursed, and he whom All‚h curses, you will not find for him (any) helper,
53. Or have they a share in the dominion? Then in that case they would not give mankind even a NaqÓra (speck on the back of a date-stone).
54. Or do they envy men (Muhammad SAW and his followers) for what All‚h has given them of His Bounty? Then We had already given the family of Ibr‚him (Abraham) the Book and Al≠Hikmah (As≠Sunnah - Divine Inspiration to those Prophets not written in the form of a book), and conferred upon them a great kingdom.
55. Of them were (some) who believed in him (Muhammad SAW), and of them were (some) who averted their faces from him (Muhammad SAW); and enough is Hell for burning (them).
56. Surely! Those who disbelieved in Our Ay‚t (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) We shall burn them in Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for other skins that they may taste the punishment. Truly, All‚h is Ever Most Powerful, All≠Wise.
57. But those who believe (in the Oneness of All‚h - Isl‚mic Monotheism) and do deeds of righteousness, We shall admit them to Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), abiding therein forever. Therein they shall have Azw‚jun Mutahharatun [purified mates or wives (having no menses, stools, urine, etc.)] and We shall admit them to shades wide and ever deepening (Paradise).
58. Verily! All‚h commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice. Verily, how excellent is the teaching which He (All‚h) gives you! Truly, All‚h is Ever All≠Hearer, All≠Seer.
59. O you who believe! Obey All‚h and obey the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to All‚h and His Messenger (SAW), if you believe in All‚h and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.
YUSUFALI: Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who were given a portion of the Book? they believe in sorcery and Evil, and say to the Unbelievers that they are better guided in the (right) way Than the believers!
PICKTHAL: Hast thou not seen those unto whom a portion of the Scripture hath been given, how they believe in idols and false deities, and how they say of those (idolaters) who disbelieve: "These are more rightly guided than those who believe"?
SHAKIR: Have you not seen those to whom a portion of the Book has been given? They believe in idols and false deities and say of those who disbelieve: These are better guided in the path than those who believe.
YUSUFALI: They are (men) whom Allah hath cursed: And those whom Allah Hath cursed, thou wilt find, have no one to help.
PICKTHAL: Those are they whom Allah hath cursed, and he whom Allah hath cursed, thou (O Muhammad) wilt find for him no helper.
SHAKIR: Those are they whom Allah has cursed, and whomever Allah curses you shall not find any helper for him.
YUSUFALI: Have they a share in dominion or power? Behold, they give not a farthing to their fellow-men?
PICKTHAL: Or have they even a share in the Sovereignty? Then in that case, they would not give mankind even the speck on a date-stone.
SHAKIR: Or have they a share in the kingdom? But then they would not give to people even the speck in the date stone.
YUSUFALI: Or do they envy mankind for what Allah hath given them of his bounty? but We had already given the people of Abraham the Book and Wisdom, and conferred upon them a great kingdom.
PICKTHAL: Or are they jealous of mankind because of that which Allah of His bounty hath bestowed upon them? For We bestowed upon the house of Abraham (of old) the Scripture and wisdom, and We bestowed on them a mighty kingdom.
SHAKIR: Or do they envy the people for what Allah has given them of His grace? But indeed We have given to Ibrahim's children the Book and the wisdom, and We have given them a grand kingdom.
YUSUFALI: Some of them believed, and some of them averted their faces from him: And enough is Hell for a burning fire.
PICKTHAL: And of them were (some) who believed therein and of them were (some) who turned away from it. Hell is sufficient for (their) burning.
SHAKIR: So of them is he who believes in him, and of them is he who turns away from him, and hell is sufficient to burn.
YUSUFALI: Those who reject our Signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire: as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.
PICKTHAL: Lo! Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment. Lo! Allah is ever Mighty, Wise.
SHAKIR: (As for) those who disbelieve in Our communications, We shall make them enter fire; so oft as their skins are thoroughly burned, We will change them for other skins, that they may taste the chastisement; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.
YUSUFALI: But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, We shall soon admit to Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath,- their eternal home: Therein shall they have companions pure and holy: We shall admit them to shades, cool and ever deepening.
PICKTHAL: And as for those who believe and do good works, We shall make them enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow - to dwell therein for ever; there for them are pure companions - and We shall make them enter plenteous shade.
SHAKIR: And (as for) those who believe and do good deeds, We will make them enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them for ever; they shall have therein pure mates, and We shall make them enter a dense shade.
YUSUFALI: Allah doth command you to render back your Trusts to those to whom they are due; And when ye judge between man and man, that ye judge with justice: Verily how excellent is the teaching which He giveth you! For Allah is He Who heareth and seeth all things.
PICKTHAL: Lo! Allah commandeth you that ye restore deposits to their owners, and, if ye judge between mankind, that ye judge justly. Lo! comely is this which Allah admonisheth you. Lo! Allah is ever Hearer, Seer.
SHAKIR: Surely Allah commands you to make over trusts to their owners and that when you judge between people you judge with justice; surely Allah admonishes you with what is excellent; surely Allah is Seeing, Hearing.
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority; and if ye have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the messenger if ye are (in truth) believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end.
Context of Revelation: The following verse was revealed when a dispute arose between a Jew and a hypocrite, and whilst the Jew was happy to get it resolved by the Prophet, the hypocrite insisted upon its being referred to another Jew who was known to accept bribes and adjudicate disputes in favour of those who paid him the most.
4 : 60
60. Alam tara ila allatheena yazAAumoona annahum amanoo bima onzila ilayka wama onzila min qablika yureedoona an yatahakamoo ila alttaghooti waqad omiroo an yakfuroo bihi wayureedu alshshaytanu an yudillahum dalalan baAAeedan
Have you not seen those who claim to believe in that which has been revealed to you and in that which was revealed to others before you how they rely on false deities to arbitrate in their disputes, though they have been asked to disavow them? The aim of Satan is to send them far astray!
(It should be noted that the Qur'aan unequivocally places judges who judge in favour of those who paid them bribes in par with 'false deities', or in other words Satan).
* * *
4 : 61
61. Wa-itha qeela lahum taAAalaw ila ma anzala Allahu wa-ila alrrasooli raayta almunafiqeena yasuddoona AAanka sudoodan
When it is said to them : 'Come towards that which Allah has revealed and towards the Messenger!' you will notice the hypocrites turn their faces away from you with repugnance!
4 : 62
62. Fakayfa itha asabat-hum museebatun bima qaddamat aydeehim thumma jaooka yahlifoona biAllahi in aradna illa ihsanan watawfeeqan
How would it be if they were struck by a catastrophe on account of that which their own hands have sent ahead of them? They will then run to you swearing on Allah that it was their intention all along to promote cordiality and friendship between you!
4 : 63
63. Ola-ika allatheena yaAAlamu Allahu ma fee quloobihim faaAArid AAanhum waAAithhum waqul lahum fee anfusihim qawlan baleeghan
Allah knows what lies in their hearts, so be discreet with them but admonish them and talk firmly to them in matters of their souls.
4 : 64
64. Wama arsalna min rasoolin illa liyutaAAa bi-ithni Allahi walaw annahum ith thalamoo anfusahum jaooka faistaghfaroo Allaha waistaghfara lahumu alrrasoolu lawajadoo Allaha tawwaban raheeman
We never sent a messenger other than for him to be obeyed, by the leave of Allah. If, when they wronged their souls, they came to you seeking forgiveness of Allah and blessings from His messenger, they would have found Allah to be Magnanimous and Merciful!
(This verse contains a reassurance from Allah that, if we burden our souls with guilt but seek the Prophet to intercede on our behalf for Allah's forgiveness, his prayers and his blessings are always acceptable to Him.
According to a tradition, subsequent to the passing away of the Prophet, a believer who had only recently embraced Islam arrived at his grave, sprinkled its soil upon his head and then addressed him saying: 'O Prophet of Allah! I heard your message, and the Scripture you received from Allah, and surrendered to Him. But I am here today because I sinned and I need you to intercede on my behalf for His forgiveness!
At the end of the prayer, as tears kept rolling down his cheeks, he heard a voice in his ears which said: 'Allah has, indeed, forgiven you!')
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when a dispute between a farmer who was a Christian and a believer who was the Prophet's cousin was brought before him for adjudication. Although the judgement was based on facts, the farmer refused to accept it, claiming that the Prophet was biased in favour of his cousin.
4 : 65
65. Fala warabbika la yu/minoona hatta yuhakkimooka feema shajara baynahum thumma la yajidoo fee anfusihim harajan mimma qadayta wayusallimoo tasleeman
Nay, by your Lord (O Mohammed!) They can never become true believers until they have empowered you to act as their judge in their mutual disputes and find no hindrance in their hearts to accept your judgement as final.
(In the ordinances of Allah, there is no place for an assertion by our tongues, if our hearts do not consigned to it because words are just vehicles of expression to convey a conviction which is either present or absent inside us.
The words 'I acknowledge that there is no God other than Allah, that He is One God without any partners, that Mohammed is human and he is a messenger of Allah' do constitute a commitment to embrace Islam, but only if they are meant with sincerity. If they are repeated like partook, they are worthless and of no significance whatsoever).
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed with reference to a Jew when he bragged before a believer that, although emigration and self immolation for the expiation of their sins was ordained by Allah on his forefathers by way of punishment, they nonetheless abided by it.
4 : 66
66. Walaw anna katabna AAalayhim ani oqtuloo anfusakum awi okhrujoo min diyarikum ma faAAaloohu illa qaleelun minhum walaw annahum faAAaloo ma yooAAathoona bihi lakana khayran lahum waashadda tathbeetan
If We had made it incumbent upon them to lay down their lives and forsake their homes, only a few of them would have done so. If they had done what they were commanded to do, it would have been better for them and would have strengthened their faith
4 : 67
67. Wa-ithan laataynahum min ladunna ajran AAatheeman
In which case, We would have bestowed upon them a great reward from Our presence -
4 : 68
68. Walahadaynahum siratan mustaqeeman
And guided them on to the path of righteousness.
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed when a believer who loved the Prophet immensely expressed his distress at the thought of a permanent separation from him in the Hereafter because, even if he was entered the Garden, it did not mean he would attain the proximity of a Prophet of Allah.
4 : 69
69. Waman yutiAAi Allaha waalrrasoola faola-ika maAAa allatheena anAAama Allahu AAalayhim mina alnnabiyyeena waalssiddeeqeena waalshshuhada-i waalssaliheena wahasuna ola-ika rafeeqan
Those who obey Allah and the Messenger would attain propinquity of those whom Allah has shown favour : the Prophets and Saints and martyrs and the righteous - a fraternity most distinguished!
4 : 70
70. Thalika alfadlu mina Allahi wakafa biAllahi AAaleeman
Such is the Grace of Allah! He suffices you, for He knows everything! (R)
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
60. Have you seen those (hyprocrites) who claim that they believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which was sent down before you, and they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the T‚ghŻt (false judges, etc.) while they have been ordered to reject them. But Shait‚n (Satan) wishes to lead them far astray.
61. And when it is said to them: "Come to what All‚h has sent down and to the Messenger (Muhammad SAW)," you (Muhammad SAW) see the hypocrites turn away from you (Muhammad SAW) with aversion.
62. How then, when a catastrophe befalls them because of what their hands have sent forth, they come to you swearing by All‚h, "We meant no more than goodwill and conciliation!"
63. They (hypocrites) are those of whom All‚h knows what is in their hearts; so turn aside from them (do not punish them) but admonish them, and speak to them an effective word (i.e. to believe in All‚h, worship Him, obey Him, and be afraid of Him) to reach their innerselves.
64. We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed by All‚h's Leave. If they (hypocrites), when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you (Muhammad SAW) and begged All‚h's Forgiveness, and the Messenger had begged forgiveness for them: indeed, they would have found All‚h All-Forgiving (One Who accepts repentance), Most Merciful.
65. But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad SAW) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.
66. And if We had ordered them (saying), "Kill yourselves (i.e. the innnocent ones kill the guilty ones) or leave your homes," very few of them would have done it; but if they had done what they were told, it would have been better for them, and would have strengthened their (Faith);
67. And indeed We should then have bestowed upon them a great reward from Ourselves.
68. And indeed We should have guided them to a Straight Way.
69. And whoso obeys All‚h and the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), then they will be in the company of those on whom All‚h has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the SiddiqŻn (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As≠Siddiq —÷ž <> <>), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!
70. Such is the Bounty from All‚h, and All‚h is Sufficient as All≠Knower.
YUSUFALI: Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who declare that they believe in the revelations that have come to thee and to those before thee? Their (real) wish is to resort together for judgment (in their disputes) to the Evil One, though they were ordered to reject him. But Satan's wish is to lead them astray far away (from the right).
PICKTHAL: Hast thou not seen those who pretend that they believe in that which is revealed unto thee and that which was revealed before thee, how they would go for judgment (in their disputes) to false deities when they have been ordered to abjure them? Satan would mislead them far astray.
SHAKIR: Have you not seen those who assert that they believe in what has been revealed to you and what was revealed before you? They desire to summon one another to the judgment of the Shaitan, though they were commanded to deny him, and the Shaitan desires to lead them astray into a remote error.
YUSUFALI: When it is said to them: "Come to what Allah hath revealed, and to the Messenger": Thou seest the Hypocrites avert their faces from thee in disgust.
PICKTHAL: And when it is said unto them: Come unto that which Allah hath revealed and unto the messenger, thou seest the hypocrites turn from thee with aversion.
SHAKIR: And when it is said to them: Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger, you will see the hypocrites turning away from you with (utter) aversion.
YUSUFALI: How then, when they are seized by misfortune, because of the deeds which they hands have sent forth? Then their come to thee, swearing by Allah: "We meant no more than good-will and conciliation!"
PICKTHAL: How would it be if a misfortune smote them because of that which their own hands have sent before (them)? Then would they come unto thee, swearing by Allah that they were seeking naught but harmony and kindness.
SHAKIR: But how will it be when misfortune befalls them on account of what their hands have sent before? Then they will come to you swearing by Allah: We did not desire (anything) but good and concord.
YUSUFALI: Those men,-Allah knows what is in their hearts; so keep clear of them, but admonish them, and speak to them a word to reach their very souls.
PICKTHAL: Those are they, the secrets of whose hearts Allah knoweth. So oppose them and admonish them, and address them in plain terms about their souls.
SHAKIR: These are they of whom Allah knows what is in their hearts; therefore turn aside from them and admonish them, and speak to them effectual words concerning themselves.
YUSUFALI: We sent not a messenger, but to be obeyed, in accordance with the will of Allah. If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee and asked Allah's forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed Oft-returning, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: We sent no messenger save that he should be obeyed by Allah's leave. And if, when they had wronged themselves, they had but come unto thee and asked forgiveness of Allah, and asked forgiveness of the messenger, they would have found Allah Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: And We did not send any messenger but that he should be obeyed by Allah's permission; and had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful.
YUSUFALI: But no, by the Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make thee judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against Thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction.
PICKTHAL: But nay, by thy Lord, they will not believe (in truth) until they make thee judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of that which thou decidest, and submit with full submission.
SHAKIR: But no! by your Lord! they do not believe (in reality) until they make you a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them, and then do not find any straitness in their hearts as to what you have decided and submit with entire submission.
YUSUFALI: If We had ordered them to sacrifice their lives or to leave their homes, very few of them would have done it: But if they had done what they were (actually) told, it would have been best for them, and would have gone farthest to strengthen their (faith);
PICKTHAL: And if We had decreed for them: Lay down your lives or go forth from your dwellings, but few of them would have done it; though if they did what they are exhorted to do it would be better for them, and more strengthening;
SHAKIR: And if We had prescribed for them: Lay down your lives or go forth from your homes, they would not have done it except a few of them; and if they had done what they were admonished, it would have certainly been better for them and best in strengthening (them);
YUSUFALI: And We should then have given them from our presence a great reward;
PICKTHAL: And then We should bestow upon them from Our presence an immense reward,
SHAKIR: And then We would certainly have given them from Ourselves a great reward.
YUSUFALI: And We should have shown them the Straight Way.
PICKTHAL: And should guide them unto a straight path.
SHAKIR: And We would certainly have guided them in the right path.
YUSUFALI: All who obey Allah and the messenger are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah,- of the prophets (who teach), the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good): Ah! what a beautiful fellowship!
PICKTHAL: Whoso obeyeth Allah and the messenger, they are with those unto whom Allah hath shown favour, of the prophets and the saints and the martyrs and the righteous. The best of company are they!
SHAKIR: And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, these are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favors from among the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good, and a goodly company are they!
YUSUFALI: Such is the bounty from Allah: And sufficient is it that Allah knoweth all.
PICKTHAL: That is bounty from Allah, and Allah sufficeth as Knower.
SHAKIR: This is grace from Allah, and sufficient is Allah as the Knower.
4 : 71
71. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo khuthoo hithrakum fainfiroo thubatin awi infiroo jameeAAan
O those of you who believe! Be on your guard, and when you move around, go either a few at a time or in one robust bunch.
4 : 72
72. Wa-inna minkum laman layubatti-anna fa-in asabatkum museebatun qala qad anAAama Allahu AAalayya ith lam akun maAAahum shaheedan
Verily there is he among you who would hold you back, and if a catastrophe befell you, he would say : 'It was Allah's Grace upon me that I was not with them when it befell!'
4 : 73
73. Wala-in asabakum fadlun mina Allahi layaqoolanna kaan lam takun baynakum wabaynahu mawaddatun ya laytanee kuntu maAAahum faafooza fawzan AAatheeman
But if you are given a benefaction from Allah, he would say, as if he had never been midst you : 'If I was in their midst, I too would have received some of it!'
4 : 74
74. Falyuqatil fee sabeeli Allahi allatheena yashroona alhayata alddunya bial-akhirati waman yuqatil fee sabeeli Allahi fayuqtal aw yaghlib fasawfa nu/teehi ajran AAatheeman
Let those who prefer to trade the life of this world in return for the Hereafter fight in the way of Allah! He that fights in the way of Allah, whether he gets killed or emerges triumphant, We shall bestow on him an immense reward either ways!
4 : 75
75. Wama lakum la tuqatiloona fee sabeeli Allahi waalmustadAAafeena mina alrrijali waalnnisa-i waalwildani allatheena yaqooloona rabbana akhrijna min hathihi alqaryati alththalimi ahluha waijAAal lana min ladunka waliyyan waijAAal lana min ladunka naseeran
Why is it that you will not fight in the way of Allah to defend the frail amongst men and the women and the children who pray to Us saying: 'O Lord! Deliver us from this land which is inhabited by tyrants and give us from Your presence a guardian, and give us from Your presence a stalwart!'
4 : 76
76. Allatheena amanoo yuqatiloona fee sabeeli Allahi waallatheena kafaroo yuqatiloona fee sabeeli alttaghooti faqatiloo awliyaa alshshaytani inna kayda alshshaytani kana daAAeefan
Those who believe fight for the Cause of Allah and those who disbelieve fight
for the cause of false deities, so engage in battle against the stooges of the
devil, for his hold over them is but feeble! (R)
(The above verses justify in the fullest measure the need to take up arms in support of a sustainable cause regardless of its consequences or its outcome. Unless truth and virtue are defended, falsehood and evil are bound to prevail, for if the kingdom of Allah is not upheld on earth by honest men, the kingdom of devil will be upheld on the earth by his sycophants.
At the time when these verses were revealed, the plight of believers trapped in Mecca was abysmal. Mostly consisting of old and infirm men and defenceless women and hapless children, they were subjected to every conceivable atrocity the idolaters could think of. Their homes were plundered, their belongings looted, their women raped and the children forced into slavery. Their hands tied and their mouths gagged and their eyes blindfolded, there was no one for them to turn to for help or emancipation except Allah. The prayer in verse 75 reflects the extent of their desperation, repeated here in order to exhort men who could fight to come fighting for them, as well as for future generations of believers to recite, if and when trapped in a similar cul-de-sac of abject violence.
One example that springs to mind whilst commenting upon these heart-rending events is the plight that befell the hapless Muslims trapped in Kosovo endured at the hands of the brutal and Satanic reactionaries fostered by Arcane and funded by the nefarious pariah of modern day politics Milosovic. In such moments of unfathomable anguish, herded from all sides into a deadly corner, their souls being decimated and their bodies being violated, the desperate men and women of Kosovo could not have asked for a more potent amulet for hope and expectation to hang on to than the simple words of prayer contained in this verse).
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
71. O you who believe! Take your precautions, and either go forth (on an expedition) in parties, or go forth all together.
72. There is certainly among you he who would linger behind (from fighting in All‚h's Cause). If a misfortune befalls you, he says, "Indeed All‚h has favoured me in that I was not present among them."
73. But if a bounty (victory and booty) comes to you from All‚h, he would surely say - as if there had never been ties of affection between you and him - "Oh! I wish I had been with them; then I would have achieved a great success ( a good share of booty)."
74. Let those (believers) who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter fight in the Cause of All‚h, and whoso fights in the Cause of All‚h, and is killed or gets victory, We shall bestow on him a great reward.
75. And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the Cause of All‚h, and for those weak, ill≠treated and oppressed among men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help."
76. Those who believe, fight in the Cause of All‚h, and those who disbelieve, fight in the cause of T‚ghŻt (Satan, etc.). So fight you against the friends of Shait‚n (Satan); Ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shait‚n (Satan).
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Take your precautions, and either go forth in parties or go forth all together.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Take your precautions, then advance the proven ones, or advance all together.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! take your precaution, then go forth in detachments or go forth in a body.
YUSUFALI: There are certainly among you men who would tarry behind: If a misfortune befalls you, they say: "Allah did favour us in that we were not present among them."
PICKTHAL: Lo! among you there is he who loitereth; and if disaster overtook you, he would say: Allah hath been gracious unto me since I was not present with them.
SHAKIR: And surely among you is he who would certainly hang back! If then a misfortune befalls you he says: Surely Allah conferred a benefit on me that I was not present with them.
YUSUFALI: But if good fortune comes to you from Allah, they would be sure to say - as if there had never been Ties of affection between you and them - "Oh! I wish I had been with them; a fine thing should I then have made of it!"
PICKTHAL: And if a bounty from Allah befell you, he would surely cry, as if there had been no love between you and him: Oh, would that I had been with them, then should I have achieved a great success!
SHAKIR: And if grace from Allah come to you, he would certainly cry out, as if there had not been any friendship between you and him: Would that I had been with them, then I should have attained a mighty good fortune.
YUSUFALI: Let those fight in the cause of Allah Who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. To him who fighteth in the cause of Allah,- whether he is slain or gets victory - Soon shall We give him a reward of great (value).
PICKTHAL: Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.
SHAKIR: Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world's life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward.
YUSUFALI: And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!"
PICKTHAL: How should ye not fight for the cause of Allah and of the feeble among men and of the women and the children who are crying: Our Lord! Bring us forth from out this town of which the people are oppressors! Oh, give us from thy presence some protecting friend! Oh, give us from Thy presence some defender!
SHAKIR: And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.
YUSUFALI: Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject Faith Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.
PICKTHAL: Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil. Lo! the devil's strategy is ever weak.
SHAKIR: Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Shaitan. Fight therefore against the friends of the Shaitan; surely the strategy of the Shaitan is weak.
Context of Revelation: The following verse was revealed when the Prophet's associates sought his permission to avenge the idolaters for atrocities they committed on the believers, but he admonished them to concentrate on worship and alms for the time being, which had to take precedence over other things; but when fighting was ordained, the hypocrites began to drag their heels with typical apathy.
4 : 77
77. Alam tara ila allatheena qeela lahum kuffoo aydiyakum waaqeemoo alssalata waatoo alzzakata falamma kutiba AAalayhimu alqitalu itha fareequn minhum yakhshawna alnnasa kakhashyati Allahi aw ashadda khashyatan waqaloo rabbana lima katabta AAalayna alqitala lawla akhkhartana ila ajalin qareebin qul mataAAu alddunya qaleelun waal-akhiratu khayrun limani ittaqa wala tuthlamoona fateelan
Have you not seen those to whom it was said: 'Stop fighting, offer worship and give to the deserving their due?' But when fighting is ordained for them, a group of them become so scared of mankind as they would be of Allah Himself, even more, and say : 'Our Lord! Why did You ordain warfare for us? Why could You not have postponed it for a while?' Say to them (O Mohammed) : 'The comforts of the life of this world are short-lived! For those who keep away from evil, the Hereafter is much better where none will be wronged worth even the down on the date stone!'
* * *
4 : 78
78. Aynama takoonoo yudrikkumu almawtu walaw kuntum fee buroojin mushayyadatin wa-in tusibhum hasanatun yaqooloo hathihi min AAindi Allahi wa-in tusibhum sayyi-atun yaqooloo hathihi min AAindika qul kullun min AAindi Allahi famali haola-i alqawmi la yakadoona yafqahoona hadeethan
Wherever you may be, death will surely overtake you, even if you hide inside unimpregnable garrisons! Yet, if something good befalls them, they say: 'This is from Allah!' But should a disaster descend upon them, they say : 'You brought this upon us (O Mohammed!) Say to them : 'Everything is from Allah!' What is wrong with these people that they can glean not from facts?
4 ; 79
79. Ma asabaka min hasanatin famina Allahi wama asabaka min sayyi-atin famin nafsika waarsalnaka lilnnasi rasoolan wakafa biAllahi shaheedan
Whatever good comes to you, it comes from Allah. But whatever disasters befall you, you bring them upon yourselves. We have sent you (O Mohammed) as a messenger for all mankind and Allah suffices you as your witness!
(There are several thought provoking issues highlighted in these verses.
To begin with, we learn that offering worship and giving alms should take precedence over warfare, wherever and whenever it is possible or practicable.
Secondly, as mentioned on several prior occasions and will be mentioned repeatedly in the forthcoming revelations, the comforts of the life of this world are transient and come to an end the moment we shut our eyes, while the rewards we hope to gain in the Hereafter in return for our devotion, our dedication, our prayers, our performance, our charity and our compassion, are not only sumptuous but also enduring and everlasting.
Thirdly, death is an inevitability which no one can avert nor delay, regardless of how strong the ramparts are that surround us, how formidable the garrisons in which we take shelter, how remote the location to which we flee, how fervent the entreaties with which we beg to be spared! It will overtake us for sure; we will surrender to it; our bodies will capitulate and our soul will depart within the batting of an eyelid!
Finally, we quite often hear it mentioned that, whenever an air-crash is averted, it is always put down to the skill of the pilot; whenever a critical operation succeeds, it is invariably assigned to the competence of the surgeon; whenever a garden flourishes, it is credited to the green fingers of the gardener! When will we ever learn to admit to it that the air-crash was averted because Allah ordained for its passengers a much longer and safer life; the operation succeeded because Allah willed it to succeed; the garden flourished because Allah created the right conditions for it to flourish?
We seldom do! We credit ourselves with all the propitious things that happen to us and apportion blame to others for the things that go wrong in the same way as the disbelievers used to pat themselves on their backs when fair weather prevailed and the crops gave them a bounteous yield, but invariably blamed the Prophet's presence in their midst in times of drought and shortages!
Without standing on ceremonies, Allah has made plain in this verse with a cutting edge of reality that whatever good happens to us, it is from Allah; and whatever catastrophes befall us, we bring them upon ourselves!).
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when the Prophet announced to his congregation that he who obeys him obeys Allah, but those hypocrites who were keen on discrediting him deliberately misinterpreted his admonition to mean he was seeking the status of a God.
4 : 80
80. Man yutiAAi alrrasoola faqad ataAAa Allaha waman tawalla fama arsalnaka AAalayhim hafeethan
He who obeys the Messenger obeys Allah, and he who turns his face away, let him know that We sent you not to retrieve his soul!
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed in response to the activities of the hypocrites who used to swear allegiance to the Prophet in his presence but hatch all sorts of evil plots against him behind his back.
4 : 81
81. Wayaqooloona taAAatun fa-itha barazoo min AAindika bayyata ta-ifatun minhum ghayra allathee taqoolu waAllahu yaktubu ma yubayyitoona faaAArid AAanhum watawakkal AAala Allahi wakafa biAllahi wakeelan
They say : 'We obey!' But after they have left you, a group of them spend the night planning to do precisely the opposite of what you asked them! Allah is recording their nocturnal plotting, so be weary of them and put your trust in Allah! Allah suffices you as your Trustee!
* * *
4 : 82
82. Afala yatadabbaroona alqur-ana walaw kana min AAindi ghayri Allahi lawajadoo feehi ikhtilafan katheeran
Reflect they not over the Qur'aan? If it was not from Allah, they would surely have found it riddled with inconsistencies!
(This verse contains a universal admonition for all peoples of the world who read the Qur'aan, its adherents and its researchers alike, that when the Qur'aan is studied, it should be given undivided attention, its message introspected, its claims investigated, its content explored, its style appreciated and its diction applauded.
The Holy Qur'aan is a masterpiece in literature that makes a profound impact upon its reader because of the infinite erudition it contains, covering a wide range of subjects that affect every aspect of our lives, expressed in an amazingly vivid detail and a stunning choice of phraseology. How true that, if all the trees in the world were pens and the water in the oceans ink, it would still not suffice fo expounding its meaning, its philosophy, its wisdom, its profusion and its mesmerizing charisma.
If reading the text is as overwhelming as that, listening to its recitation by men and women who are gifted with a golden voice and have mastered the skill of recitation has a thrill of its own which is beyond the scope of expression. It is arresting, it is exhilarating, it is sublime, it is emollient, it is magnetic, it is awe-inspiring and soul stirring. Whether or not we grasp its contents, it still drowns us in a state of subliminal serenity.
Just like countless rays of light result in resplendence and its consummation, the verses of the Qur'aan bring with them the radiance which combats and expels darkness. They bring hope to those who have abandoned hope; they instil faith in those who have become bereft of faith; they fill the gaps in the lives of those who have sustained an emotional loss; they dry tears trickling down the eyes of those who are in anguish; they change the direction of the blind from wrong to right, they aggrandize virtue, harness probity and stimulate spiritual enhancement! Indelible, invisible, irreversible, and immeasurable, these are the weapons with which Allah has armed His devotees so that, whether or not they can win their battles, they can at least engage in them against the forces of evil and fight on!)
4 : 83
83. Wa-itha jaahum amrun mina al-amni awi alkhawfi athaAAoo bihi walaw raddoohu ila alrrasooli wa-ila olee al-amri minhum laAAalimahu allatheena yastanbitoonahu minhum walawla fadlu Allahi AAalaykum warahmatuhu laittabaAAtumu alshshaytana illa qaleelan
Whenever news reaches them, whether comforting or disconcerting, they publicize it all around. Instead, if they had passed it on to the messenger, or to those sound in judgement, they would have shown them how to cope! Were it not for the Grace of Allah upon you and His Mercy towards you, you would surely have followed Satan, - except a few!
(The verse is aimed at the half-believing-half-disbelieving hypocrites who, if they heard any news of a set back suffered by the Muslims, used to publicize it before the disbelievers so that they derived satisfaction from it; and if they heard any news of a victory scored by the disbelievers, they used to broadcast it to the Muslims so that their zeal deflated. Instead, if they conveyed the news either to the Prophet or to his close associates who had the power and the insight to deal with it, they would have dealt with it in an appropriate manner).
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when the Prophet was busy trying to recruit an army for the Battle of Badr and encountered a reluctance on part of the hypocrites to join in.
4 : 84
84. Faqatil fee sabeeli Allahi la tukallafu illa nafsaka waharridi almu/mineena AAasa Allahu an yakuffa ba/sa allatheena kafaroo waAllahu ashaddu ba/san waashaddu tankeelan
So fight (O Mohammed) for the cause of Allah! You are not responsible for anyone except for your own self, and motivate the believers. Allah will contain the strength of the disbelievers. Allah's strength excels theirs and His retribution is the harshest of all!
(The reference here is to the second Battle of Badr, which was won by the Muslims without a fight, and this is how these events transpired:
After the blood-soaked Battle of Uhud ended in a crushing defeat for Muslims, inflicted on them by the idolaters under the command of Abu Sufian, in which the Prophet himself was severely wounded, the triumphant and self conceited commander threw down the gauntlet at the Prophet, challenging him to confront him on the battle-ground of Badr once again, if he had the guts.
The Prophet said to him Inshallah and picked up the gauntlet, but when he tried to raise an army for the campaign, the hypocrites declined on the grounds that it was not a battle for the cause of Allah but merely a personal score to be settled between two adversaries.
They were wrong. The Prophet was exhorted in this verse to stand up to the challenge and keep the tryst made in the name of Allah, even if he had to fight alone.
After this revelation, the Prophet managed to raise a small force of seventy warriors who were devoted to him, but the matter had to be nipped in the bud as Abu Sufian did not turn up, even though he was himself the initiator of the challenge)
* * *
4 : 85
85. Man yashfaAA shafaAAatan hasanatan yakun lahu naseebun minha waman yashfaAA shafaAAatan sayyi-atan yakun lahu kiflun minha wakana Allahu AAala kulli shay-in muqeetan
And those who intercede for the betterment of others, - there is a share for them in their betterment, and those who intercede for the detriment of the others, there is a share for them in their detriment. Allah is Omnipotent over all things!
(Whenever there are more than two people living together, disputes and dissension are bound to arise. The Qur'aan encourages us to amicably resolve our differences, between ourselves where possible, or by means of mediation by others, and steps are taken in this verse to place a burden of responsibility upon the shoulders of those who mediate that, if their mediation bore propitious results for both the disputants, they too will be rewarded by Allah with a share in its benevolent outcome; but if their mediation resulted in an escalation of the conflict, especially if it was deliberately engineered by them, then they too would be made to share the malevolence in its outcome)
4 : 86
86. Wa-itha huyyeetum bitahiyyatin fahayyoo bi-ahsana minha aw ruddooha inna Allaha kana AAala kulli shay-in haseeban
When you are accosted with a kind greeting, greet them back with one kindlier, or at least with one similar. Verily Allah takes account of all things!
(This verse, like several others before and after it, makes a significant contribution to the Code of Conduct preached by Islam, accentuating the need for cordiality between people through an exchange of formal greetings, regardless of who believes in what, which works wonders. No matter how sour our relations have become towards those against whom we bear a grudge or have a grievance, saying 'assalam-o-alaikum' takes animosity out of the equation, at least for the time being, puts in our hands a clean slate, irons out most of the creases and draws us that much closer.
Many commentators dwell at length on the protocol of mutual greetings. While the Prophet instructs us to initiate the greeting, Allah makes it incumbent upon us to respond to it with a similar greeting, or one even better, by enhancing and qualifying the response
However, if a person is engrossed in preaching a sermon, or is reciting the Qur'aan or the Ahadith, or delivering a lecture or 'Azaan', it is inadvisable to interrupt him with greetings in the middle of his important tasks. Even if we do, he is not obligated to respond.
If a person is engrossed in playing chess or cards, or gambling, or listening to music or watching dance performances, or is inside the closet, or is bathing, or is naked, there is no obligation on us to greet him because it is unlikely that he would respond.
The protocol of greetings dictates that husbands should greet their wives when they come home from work; children should greet their parents when they get up; 'the rider of a horse should greet the rider of a mule; the rider of a mule should greet the pedestrian on his feet; the pedestrian on his feet should greet the sedentary!'. Broadly speaking, the young should greet the old and the few should greet the multitudes).
4 : 87
87. Allahu la ilaha illa huwa layajmaAAannakum ila yawmi alqiyamati la rayba feehi waman asdaqu mina Allahi hadeethan
Allah! There is no God save Him. He will gather you all on the Day of Resurrection about which there is no doubt! And whose word can be more truthful than that of Allah! (R)
(An irrevocable fact about which we are reminded again and again so that our faith in our Maker is strengthened and the inevitability of the Last Day is incontrovertibly registered in our minds).
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
77. Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands (from fighting) and perform As-Sal‚t (Iq‚mat≠as≠Sal‚t), and give Zak‚t, but when the fighting was ordained for them, behold! a section of them fear men as they fear All‚h or even more. They say: "Our Lord! Why have you ordained for us fighting? Would that you had granted us respite for a short period?" Say: "Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is (far) better for him who fears All‚h, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly even equal to the Fatil‚ (a scalish thread in the long slit of a date≠stone).
78. "Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!" And if some good reaches them, they say, "This is from All‚h," but if some evil befalls them, they say, "This is from you (O Muhammad SAW)." Say: "All things are from All‚h," so what is wrong with these people that they fail to understand any word?
79. Whatever of good reaches you, is from All‚h, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself. And We have sent you (O Muhammad SAW) as a Messenger to mankind, and All‚h is Sufficient as a Witness.
80. He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), has indeed obeyed All‚h, but he who turns away, then we have not sent you (O Muhammad SAW) as a watcher over them.
81. They say: "We are obedient," but when they leave you (Muhammad SAW), a section of them spend all night in planning other than what you say. But All‚h records their nightly (plots). So turn aside from them (do not punish them), and put your trust in All‚h. And All‚h is Ever All≠Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.
82. Do they not then consider the Qur'‚n carefully? Had it been from other than All‚h, they would surely have found therein much contradictions.
83. When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people), if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of All‚h upon you, you would have followed Shait‚n (Satan), save a few of you.
84. Then fight (O Muhammad SAW) in the Cause of All‚h, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself, and incite the believers (to fight along with you), it may be that All‚h will restrain the evil might of the disbelievers. And All‚h is Stronger in Might and Stronger in punishing.
85. Whosoever intercedes for a good cause will have the reward thereof, and whosoever intercedes for an evil cause will have a share in its burden. And All‚h is Ever All-Able to do (and also an All-Witness to) everything.
86. When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, All‚h is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.
87. All‚h! L‚ il‚ha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Surely, He will gather you together on the Day of Resurrection about which there is no doubt. And who is truer in statement than All‚h?
YUSUFALI: Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who were told to hold back their hands (from fight) but establish regular prayers and spend in regular charity? When (at length) the order for fighting was issued to them, behold! a section of them feared men as - or even more than - they should have feared Allah: They said: "Our Lord! Why hast Thou ordered us to fight? Wouldst Thou not Grant us respite to our (natural) term, near (enough)?" Say: "Short is the enjoyment of this world: the Hereafter is the best for those who do right: Never will ye be dealt with unjustly in the very least!
PICKTHAL: Hast thou not seen those unto whom it was said: Withhold your hands, establish worship and pay the poordue, but when fighting was prescribed for them behold! a party of them fear mankind even as their fear of Allah or with greater fear, and say: Our Lord! Why hast Thou ordained fighting for us? If only Thou wouldst give us respite yet a while! Say (unto them, O Muhammad): The comfort of this world is scant; the Hereafter will be better for him who wardeth off (evil); and ye will not be wronged the down upon a date-stone.
SHAKIR: Have you not seen those to whom it was said: Withhold your hands, and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate; but when fighting is prescribed for them, lo! a party of them fear men as they ought to have feared Allah, or (even) with a greater fear, and say: Our Lord! why hast Thou ordained fighting for us? Wherefore didst Thou not grant us a delay to a near end? Say: The provision of this world is short, and the hereafter is better for him who guards (against evil); and you shall not be wronged the husk of a date stone.
YUSUFALI: "Wherever ye are, death will find you out, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!" If some good befalls them, they say, "This is from Allah"; but if evil, they say, "This is from thee" (O Prophet). Say: "All things are from Allah." But what hath come to these people, that they fail to understand a single fact?
PICKTHAL: Wheresoever ye may be, death will overtake you, even though ye were in lofty towers. Yet if a happy thing befalleth them they say: This is from Allah; and if an evil thing befalleth them they say: This is of thy doing (O Muhammad). Say (unto them): All is from Allah. What is amiss with these people that they come not nigh to understand a happening?
SHAKIR: Wherever you are, death will overtake you, though you are in lofty towers, and if a benefit comes to them, they say: This is from Allah; and if a misfortune befalls them, they say: This is from you. Say: All is from Allah, but what is the matter with these people that they do not make approach to understanding what is told (them)?
YUSUFALI: Whatever good, (O man!) happens to thee, is from Allah; but whatever evil happens to thee, is from thy (own) soul. and We have sent thee as a messenger to (instruct) mankind. And enough is Allah for a witness.
PICKTHAL: Whatever of good befalleth thee (O man) it is from Allah, and whatever of ill befalleth thee it is from thyself. We have sent thee (Muhammad) as a messenger unto mankind and Allah is sufficient as Witness.
SHAKIR: Whatever benefit comes to you (O man!), it is from Allah, and whatever misfortune befalls you, it is from yourself, and We have sent you (O Prophet!), to mankind as a messenger; and Allah is sufficient as a witness.
YUSUFALI: He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah: But if any turn away, We have not sent thee to watch over their (evil deeds).
PICKTHAL: Whoso obeyeth the messenger hath obeyed Allah, and whoso turneth away: We have not sent thee as a warder over them.
SHAKIR: Whoever obeys the Messenger, he indeed obeys Allah, and whoever turns back, so We have not sent you as a keeper over them.
YUSUFALI: They have "Obedience" on their lips; but when they leave thee, a section of them Meditate all night on things very different from what thou tellest them. But Allah records their nightly (plots): So keep clear of them, and put thy trust in Allah, and enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs.
PICKTHAL: And they say: (It is) obedience; but when they have gone forth from thee a party of them spend the night in planning other than what thou sayest. Allah recordeth what they plan by night. So oppose them and put thy trust in Allah. Allah is sufficient as Trustee.
SHAKIR: And they say: Obedience. But when they go out from your presence, a party of them decide by night upon doing otherwise than what you say; and Allah writes down what they decide by night, therefore turn aside from them and trust in Allah, and Allah is sufficient as a protector.
YUSUFALI: Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other Than Allah, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy.
PICKTHAL: Will they not then ponder on the Qur'an? If it had been from other than Allah they would have found therein much incongruity.
SHAKIR: Do they not then meditate on the Quran? And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy.
YUSUFALI: When there comes to them some matter touching (Public) safety or fear, they divulge it. If they had only referred it to the Messenger, or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have Tested it from them (direct). Were it not for the Grace and Mercy of Allah unto you, all but a few of you would have fallen into the clutches of Satan.
PICKTHAL: And if any tidings, whether of safety or fear, come unto them, they noise it abroad, whereas if they had referred it to the messenger and to such of them as are in authority, those among them who are able to think out the matter would have known it. If it had not been for the grace of Allah upon you and His mercy ye would have followed Satan, save a few (of you).
SHAKIR: And when there comes to them news of security or fear they spread it abroad; and if they had referred it to the Messenger and to those in authority among them, those among them who can search out the knowledge of it would have known it, and were it not for the grace of Allah upon you and His mercy, you would have certainly followed the Shaitan save a few
YUSUFALI: Then fight in Allah's cause - Thou art held responsible only for thyself - and rouse the believers. It may be that Allah will restrain the fury of the Unbelievers; for Allah is the strongest in might and in punishment.
PICKTHAL: So fight (O Muhammad) in the way of Allah Thou art not taxed (with the responsibility for anyone) except thyself - and urge on the believers. Peradventure Allah will restrain the might of those who disbelieve. Allah is stronger in might and stronger in inflicting punishment.
SHAKIR: Fight then in Allah's way; this is not imposed on you except In relation to yourself, and rouse the believers to ardor maybe Allah will restrain the fighting of those who disbelieve and Allah is strongest in prowess and strongest to give an exemplary punishment.
YUSUFALI: Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner therein: And whoever recommends and helps an evil cause, shares in its burden: And Allah hath power over all things.
PICKTHAL: Whoso interveneth in a good cause will have the reward thereof, and whoso interveneth in an evil cause will bear the consequence thereof. Allah overseeth all things.
SHAKIR: Whoever joins himself (to another) in a good cause shall have a share of it, and whoever joins himself (to another) in an evil cause shall have the responsibility of it, and Allah controls all things.
YUSUFALI: When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. Allah takes careful account of all things.
PICKTHAL: When ye are greeted with a greeting, greet ye with a better than it or return it. Lo! Allah taketh count of all things.
SHAKIR: And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with a better (greeting) than it or return it; surely Allah takes account of all things.
YUSUFALI: Allah! There is no god but He: of a surety He will gather you together against the Day of Judgment, about which there is no doubt. And whose word can be truer than Allah's?
PICKTHAL: Allah! There is no Allah save Him. He gathereth you all unto a Day of Resurrection whereof there is no doubt. Who is more true in statement than Allah?
SHAKIR: Allah, there is no god but He-- He will most certainly gather you together on the resurrection day, there is no doubt in it; and who is more true in word than Allah?
Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed when some of the hypocrites expected to take part in the battle decided against it, which divided the associates of the Prophet into two groups, one group suggesting that they be slain and the other group unwilling to resort to such extreme measures.
4 : 88
88. Fama lakum fee almunafiqeena fi-atayni waAllahu arkasahum bima kasaboo atureedoona an tahdoo man adalla Allahu waman yudlili Allahu falan tajida lahu sabeelan
What is wrong with you that you are split in two factions over the hypocrites when Allah has deliberately slid them back into apostasy on account of their misdeeds? Are you seeking to guide those whom Allah has sent astray? Those whom Allah sends astray, no one can lead them on to the right track!
(In this verse, Allah has warned the believers not to take sides in matters concerning those who are devoid of faith. If they chose to renounce their convictions and revert to their previous ways, it was only because Allah has deemed them unworthy of absolution and hence caused them to slide backwards into it, - from light into darkness.
It is highlighted in this verse once again that the desire to believe in Allah and surrender to His hegemony is a matter of Providence and has nothing to do with what we want or what we do not want. If it is Allah's will that we find the right path and gain access to everlasting bliss, He will Himself strike the spark which would flood our ambience with light; but if He does not, no amount of human guidance and admonition would take us to where we need to go.
It should, however, be noted that according to some commentators, the verse is not aimed at the half believing and half disbelieving hypocrites of Madina but at a particularly virulent group of Arabs who had voluntarily embraced Islam for their own ulterior motives and then renounced it once those motives were served. Their actions gave rise to such strong emotions that some of the Prophet's close associates who felt cheated by them wanted to resort to extreme measures and behead the culprits as a warning to others who may be thinking of doing the same).
4 : 89
89. Waddoo law takfuroona kama kafaroo fatakoonoona sawaan fala tattakhithoo minhum awliyaa hatta yuhajiroo fee sabeeli Allahi fa-in tawallaw fakhuthoohum waoqtuloohum haythu wajadtumoohum wala tattakhithoo minhum waliyyan wala naseeran
Their ardent desire is for you to become disbelievers in the same way as they have become disbelievers so that you are in par with them! So, choose them not as your friends until they too have relinquished their homes for the Cause of Allah. If they resort to hostility towards you, catch them and slay them wherever you find them and never trust them as friends nor as acolytes -
4 : 90
90. Illa allatheena yasiloona ila qawmin baynakum wabaynahum meethaqun aw jaookum hasirat sudooruhum an yuqatilookum aw yuqatiloo qawmahum walaw shaa Allahu lasallatahum AAalaykum falaqatalookum fa-ini iAAtazalookum falam yuqatilookum waalqaw ilaykumu alssalama fama jaAAala Allahu lakum AAalayhim sabeelan
Except those who are affiliates of a tribe with whom you have a treaty, or of those who have turned to you because there is no desire in their hearts to wage war against you or against their own kinsmen. If Allah willed, He could have given them power over you and they would surely have taken you on. If they keep away from you, seeking not a war but truce, then Allah allows you no access against them.
(In verse 89, as in several other verses, we are cautioned against the idea of taking the disbelievers for our friends, however much they pretend to be believers like us. The test of their veracity and integrity is in their giving up their homes and possessions for the Cause of Allah, and if they passed that test, they can be trusted. But until then, they are your enemies and you are their enemies, so if they come to you with their swords drawn, then you too go to them with yours swords drawn)
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when an Arab tribe, desirous of making peace with the Muslims on one hand and staying in the good books of the Meccan idolaters on the other hand, pretended to be Muslims when in their company and mocked Islam in front of the apostates saying it was nothing but worship of 'scorpions and centipedes!'
4 : 91
91. Satajidoona akhareena yureedoona an ya/manookum waya/manoo qawmahum kulla ma ruddoo ila alfitnati orkisoo feeha fa-in lam yaAAtazilookum wayulqoo ilaykumu alssalama wayakuffoo aydiyahum fakhuthoohum waoqtuloohum haythu thaqiftumoohum waola-ikum jaAAalna lakum AAalayhim sultanan mubeenan
And you will also find some amongst them who wish to be at peace with you and at peace with their own kindred, and yet whenever their folk entice them into animosities, they succumb to it. If they do not desist from meddling with you, nor extend a truce, nor restrain their hands, catch them and slay them wherever you find them! These are the ones over whom We have given you full discretion. (R)
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
88. Then what is the matter with you that you are divided into two parties about the hypocrites? All‚h has cast them back (to disbelief) because of what they have earned. Do you want to guide him whom All‚h has made to go astray? And he whom All‚h has made to go astray, you will never find for him any way (of guidance).
89. They wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you all become equal (like one another). So take not Auliy‚' (protectors or friends) from them, till they emigrate in the Way of All‚h (to Muhammad SAW). But if they turn back (from Isl‚m), take (hold) of them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither Auliy‚' (protectors or friends) nor helpers from them.
90. Except those who join a group, between you and whom there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with their breasts restraining from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. Had All‚h willed, indeed He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. So if they withdraw from you, and fight not against you, and offer you peace, then All‚h has opened no way for you against them.
91. You will find others that wish to have security from you and security from their people. Every time they are sent back to temptation, they yield thereto. If they withdraw not from you, nor offer you peace, nor restrain their hands, take (hold) of them and kill them wherever you find them. In their case, We have provided you with a clear warrant against them.
YUSUFALI: Why should ye be divided into two parties about the Hypocrites? Allah hath upset them for their (evil) deeds. Would ye guide those whom Allah hath thrown out of the Way? For those whom Allah hath thrown out of the Way, never shalt thou find the Way.
PICKTHAL: What aileth you that ye are become two prties regarding the hypocrites, when Allah cast them back (to disbelief) because of what they earned? Seek ye to guide him whom Allah hath sent astray? He whom Allah sendeth astray, for him thou (O MUhammad) canst not find a road.
SHAKIR: What is the matter with you, then, that you have become two parties about the hypocrites, while Allah has made them return (to unbelief) for what they have earned? Do you wish to guide him whom Allah has caused to err? And whomsoever Allah causes to err, you shall by no means find a way for him.
YUSUFALI: They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks;-
PICKTHAL: They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them,
SHAKIR: They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.
YUSUFALI: Except those who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. If Allah had pleased, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you: Therefore if they withdraw from you but fight you not, and (instead) send you (Guarantees of) peace, then Allah Hath opened no way for you (to war against them).
PICKTHAL: Except those who seek refuge with a people between whom and you there is a covenant, or (those who) come unto you because their hearts forbid them to make war on you or make war on their own folk. Had Allah willed He could have given them power over you so that assuredly they would have fought you. So, if they hold aloof from you and wage not war against you and offer you peace, Allah alloweth you no way against them.
SHAKIR: Except those who reach a people between whom and you there is an alliance, or who come to you, their hearts shrinking from fighting you or fighting their own people; and if Allah had pleased, He would have given them power over you, so that they should have certainly fought you; therefore if they withdraw from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not given you a way against them.
YUSUFALI: Others you will find that wish to gain your confidence as well as that of their people: Every time they are sent back to temptation, they succumb thereto: if they withdraw not from you nor give you (guarantees) of peace besides restraining their hands, seize them and slay them wherever ye get them: In their case We have provided you with a clear argument against them.
PICKTHAL: Ye will find others who desire that they should have security from you, and security from their own folk. So often as they are returned to hostility they are plunged therein. If they keep not aloof from you nor offer you peace nor hold their hands, then take them and kill them wherever ye find them. Against such We have given you clear warrant.
SHAKIR: You will find others who desire that they should be safe from you and secure from their own people; as often as they are sent back to the mischief they get thrown into it headlong; therefore if they do not withdraw from you, and (do not) offer you peace and restrain their hands, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them; and against these We have given you a clear authority.
4 : 92
92. Wama kana limu/minin an yaqtula mu/minan illa khataan waman qatala mu/minan khataan fatahreeru raqabatin mu/minatin wadiyatun musallamatun ila ahlihi illa an yassaddaqoo fa-in kana min qawmin AAaduwwin lakum wahuwa mu/minun fatahreeru raqabatin mu/minatin wa-in kana min qawmin baynakum wabaynahum meethaqun fadiyatun musallamatun ila ahlihi watahreeru raqabatin mu/minatin faman lam yajid fasiyamu shahrayni mutatabiAAayni tawbatan mina Allahi wakana Allahu AAaleeman hakeeman
It is not
lawful for a believer to kill another believer except in error. And for him who
has mistakenly slain a believer, the penalty is freeing a believing slave as
well as compensating the bereaved family, unless they remit it towards charity.
If the victim belongs to people who are hostile to you, but was a believer, then
only the freeing of a believing slave. However, in the event there is a treaty
with them in force, then paying blood money as well as freeing believing slave.
As for him who is unable to afford the penalty, continuous fasting for two
months by way of penance shall suffice. Allah is Erudite and Wise!
(The stipulations contained in the verse are as follows:
While unfair murder of an innocent person for any reason, whether or not he is a believer is a capital offence, killing a Muslim by a fellow Muslim is particularly abhorred, except if the death was entirely accidental, such as a genuine case of mistaken identity, or an accidental killing of a member of a hunting party in course of the game by the other participant.
If such a death has taken place, the ransom is freeing one slave who is a believer as well as paying 'blood money' to the bereaved family, which is added to the estate of the deceased and inherited along with the rest of his assets.
If the bereaved do not wish to make a financial gain out of the death of a beloved member of their family, they are at liberty to use the 'blood money' for charity and let its benediction be offered to the soul of the dear departed.
If the victim is from a tribe who are hostile to you, but he was a believer, the expiation is the freeing of one believing slave, without any financial compensation payable to the bereaved family.
If the victim hails from a tribe with whom there is a valid treaty in existence, the expiation is both freeing of one slave and paying blood money to the bereaved, even if the victim and his folks are disbelievers.
However, if the perpetrator is of straitened means, the expiation is consecutive fasting for a period of two months).
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when a man, whose brother was found slain in the territory of a tribe of believers, was fully restituted by them at the behest of the Prophet, but he retaliated just the same by slaying an innocent believer and absconded to Mecca, along with the herd of camels given to him in lieu of compensation.
4 : 93
93. Waman yaqtul mu/minan mutaAAammidan fajazaohu jahannamu khalidan feeha waghadiba Allahu AAalayhi walaAAanahu waaAAadda lahu AAathaban AAatheeman
Whoever intentionally murders a believer, his requital is Hell in which he shall abide forever! Allah's wrath is upon him, as is His curse, and for him is set aside a grievous punishment.
(This verse is an obvious follow up to the preceding verse and contains the spiritual aspect of punishment for those who deliberately take the life of a believer.
It should be noted here that, if a believer is slain for reasons pertaining to earthly matters, it is deemed to be a lesser crime than if a believer is slain entirely on account of his spiritual affiliations).
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when a fellow Muslim was mistakenly killed by a soldier from a Muslim regiment passing through his village in which everyone else was a disbeliever except him. As he came down the hills with his flock in order to greet the soldiers, he was slain and his flock seized as Spoils, without making an effort to investigate whether he too was a disbeliever like the rest of them or was a believer.
4 : 94
94. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo itha darabtum fee sabeeli Allahi fatabayyanoo wala taqooloo liman alqa ilaykumu alssalama lasta mu/minan tabtaghoona AAarada alhayati alddunya faAAinda Allahi maghanimu katheeratun kathalika kuntum min qablu famanna Allahu AAalaykum fatabayyanoo inna Allaha kana bima taAAmaloona khabeeran
O those of you who believe! When you set out to fight for the Cause of Allah, make sure you do not say to anyone who greets you: 'You are not a believer!' in order to despoil him for the comforts which belong to the life of this world. With Allah are rewards for you in plenty! (Remember) once you too were disbelievers like him, until Allah's favours reached you, so make sure you investigate. Verily Allah is aware of your deeds!
(When the Prophet came to know that a Muslim warrior called Usama ibn Zaid, whom he had dispatched on a military mission, slew a believer and seized his possessions as Spoils, though in error, he was furious and commanded him to free a believing slave, treating the offence in par with murder.
It was a matter of firm principle with the Prophet that he always instructed his soldiers never to resort to bloodshed in any township which contains a mosque, or even some tell-tale signs to suggest that it is was even partly inhabited by believers, such as the ruins of a mosque or the sound of Azaan (the Call)
The believers are reminded in the verse that, not long ago, they too were disbelievers, until Allah's mercy touched them and they were given protection by Muslim armies in the name of Islam
It is, therefore, obligatory on all the Muslim soldiers that any man who claims to be a believer should be thoroughly investigated before he is either slain or his belongings are pillaged.
However, if a Jew or a Christian claims to be a believer just to get over some contingency by openly acknowledging that he believes in Allah and on the Prophethood of Mohammed, it does not ipso facto follow that he is being truthful; he can make such an admission and get away with it without renouncing his faith because both the Torah as well as the Gospel are Divine Revelations of Allah and do confirm the Prophethood of Mohammed. No one embraces Islam without openly admitting that he has decided to become a Muslim because he is disillusioned with his religion and is unable to uphold its tenets).
* * *
4 : 95
95. La yastawee alqaAAidoona mina almu/mineena ghayru olee alddarari waalmujahidoona fee sabeeli Allahi bi-amwalihim waanfusihim faddala Allahu almujahideena bi-amwalihim waanfusihim AAala alqaAAideena darajatan wakullan waAAada Allahu alhusna wafaddala Allahu almujahideena AAala alqaAAideena ajran AAatheeman
The believers who refrain from taking up arms for the Cause of Allah without due reason are not the same as those who sacrifice their lives and their wealth in fighting for Allah's Cause. Allah has elevated the status of those who strive with their wealth and lives over those who drag behind. Although Allah has promised all believers a goodly guerdon, He has blessed those who strive with a much greater reward over those who avoid striving.
(The verse offers a clear incentive for all Muslims to strive for the Cause of Allah by taking up arms and staking their lives as well as their earthly possessions in the accomplishment of their sacred mission.
It also contains a dispensation for those who are unable to participate in it due to a genuine reason, such as sickness, senility, frailty or disability, provided there is a commitment in their hearts that, were it not for the infirmity preventing them, they would have made their contribution to the war effort. Allah will certainly reward them for the sentiment, but not as much as those who sold away their homes and belongings in order to buy weapons, left their families behind and physically took part in holy campaigns. Their status will be much higher than the rest).
4 : 96
96. Darajatin minhu wamaghfiratan warahmatan wakana Allahu ghafooran raheeman
With Him there are degrees of ranks, and redemption, and there is mercy! Verily Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful! (R)
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
92. It is not for a believer to kill a believer except (that it be) by mistake, and whosoever kills a believer by mistake, (it is ordained that) he must set free a believing slave and a compensation (blood money, i.e Diya) be given to the deceased's family, unless they remit it. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you and he was a believer; the freeing of a believing slave (is prescribed), and if he belonged to a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance, compensation (blood money - Diya) must be paid to his family, and a believing slave must be freed. And whoso finds this (the penance of freeing a slave) beyond his means, he must fast for two consecutive months in order to seek repentance from All‚h. And All‚h is Ever All≠Knowing, All≠Wise.
93. And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein, and the Wrath and the Curse of All‚h are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him.
94. O you who believe! When you go (to fight) in the Cause of All‚h, verify (the truth), and say not to anyone who greets you (by embracing Isl‚m): "You are not a believer"; seeking the perishable goods of the worldly life. There are much more profits and booties with All‚h. Even as he is now, so were you yourselves before till All‚h conferred on you His Favours (i.e. guided you to Isl‚m), therefore, be cautious in discrimination. All‚h is Ever Well≠Aware of what you do.
95. Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of All‚h with their wealth and their lives. All‚h has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, All‚h has promised good (Paradise), but All‚h has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward;
96. Degrees of (higher) grades from Him, and Forgiveness and Mercy. And All‚h is Ever Oft≠Forgiving, Most Merciful.
YUSUFALI: Never should a believer kill a believer; but (If it so happens) by mistake, (Compensation is due): If one (so) kills a believer, it is ordained that he should free a believing slave, and pay compensation to the deceased's family, unless they remit it freely. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you, and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (Is enough). If he belonged to a people with whom ye have treaty of Mutual alliance, compensation should be paid to his family, and a believing slave be freed. For those who find this beyond their means, (is prescribed) a fast for two months running: by way of repentance to Allah: for Allah hath all knowledge and all wisdom.
PICKTHAL: It is not for a believer to kill a believer unless (it be) by mistake. He who hath killed a believer by mistake must set free a believing slave, and pay the blood-money to the family of the slain, unless they remit it as a charity. If he (the victim) be of a people hostile unto you, and he is a believer, then (the penance is) to set free a believing slave. And if he cometh of a folk between whom and you there is a covenant, then the blood-money must be paid unto his folk and (also) a believing slave must be set free. And whoso hath not the wherewithal must fast two consecutive months. A penance from Allah. Allah is Knower, Wise.
SHAKIR: And it does not behoove a believer to kill a believer except by mistake, and whoever kills a believer by mistake, he should free a believing slave, and blood-money should be paid to his people unless they remit it as alms; but if he be from a tribe hostile to you and he is a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (suffices), and if he is from a tribe between whom and you there is a convenant, the blood-money should be paid to his people along with the freeing of a believing slave; but he who cannot find (a slave) should fast for two months successively: a penance from Allah, and Allah is Knowing, Wise.
YUSUFALI: If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (For ever): And the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him.
PICKTHAL: Whoso slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is hell for ever. Allah is wroth against him and He hath cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom.
SHAKIR: And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is hell; he shall abide in it, and Allah will send His wrath on him and curse him and prepare for him a painful chastisement.
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! When ye go abroad in the cause of Allah, investigate carefully, and say not to any one who offers you a salutation: "Thou art none of a believer!" Coveting the perishable goods of this life: with Allah are profits and spoils abundant. Even thus were ye yourselves before, till Allah conferred on you His favours: Therefore carefully investigate. For Allah is well aware of all that ye do.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! When ye go forth (to fight) in the way of Allah, be careful to discriminate, and say not unto one who offereth you peace: "Thou art not a believer," seeking the chance profits of this life (so that ye may despoil him). With Allah are plenteous spoils. Even thus (as he now is) were ye before; but Allah hath since then been gracious unto you. Therefore take care to discriminate. Allah is ever Informed of what ye do.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! when you go to war in Allah's way, make investigation, and do not say to any one who offers you peace: You are not a believer. Do you seek goods of this world's life! But with Allah there are abundant gains; you too were such before, then Allah conferred a benefit on you; therefore make investigation; surely Allah is aware of what you do.
YUSUFALI: Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-
PICKTHAL: Those of the believers who sit still, other than those who have a (disabling) hurt, are not on an equality with those who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and lives. Allah hath conferred on those who strive with their wealth and lives a rank above the sedentary. Unto each Allah hath promised good, but He hath bestowed on those who strive a great reward above the sedentary;
SHAKIR: The holders back from among the believers, not having any injury, and those who strive hard in Allah's way with their property and their persons are not equal; Allah has made the strivers with their property and their persons to excel the holders back a (high) degree, and to each (class) Allah has promised good; and Allah shall grant to the strivers above the holders back a mighty reward:
YUSUFALI: Ranks specially bestowed by Him, and Forgiveness and Mercy. For Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: Degrees of rank from Him, and forgiveness and mercy. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: (High) degrees from Him and protection and mercy, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed about the Meccans who did embrace Islam, but when emigration was ordained for Muslims, they refused to go and enlisted in the armies of the disbelievers against their Muslim brethren in the Battle of Badr.
4 : 97
97. Inna allatheena tawaffahumu almala-ikatu thalimee anfusihim qaloo feema kuntum qaloo kunna mustadAAafeena fee al-ardi qaloo alam takun ardu Allahi wasiAAatan fatuhajiroo feeha faola-ika ma/wahum jahannamu wasaat maseeran
Those whom the angels of death visit whilst they wrong themselves, they will question them : 'How were you treated?' They will say : 'We were persecuted!' The angels will say to them : 'Was not Allah's earth vast enough for you to emigrate?' For such men, their ultimate goal is hell, - and what a wretched goal it is for them to aim for -
4 : 98
98. Illa almustadAAafeena mina alrrijali waalnnisa-i waalwildani la yastateeAAoona heelatan wala yahtadoona sabeelan
Except men who are feeble, and women and children who did not know how to escape nor shown the way by those who knew.
4 : 99
99. Faola-ika AAasa Allahu an yaAAfuwa AAanhum wakana Allahu AAafuwwan ghafooran
As for such, forgiveness from Allah is imminent! And Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful.
(In verse 97 it is clarified that, if a believer is better off for practising his religion by moving away from one place to another, it is obligatory on him to make that move and to prioritize his spiritual commitments over any or all of his earthly preoccupations.
The exceptions are men unable to break loose from the clutches of those who are holding them back with force, and women and children who lack the means as well as the expertise to escape).
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when an ageing believer heard that emigration has been ordained for all Muslims, packed up his belongings in spite of his senility and set out to join the Prophet, lain on a cot because of his physical frailty, but died along the way. The news of his death caused a great deal of distress to the Prophet and his associates, but the disbelievers made a jest out of it saying : 'The old man ended up neither on this side of the fence nor on that!'
4 : 100
100. Waman yuhajir fee sabeeli Allahi yajid fee al-ardi muraghaman katheeran wasaAAatan waman yakhruj min baytihi muhajiran ila Allahi warasoolihi thumma yudrik-hu almawtu faqad waqaAAa ajruhu AAala Allahi wakana Allahu ghafooran raheeman
He who emigrates for the sake of Allah will find the earth vast and capacious; and he who relinquishes his dwelling to become a migrant for the Cause of Allah and His messenger but has been overtaken by death, his reward is obligatory upon Allah! And Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful! (R)
(During the early days of Islam, Muslims being few in numbers and cast against the might of a combined opposition led by the idolaters, they were in a shambles. In a bid to throw a scare into them so that the new religion did not spread as it seemed poised to, the enemies of Islam spared no scruples. At one time, when their persecution reached a feverish peak and it no longer seemed practicable to survive in the teeth of such excruciating opposition and yet be able to practice their religion, proposals for fleeing from Mecca either to other parts of the country, or to a different country altogether where they could find refuge appeared on the cards for the first time.
Putting these proposals into action, the Prophet advised the group who were truly at the sharpest end of the dagger to proceed to Ethiopia, where the Christian Emperor Negus was willing to give them a safe haven, if he was convinced that their cause was as noble as it was made out to be. The departure of Muslims to that country came to be known as the Lesser Emigration because their numbers were fewer.
Subsequent to this, when the plight of the Muslims in Mecca further deteriorated and the Prophet himself became a target, there was a second wave of emigrations to the township of Madina, including him, and in larger numbers, on account of which it came to be known as the Greater Pilgrimage.
Although emigration ensured safety as well as freedom to the Muslims, it is never an easy job to abandon their homes, give up their belongings, their friends, their tribes, their bonds, their businesses, and in some cases even their families, and go away to far off lands in order to be able to practice their religion. When the moment of departure arrived for the Prophet, a lump of grief stuck in his throat and tears dribbled down his eyes as he stood gazing at Mecca where he was born and had spent his whole life till then.
For the ordinary man in the street to pluck up such courage and plunge into the unknown, it needed a great deal of incentives and persuasion, which is precisely why emigration was made a touchstone for testing the veracity of those who claimed to be believers. There is a Hadith that says, if moving from one place to the other makes any difference at all to our spiritual well-being, we must make that move and take that opportunity, even if the distance between the two places be just one yard
The Ordinances of Allah relating to the advantages of emigration and their rewards are timeless. In a world that is crammed with multiple religious denominations, opposition of one religion to the other is always a realistic possibility. For instance, only recently, when the Birmingham City Council in United Kingdom gave permission to the Muslims to have the Azaan read on the loudspeakers five times a day, there was stiff opposition to it from the local citizens that it would cause noise pollution, - as if such objections were ever raised by others in the past towards the noise pollution which the church bells used to cause!
Many other excruciating examples of religious persecution in modern politics can be found in the atrocities committed by one religious group against another under the caption of 'ethnic cleansing', as recently perpetrated in Bosnia and in Serbia.
Hence, emigration for preservation of our faith is as important and rewarding now as it was fourteen hundred years ago. Allah's promise to elevate the status of those who give up their homes and belongings for His sake and His cause is written into the Qur'aan and will always remain binding upon Him.
Finally, as it is in the ethos of the Qur'aan to strike a balance between rewards and punishments, whilst those that refuse to emigrate because of their obsession with earthly comforts are warned of hell, those who embarked on their journey but were overtaken by death before they reached their destination are guaranteed their reward, - regardless)
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
97. Verily! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves (as they stayed among the disbelievers even though emigration was obligatory for them), they (angels) say (to them): "In what (condition) were you?" They reply: "We were weak and oppressed on earth." They (angels) say: "Was not the earth of All‚h spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?" Such men will find their abode in Hell - What an evil destination!
98. Except the weak ones among men, women and children who cannot devise a plan, nor are they able to direct their way.
99. For these there is hope that All‚h will forgive them, and All‚h is Ever Oft Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.
100. He who emigrates (from his home) in the Cause of All‚h, will find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by. And whosoever leaves his home as an emigrant unto All‚h and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then surely incumbent upon All‚h. And All‚h is Ever Oft≠Forgiving, Most Merciful.
YUSUFALI: When angels take the souls of those who die in sin against their souls, they say: "In what (plight) Were ye?" They reply: "Weak and oppressed Were we in the earth." They say: "Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to move yourselves away (From evil)?" Such men will find their abode in Hell,- What an evil refuge! -
PICKTHAL: Lo! as for those whom the angels take (in death) while they wrong themselves, (the angels) will ask: In what were ye engaged? They will say: We were oppressed in the land. (The angels) will say: Was not Allah's earth spacious that ye could have migrated therein? As for such, their habitation will be hell, an evil journey's end;
SHAKIR: Surely (as for) those whom the angels cause to die while they are unjust to their souls, they shall say: In what state were you? They shall say: We were weak in the earth. They shall say: Was not Allah's earth spacious, so that you should have migrated therein? So these it is whose abode is hell, and it is an evil resort
YUSUFALI: Except those who are (really) weak and oppressed - men, women, and children - who have no means in their power, nor (a guide-post) to their way.
PICKTHAL: Except the feeble among men, and the women, and the children, who are unable to devise a plan and are not shown a way.
SHAKIR: Except the weak from among the men and the children who have not in their power the means nor can they find a way (to escape);
YUSUFALI: For these, there is hope that Allah will forgive: For Allah doth blot out (sins) and forgive again and again.
PICKTHAL: As for such, it may be that Allah will pardon them. Allah is ever Clement, Forgiving.
SHAKIR: So these, it may be, Allah will pardon them, and Allah is Pardoning, Forgiving.
YUSUFALI: He who forsakes his home in the cause of Allah, finds in the earth Many a refuge, wide and spacious: Should he die as a refugee from home for Allah and His Messenger, His reward becomes due and sure with Allah: And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: Whoso migrateth for the cause of Allah will find much refuge and abundance in the earth, and whoso forsaketh his home, a fugitive unto Allah and His messenger, and death overtaketh him, his reward is then incumbent on Allah. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: And whoever flies in Allah's way, he will find in the earth many a place of refuge and abundant resources, and whoever goes forth from his house flying to Allah and His Messenger, and then death overtakes him, his reward is indeed with Allah and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
4 : 101
101. Wa-itha darabtum fee al-ardi falaysa AAalaykum junahun an taqsuroo mina alssalati in khiftum an yaftinakumu allatheena kafaroo inna alkafireena kanoo lakum AAaduwwan mubeenan
When you are on a journey in the land, it is no sin for you to shorten your worship if there is a fear of being attacked by the disbelievers, for verily the disbelievers are your blatant enemies.
(The dispensation sanctioned for shortening the mandatory length of worship is a gesture of charity from Allah towards believers and hence it should be availed in all journeys, in times of war as well as in times of peace.
There is a Hadith according to which our Prophet is quoted to have said that not availing the concession amounts to showing disrespect towards the gesture of compassion made by Allah, even if the risk element present in journeys at the time this verse was revealed is no longer present now).
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when a contingent of disbelievers noticed that the Prophet and his followers were deeply engrossed in worship and hatched a conspiracy to attack them in course of their prayers.
4 : 102
102. Wa-itha kunta feehim faaqamta lahumu alssalata faltaqum ta-ifatun minhum maAAaka walya/khuthoo aslihatahum fa-itha sajadoo falyakoonoo min wara-ikum walta/ti ta-ifatun okhra lam yusalloo falyusalloo maAAaka walya/khuthoo hithrahum waaslihatahum wadda allatheena kafaroo law taghfuloona AAan aslihatikum waamtiAAatikum fayameeloona AAalaykum maylatan wahidatan wala junaha AAalaykum in kana bikum athan min matarin aw kuntum marda an tadaAAoo aslihatakum wakhuthoo hithrakum inna Allaha aAAadda lilkafireena AAathaban muheenan
When you (O Mohammed) are in their midst arranging mass, let a batch of worshippers along with their arms stand abreast of you; then, when they retreat to the rear after the prostration, let the second batch who have not yet taken part in worship stand alongside you, at all times alert and armed. It is the ardent wish of the disbelievers that you neglect your weapons and your gear so that they could overwhelm you in a single rally! It is no sin for you to put aside your arms in the event of rain or of sickness, but be vigilant. Allah has prepared for the disbelievers a most humiliating punishment!
(In this verse, the protocol for performing worship during wars and in the face of danger is addressed.
Giving priority to the need for taking due precautions, the Prophet was asked to split the congregation in two groups, so that while one group is participating in prayers, the other group is guarding over them, making sure that their arms and armour are within easy reach in case a surprise attack was launched by the enemy.
In addition to this, the passages from the Qur'aan recited during mass may also be abbreviated or even curtailed so that their duration is shortened.
Over the years, procedural changes have been introduced in the protocol of worship during emergencies by various schools of thought, depending upon changing rules of engagement and the changing nature of warfare.)
4 : 103
103. Fa-itha qadaytumu alssalata faothkuroo Allaha qiyaman waquAAoodan waAAala junoobikum fa-itha itma/nantum faaqeemoo alssalata inna alssalata kanat AAala almu/mineena kitaban mawqootan
When you have concluded your worship, cogitate over Allah, standing and sitting and reclining. Then, when the crisis has blown over, resume worship as normal. Worship at appointed hours is obligatory on all believers.
(Whereas Allah has imposed a limit on everything else, the one thing that has no limits is the remembrance of Allah. We should cogitate over Him, whether sitting or standing or lying; whether we are in transit or at home; clean or unclean; at night or in the day; overland or in high seas; in affluence or poverty; in health or in sickness; in private or in public; counting on the rosary or countless in thought; regardless of who we are, what we are, where we are, how we are!
Breathing in the name of Allah and breathing out the name of Allah brings peace to our souls, fills our hearts with contentment, elevates our spirits, sets us free from the shackles of worldly concerns and makes us one with our Lord!
Apart from the remembrance of Allah, the verse brings into focus not merely the importance of offering worship but offering it on times set out. Whenever the Call for worship is heard, all good Muslims drop whatever they are doing, no matter how important and unavoidable it might be and rush to meet their Maker, looking as good as they can and keeping themselves as clean as possible. Nowhere else in the world is this more clearly evident than in most Emirates of the Desert, - the cradle in which Islam was born and grew up.
Small wonder that, underneath the barren surface of the interminable sand hills flows one of the richest and the most precious natural resources of the world, - the oil without which the modern way of life comes to a halt, - surely due to the propitious feet that had tread upon those gruelling sand hills, - of our beloved Prophet and of the men and women who helped him fulfil his noble mission!)
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed after the Battle of Uhud ended and the Prophet ordered those of his associates who took part in it to pursue a contingent of the enemy in flight, but having sustained severe casualties in the battle which had just ended, they were reluctant to do it.
4 : 104
104. Wala tahinoo fee ibtigha-i alqawmi in takoonoo ta/lamoona fa-innahum ya/lamoona kama ta/lamoona watarjoona mina Allahi ma la yarjoona wakana Allahu AAaleeman hakeeman
Do not ever be indolent in your pursuit of the enemy. If you are facing hardships, so are they, whereas the expectations you have from Allah, they cannot have! Allah is Cognizant and Wise. (R)
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
101. And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten your Sal‚t (prayer) if you fear that the disbelievers may attack you, verily, the disbelievers are ever unto you open enemies.
102. When you (O Messenger Muhammad SAW) are among them, and lead them in As-Sal‚t (the prayer), let one party of them stand up [in Sal‚t (prayer)] with you taking their arms with them; when they finish their prostrations, let them take their positions in the rear and let the other party come up which has not yet prayed, and let them pray with you taking all the precautions and bearing arms. Those who disbelieve wish, if you were negligent of your arms and your baggage, to attack you in a single rush, but there is no sin on you if you put away your arms because of the inconvenience of rain or because you are ill, but take every precaution for yourselves. Verily, All‚h has prepared a humiliating torment for the disbelievers.
103. When you have finished As-Sal‚t (the prayer - congregational), remember All‚h standing, sitting down, and lying down on your sides, but when you are free from danger, perform As-Sal‚t (Iq‚mat≠as≠ Sal‚t). Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.
104. And don't be weak in the pursuit of the enemy; if you are suffering (hardships) then surely, they (too) are suffering (hardships) as you are suffering, but you have a hope from All‚h (for the reward, i.e. Paradise) that for which they hope not, and All‚h is Ever All≠Knowing, All≠Wise.
YUSUFALI: When ye travel through the earth, there is no blame on you if ye shorten your prayers, for fear the Unbelievers May attack you: For the Unbelievers are unto you open enemies.
PICKTHAL: And when ye go forth in the land, it is no sin for you to curtail (your) worship if ye fear that those who disbelieve may attack you. In truth the disbelievers are an open enemy to you.
SHAKIR: And when you journey in the earth, there is no blame on you if you shorten the prayer, if you fear that those who disbelieve will cause you distress, surely the unbelievers are your open enemy.
YUSUFALI: When thou (O Messenger) art with them, and standest to lead them in prayer, Let one party of them stand up (in prayer) with thee, Taking their arms with them: When they finish their prostrations, let them Take their position in the rear. And let the other party come up which hath not yet prayed - and let them pray with thee, Taking all precaution, and bearing arms: the Unbelievers wish, if ye were negligent of your arms and your baggage, to assault you in a single rush. But there is no blame on you if ye put away your arms because of the inconvenience of rain or because ye are ill; but take (every) precaution for yourselves. For the Unbelievers Allah hath prepared a humiliating punishment.
PICKTHAL: And when thou (O Muhammad) art among them and arrangest (their) worship for them, let only a party of them stand with thee (to worship) and let them take their arms. Then when they have performed their prostrations let them fall to the rear and let another party come that hath not worshipped and let them worship with thee, and let them take their precaution and their arms. Those who disbelieve long for you to neglect your arms and your baggage that they may attack you once for all. It is no sin for you to lay aside your arms, if rain impedeth you or ye are sick. But take your precaution. Lo! Allah prepareth for the disbelievers shameful punishment.
SHAKIR: And when you are among them and keep up the prayer for them, let a party of them stand up with you, and let them take their arms; then when they have prostrated themselves let them go to your rear, and let another party who have not prayed come forward and pray with you, and let them take their precautions and their arms; (for) those who disbelieve desire that you may be careless of your arms and your luggage, so that they may then turn upon you with a sudden united attack, and there is no blame on you, if you are annoyed with rain or if you are sick, that you lay down your arms, and take your precautions; surely Allah has prepared a disgraceful chastisement for the unbelievers.
YUSUFALI: When ye pass (Congregational) prayers, celebrate Allah's praises, standing, sitting down, or lying down on your sides; but when ye are free from danger, set up Regular Prayers: For such prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times.
PICKTHAL: When ye have performed the act of worship, remember Allah, standing, sitting and reclining. And when ye are in safety, observe proper worship. Worship at fixed times hath been enjoined on the believers.
SHAKIR: Then when you have finished the prayer, remember Allah standing and sitting and reclining; but when you are secure (from danger) keep up prayer; surely prayer is a timed ordinance for the believers.
YUSUFALI: And slacken not in following up the enemy: If ye are suffering hardships, they are suffering similar hardships; but ye have Hope from Allah, while they have none. And Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.
PICKTHAL: Relent not in pursuit of the enemy. If ye are suffering, lo! they suffer even as ye suffer and ye hope from Allah that for which they cannot hope. Allah is ever Knower, Wise.
SHAKIR: And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain, and you hope from Allah what they do not hope; and Allah is Knowing, Wise.
Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed with reference to a felony in which a Muslim and a Jew were involved. When the dispute was referred to the Prophet for arbitration, the Muslims expected that he was bound to find in their favour because they were Muslims, though they were in the wrong, but the Prophet based his judgement on facts and delivered it against them.
4 : 105
105. Inna anzalna ilayka alkitaba bialhaqqi litahkuma bayna alnnasi bima araka Allahu wala takun lilkha-ineena khaseeman
We have revealed the Scripture to you with Truth so that you may judge between people according to the way in which Allah has taught you to do. So plead not on behalf of those who are perfidious;
4 : 106
106. Waistaghfiri Allaha inna Allaha kana ghafooran raheeman
And seek forgiveness of Allah, for Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful!
4 : 107
107. Wala tujadil AAani allatheena yakhtanoona anfusahum inna Allaha la yuhibbu man kana khawwanan atheeman
And do not plead on behalf of those who encumber their souls with guilt, for Allah does not cherish the perfidious and the sinful
4 : 108
108. Yastakhfoona mina alnnasi wala yastakhfoona mina Allahi wahuwa maAAahum ith yubayyitoona ma la yarda mina alqawli wakana Allahu bima yaAAmaloona muheetan
They can hide from men but they cannot hide from Allah. He is there present when they resolve in their hearts to do what is displeasing to Him. Allah encompasses their deeds from every side!
4 : 109
109. Haantum haola-i jadaltum AAanhum fee alhayati alddunya faman yujadilu Allaha AAanhum yawma alqiyamati am man yakoonu AAalayhim wakeelan
You may well stick up for your man in the life of this world! But who will stick up for him before Allah on the Day of Judgement? Who will plead on his behalf?
(The reference in the above verses is to an incident in which a Muslim called Ta'ima ibn Ubayaq stole a coat of armour from his neighbour and concealed it inside a sack of dough in the house of a Jew.
When the neighbour discovered his loss and raised a hue and cry, suspicion did fall upon Ta'ima, who was questioned by the Tribe of Zafar to whom he belonged, but he said he knew nothing about it.
In due course, the missing armour was traced to the Jew, who also denied any knowledge about it other than asserting under oath that Ta'ima did have access to the sack.
With both men holding their ground, it soon became a matter of pride for their respective tribes and the dispute was referred to the Prophet for arbitration.
Full of confidence that the Prophet would rule in their favour because of religious affinity, the Muslims stuck up for their man and falsely testified to his innocence.
But when the Prophet became determined to base his judgement on facts, the wrong doer got scared of the harshness of Qur'aanic punishments, - which is severing of limbs, - and ran away before the judgement was passed.
In the verse Allah declares to all mankind through His messenger that He has revealed the Scripture with truth and therefore if we are called upon to judge in a dispute, regardless of who the disputants are, their religious persuasion, their social status, their track record or their relationship to us, we should judge between them in the way in which the Qur'aan teaches us to judge, without taking sides and basing our verdict on facts alone.
the Tribe of Zafar to whom the culprit belonged, the message is never to plead
on behalf of the invidious; never to presume that, even if they hide their guilt
from men, they can hide it from Allah; never to forget that Allah is always
present when they device their devious plans; that they may well venture to
stick up for their man in the life of this world, but they would not be able to
do so on the Day of Judgement when He sits in judgement upon them).
4 : 110
110. Waman yaAAmal soo-an aw yathlim nafsahu thumma yastaghfiri Allaha yajidi Allaha ghafooran raheeman
Whereas he who perpetrates evil, or encumbers his own soul with guilt, but afterwards seeks forgiveness of Allah, will find Allah to be the most Magnanimous and Merciful -
4 : 111
111. Waman yaksib ithman fa-innama yaksibuhu AAala nafsihi wakana Allahu AAaleeman hakeeman
And whereas he who perpetrates evil does so to the detriment of his own soul, - and Allah is ever Aware and Wise, -
4 : 112
112. Waman yaksib khatee-atan aw ithman thumma yarmi bihi baree-an faqadi ihtamala buhtanan wa-ithman mubeenan
He who perpetrates evil or commits a crime and straddles an innocent man with his guilt, burdens himself with falsehood and a heinous sin. (R)
(There is a thought provoking and soul stirring admonition to all mankind in this verse that, whereas he who commits a random error and seeks forgiveness of His Lord is sure to be forgiven, and whereas he who encumbers his soul with guilt but offers no apologies for his deeds does so to the detriment of his own soul, he who commits a blatant error and shifts its blame on an innocent man can rest assured that he will damn himself forever in the sight of his Lord!).
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
105. Surely, We have sent down to you (O Muhammad SAW) the Book (this Qur'‚n) in truth that you might judge between men by that which All‚h has shown you (i.e. has taught you through Divine Inspiration), so be not a pleader for the treacherous.
106. And seek the Forgiveness of All‚h, certainly, All‚h is Ever Oft≠Forgiving, Most Merciful.
107. And argue not on behalf of those who deceive themselves. Verily, All‚h does not like anyone who is a betrayer of his trust, and indulges in crime.
108. They may hide (their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide (them) from All‚h, for He is with them (by His Knowledge), when they plot by night in words that He does not approve, And All‚h ever encompasses what they do.
109. Lo! You are those who have argued for them in the life of this world, but who will argue for them on the Day of Resurrection against All‚h, or who will then be their defender?
110. And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks All‚h's Forgiveness, he will find All‚h Oft≠Forgiving, Most Merciful.
111. And whoever earns sin, he earns it only against himself. And All‚h is Ever All≠Knowing, All≠Wise.
112. And whoever earns a fault or a sin and then throws it on to someone innocent, he has indeed burdened himself with falsehood and a manifest sin.
YUSUFALI: We have sent down to thee the Book in truth, that thou mightest judge between men, as guided by Allah: so be not (used) as an advocate by those who betray their trust;
PICKTHAL: Lo! We reveal unto thee the Scripture with the truth, that thou mayst judge between mankind by that which Allah showeth thee. And be not thou a pleader for the treacherous;
SHAKIR: Surely We have revealed the Book to you with the truth that you may judge between people by means of that which Allah has taught you; and be not an advocate on behalf of the treacherous.
YUSUFALI: But seek the forgiveness of Allah; for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: And seek forgiveness of Allah. Lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: And ask forgiveness of Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
YUSUFALI: Contend not on behalf of such as betray their own souls; for Allah loveth not one given to perfidy and crime:
PICKTHAL: And plead not on behalf of (people) who deceive themselves. Lo! Allah loveth not one who is treacherous and sinful.
SHAKIR: And do not plead on behalf of those who act unfaithfully to their souls; surely Allah does not love him who is treacherous, sinful;
YUSUFALI: They may hide (Their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide (Them) from Allah, seeing that He is in their midst when they plot by night, in words that He cannot approve: And Allah Doth compass round all that they do.
PICKTHAL: They seek to hide from men and seek not to hide from Allah. He is with them when by night they hold discourse displeasing unto Him. Allah ever surroundeth what they do.
SHAKIR: They hide themselves from men and do not hide themselves from Allah, and He is with them when they meditate by night words which please Him not, and Allah encompasses what they do.
YUSUFALI: Ah! These are the sort of men on whose behalf ye may contend in this world; but who will contend with Allah on their behalf on the Day of Judgment, or who will carry their affairs through?
PICKTHAL: Ho! ye are they who pleaded for them in the life of the world. But who will plead with Allah for them on the Day of Resurrection, or who will then be their defender?
SHAKIR: Behold! you are they who (may) plead for them in this world's life, but who will plead for them with Allah on the resurrection day, or who shall be their protector?
YUSUFALI: If any one does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: Yet whoso doeth evil or wrongeth his own soul, then seeketh pardon of Allah, will find Allah Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: And whoever does evil or acts unjustly to his soul, then asks forgiveness of Allah, he shall find Allah Forgiving, Merciful.
YUSUFALI: And if any one earns sin. he earns it against His own soul: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.
PICKTHAL: Whoso committeth sin committeth it only against himself. Allah is ever Knower, Wise.
SHAKIR: And whoever commits a sin, he only commits it against his own soul; and Allah is Knowing, Wise.
YUSUFALI: But if any one earns a fault or a sin and throws it on to one that is innocent, He carries (on himself) (Both) a falsehood and a flagrant sin.
PICKTHAL: And whoso committeth a delinquency or crime, then throweth (the blame) thereof upon the innocent, hath burdened himself with falsehood and a flagrant crime.
SHAKIR: And whoever commits a fault or a sin, then accuses of it one innocent, he indeed takes upon himself the burden of a calumny and a manifest sin.
4 : 113
113. Walawla fadlu Allahi AAalayka warahmatuhu lahammat ta-ifatun minhum an yudillooka wama yudilloona illa anfusahum wama yadurroonaka min shay-in waanzala Allahu AAalayka alkitaba waalhikmata waAAallamaka ma lam takun taAAlamu wakana fadlu Allahi AAalayka AAatheeman
Were it not for the Grace of Allah and His mercy upon you (Mohammed), a party of them plotted to mislead you, though they mislead none but their own selves, and they can harm you not! Allah reveals to you the Scripture and the Wisdom and teaches you that which you knew not before! The Grace of Allah towards you is limitless!
4 : 114
114. La khayra fee katheerin min najwahum illa man amara bisadaqatin aw maAAroofin aw islahin bayna alnnasi waman yafAAal thalika ibtighaa mardati Allahi fasawfa nu/teehi ajran AAatheeman
There is not much good in them or their covert assemblies except in him who enjoins charity and promotes righteous deeds and peace between men. And he that does so strictly to earn Allah's accord, for him there is a great reward with Us!
4 : 115
115. Waman yushaqiqi alrrasoola min baAAdi ma tabayyana lahu alhuda wayattabiAA ghayra sabeeli almu/mineena nuwallihi ma tawalla wanuslihi jahannama wasaat maseeran
Whoever defies the messenger after Guidance has reached him and chooses a path that is different from the path of the believers, We shall abandon him on his chosen path and then cast him into hell! And what a dreadful place it is to be cast into! (R)
(This verse contains a summary judgement that the only path preferred by Allah as the righteous path is that to which Islam guides, and those who choose a path other than the path of Islam do so at their own peril! Allah will let them wander in the maze of their mistaken beliefs for a short while and will then cast them in the flames of hell)
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
113. Had not the Grace of All‚h and His Mercy been upon you (O Muhammad SAW), a party of them would certainly have made a decision to mislead you, but (in fact) they mislead none except their own selves, and no harm can they do to you in the least. All‚h has sent down to you the Book (The Qur'‚n), and Al≠Hikmah (Isl‚mic laws, knowledge of legal and illegal things i.e. the Prophet's Sunnah - legal ways), and taught you that which you knew not. And Ever Great is the Grace of All‚h unto you (O Muhammad SAW).
114. There is no good in most of their secret talks save (in) him who orders Sadaqah (charity in All‚h's Cause), or Ma'rŻf (Isl‚mic Monotheism and all the good and righteous deeds which All‚h has ordained), or conciliation between mankind, and he who does this, seeking the good Pleasure of All‚h, We shall give him a great reward.
115. And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way. We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell - what an evil destination.
YUSUFALI: But for the Grace of Allah to thee and his Mercy, a party of them would certainly have plotted to lead thee astray. But (in fact) they will only Lead their own souls astray, and to thee they can do no harm in the least. For Allah hath sent down to thee the Book and wisdom and taught thee what thou Knewest not (before): And great is the Grace of Allah unto thee.
PICKTHAL: But for the grace of Allah upon thee (Muhammad), and His mercy, a party of them had resolved to mislead thee, but they will mislead only themselves and they will hurt thee not at all. Allah revealeth unto thee the Scripture and wisdom, and teacheth thee that which thou knewest not. The grace of Allah toward thee hath been infinite.
SHAKIR: And were it not for Allah's grace upon you and His mercy a party of them had certainly designed to bring you to perdition and they do not bring (aught) to perdition but their own souls, and they shall not harm you in any way, and Allah has revealed to you the Book and the wisdom, and He has taught you what you did not know, and Allah's grace on you is very great.
YUSUFALI: In most of their secret talks there is no good: But if one exhorts to a deed of charity or justice or conciliation between men, (Secrecy is permissible): To him who does this, seeking the good pleasure of Allah, We shall soon give a reward of the highest (value).
PICKTHAL: There is no good in much of their secret conferences save (in) him who enjoineth almsgiving and kindness and peace-making among the people. Whoso doeth that, seeking the good pleasure of Allah, We shall bestow on him a vast reward.
SHAKIR: There is no good in most of their secret counsels except (in his) who enjoins charity or goodness or reconciliation between people; and whoever does this seeking Allah's pleasure, We will give him a mighty reward.
YUSUFALI: If anyone contends with the Messenger even after guidance has been plainly conveyed to him, and follows a path other than that becoming to men of Faith, We shall leave him in the path he has chosen, and land him in Hell,- what an evil refuge!
PICKTHAL: And whoso opposeth the messenger after the guidance (of Allah) hath been manifested unto him, and followeth other than the believer's way, We appoint for him that unto which he himself hath turned, and expose him unto hell - a hapless journey's end!
SHAKIR: And whoever acts hostilely to the Messenger after that guidance has become manifest to him, and follows other than the way of the believers, We will turn him to that to which he has (himself) turned and make him enter hell; and it is an evil resort.
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when the Prophet was asked by an old man what will Allah do with someone like him who had sinned all his life, including the sin of idolatry, but has renounced his old ways ever since embracing Islam.
4 : 116
116. Inna Allaha la yaghfiru an yushraka bihi wayaghfiru ma doona thalika liman yashao waman yushrik biAllahi faqad dalla dalalan baAAeedan
Allah never forgives those who assign partners to Him. But other than that He forgives whom He will, for whoever assigns partners to Him strays too far away from the righteous path!
(In this verse, as well as in the very ethos of Islam, lies the irrefutable undertaking of Allah that all sins are forgivable except the sin of idolatry.
As human beings, we are gullible and susceptible to temptation, often too week to resist the lure of the devil; we do things in day to day life which we regret later; we deprive a brother of his rights; we lust for women in our moments of weakness; we speak lies if we can benefit from them; we steal from others if we are driven to it by circumstances; we shout at those who come to serve us if our tempers are flared; we refuse to help the others if it puts a drain on our own resources; we turn the beggar away from our doors without sparing him a morsel of food from our kitchens!
We do all these and many more deeds like these. But if we confess to them and turn repentant to Allah with sincerity, taking responsibility for our actions and solemnly resolved never to repeat them again, He is sure to accept our word for it and forgive us, Allah being Magnanimous and Merciful.
On the other hand, if we refute His revelations, reject the inevitability of the Last Day, trifle with our accountability to our Lord, assign partners to Him and die while we are in an unclean state of apostasy, there is no forgiveness in our share and no redemption for our souls!
It should, however, be borne in mind that confession mentioned here or anywhere else in the Qur'aan is not the same as the ritualized confessions advocated by the Catholic Church in which men and women go into the Confessional and confess to the priest every sin they committed since their last confession and feel consecrated by virtue of having rid themselves of the burden of guilt.
Confession under Islam is one in which, those who have committed an unintentional act of indiscretion, realize at once that they have done something wrong, turn repentant to Allah, seek His forgiveness in earnest, offer to restitute the wrong done and resolve never to do it again, - a dialogue which takes place between us and our Maker, in the privacy of our minds and at the instance of our conscience, the penance offered and the lenity conceded no one else's business except of him who offers and of Him who accepts)
* * *
4 : 117
117. In yadAAoona min doonihi illa inathan wa-in yadAAoona illa shaytanan mareedan
Those whom idolaters worship are a host of females through whom they worship none other than Satan, the renegade -
4 : 118
118. LaAAanahu Allahu waqala laattakhithanna min AAibadika naseeban mafroodan
On whom Allah put a curse when he said : 'Verily I shall claim allegiance from a solid proportion of Your bondsmen -
4 : 119
119. Walaodillannahum walaomanniyannahum walaamurannahum falayubattikunna athana al-anAAami walaamurannahum falayughayyirunna khalqa Allahi waman yattakhithi alshshaytana waliyyan min dooni Allahi faqad khasira khusranan mubeenan
'And verily I will lead them astray; and verily I will arouse desires in them; and verily I will command them to slit the ears of cattle; and verily I will persuade them to change the congenital aspects of Allah's Creation!' So, whoever chooses Satan for his guardian and renounces Allah does to himself an irreparable harm!
4 : 120
120. YaAAiduhum wayumanneehim wama yaAAiduhumu alshshaytanu illa ghurooran
He makes them rosy promises and awakens their salacious desires. Satan guarantees them nothing except sheer delusions!
4 : 121
121. Ola-ika ma/wahum jahannamu wala yajidoona AAanha maheesan
For such of them, Hell will be their abode and they will find no refuge to escape to from it.
4 : 122
122. Waallatheena amanoo waAAamiloo alssalihati sanudkhiluhum jannatin tajree min tahtiha al-anharu khalideena feeha abadan waAAda Allahi haqqan waman asdaqu mina Allahi qeelan
But as for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, We will take them into Gardens underneath which rivers flow wherein they shall abide forever. It is a promise from Allah in truth, and Who can be more truthful than Allah!
(Verses 117 to 121 deal with the idolaters who do themselves irreparable harm by falling into the trap of the devil and worshipping a host of goddesses, - in fact, a goddess for each pagan tribe, - who have no control over their destiny nor can they respond to their call.
When Allah put a curse on Satan for refusing to prostrate before Adam and banished him from Paradise, he swore that he would corrupt a substantial proportion of mankind and drive them astray with his lure; that he would arouse in them the desire to appease their lust; that he would persuade them to torture helpless beasts by slitting their ears after they become barren; that he would encourage them to alter the congenital aspects of Creation, all in order to seek his vengeance on mankind because of whom he lost his abode in Paradise.
'Altering the congenital aspects of Allah's creation' refers to, by implication at least, transvestism in which certain effeminated men are convinced by Satan that they are, in reality, women trapped inside the bodies of men, and become obsessed with behaving like women in every way by titivating their faces with make-up, getting ears and noses pierced, wearing jewellery, walking and talking like women, and nowadays even undergoing surgical transformations so that they can become 'wives' of other men.
Artificial insemination, test-tube babies, surrogacy, cloning, genetic modification, they all fall into the same categories and are rapidly gaining ground right across the world.
The idolaters are warned not to succumb to the devil who makes them false promises and tempts them into profanities and are threatened with dire consequences if they fail to heed admonition.
There is a reminder in these verses that Islam reviles any form of torture inflicted upon animals by human beings, such as displaying the severed head of rams at the point of a spear in Satanic worship, slitting the ears of camels, even the branding of horses, warning mankind that they would be held to account on the Day of Resurrection for the distress and suffering they have caused to the dumb beasts who are also Allah's creatures and are therefore entitled to His compassion on equal terms.
In verse 122, the picture is reversed by highlighting the rewards for those who refrain from succumbing to the devil and adhere to the path of righteousness that they will be taken into Gardens bedecked with trickling streams wherein they will abide forever).
4 : 123
123. Laysa bi-amaniyyikum wala amaniyyi ahli alkitabi man yaAAmal soo-an yujza bihi wala yajid lahu min dooni Allahi waliyyan wala naseeran
Things will not transpire in accordance with what you think or what the Peoples of the Scripture think. He who perpetrates evil deeds, he is requited likewise, and he will not have a champion or acolyte against Allah.
4 : 124
124. Waman yaAAmal mina alssalihati min thakarin aw ontha wahuwa mu/minun faola-ika yadkhuloona aljannata wala yuthlamoona naqeeran
But he who performs righteous deeds, man or woman, and is a believer, he will be entered into paradise and will not be wronged, not even an atom's worth!
(As is made crystal clear in the above two verses, the reward of Paradise is not dependent upon our sex, nor upon performing seemly deeds. If we do not surrender to the hegemony of Allah, we will never succeed in entering paradise, no matter how righteous we are and in how many different ways we demonstrate our righteousness)
4 : 125
125. Waman ahsanu deenan mimman aslama wajhahu lillahi wahuwa muhsinun waittabaAAa millata ibraheema haneefan waittakhatha Allahu ibraheema khaleelan
Whose devotion can be deemed more consummate than his who submits to the will of Allah, performs righteous deeds and follows the creed of Abraham, the guileless? Allah Himself chose Abraham for a friend!
(It is accentuated in the above verse that no one can be more exemplary in his faith than he who submits to Allah without stipulations, performs righteous deeds without limitations and subscribes to the creed of Abraham without hesitation.
As has already been pointed out, Allah's declared intention is that the creed of Islam is to be in conformity with the creed of Abraham, and that whosoever follows the tenets of Abraham 'ipso facto' follows the tenets of Islam. Hence, it is a dogmatic inconsistency on part of the Jews and the Christians that, whilst taking pride in tracing their roots to Prophet Abraham, they despair to see his pennon being borne by his descendant Mohammed, may Allah's peace be upon him!
It should be borne in mind that Prophet Abraham occupied a special place not only in the hearts of the Arabs as a whole, but also in the eyes of Allah Himself, as is evident from the fact that whenever his name is mentioned in the Qur'aan, it is invariably anointed by such endearing and venerable attributes as the 'upright', the 'guile-less', the 'righteous', the 'cherished' and the 'devout')
4 : 126
126. Walillahi ma fee alssamawati wama fee al-ardi wakana Allahu bikulli shay-in muheetan
To Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is upon the earth and all things are within Allah's sphere of control! (R)
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
116. Verily! All‚h forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners in worship with Him, but He forgives whom he pleases sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with All‚h, has indeed strayed far away.
117. They (all those who worship others than All‚h) invoke nothing but female deities besides Him (All‚h), and they invoke nothing but Shait‚n (Satan), a persistent rebel!
118. All‚h cursed him. And he [Shait‚n (Satan)] said: "I will take an appointed portion of your slaves;
119. Verily, I will mislead them, and surely, I will arouse in them false desires; and certainly, I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by All‚h." And whoever takes Shait‚n (Satan) as a WalÓ (protector or helper) instead of All‚h, has surely suffered a manifest loss.
120. He [Shaitan (Satan)] makes promises to them, and arouses in them false desires; and Shaitan's (Satan) promises are nothing but deceptions.
121. The dwelling of such (people) is Hell, and they will find no way of escape from it.
122. But those who believe (in the Oneness of All‚h - Isl‚mic Monotheism) and do deeds of righteousness, We shall admit them to the Gardens under which rivers flow (i.e. in Paradise) to dwell therein forever. All‚h's Promise is the Truth, and whose words can be truer than those of All‚h? (Of course, none).
123. It will not be in accordance with your desires (Muslims), nor those of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof, and he will not find any protector or helper besides All‚h.
124. And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a true believer in the Oneness of All‚h (Muslim), such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a NaqÓra (speck on the back of a date≠stone), will be done to them.
125. And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face (himself) to All‚h (i.e. follows All‚h's Religion of Isl‚mic Monotheism); and he is a Muhsin (a good-doer - see V.2:112). And follows the religion of Ibr‚him (Abraham) Hanifa (Isl‚mic Monotheism - to worship none but All‚h Alone). And All‚h did take Ibr‚him (Abraham) as a Khalil (an intimate friend).
126. And to All‚h belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And All‚h is Ever Encompassing all things.
YUSUFALI: Allah forgiveth not (The sin of) joining other gods with Him; but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins than this: one who joins other gods with Allah, Hath strayed far, far away (from the right).
PICKTHAL: Lo! Allah pardoneth not that partners should be ascribed unto Him. He pardoneth all save that to whom He will. Whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah hath wandered far astray.
SHAKIR: Surely Allah does not forgive that anything should be associated with Him, and He forgives what is besides this to whom He pleases; and whoever associates anything with Allah, he indeed strays off into a remote error.
YUSUFALI: (The Pagans), leaving Him, call but upon female deities: They call but upon satan the persistent rebel!
PICKTHAL: They invoke in His stead only females; they pray to none else than Satan, a rebel
SHAKIR: They do not call besides Him on anything but idols, and they do not call on anything but a rebellious Shaitan.
YUSUFALI: Allah did curse him, but he said: "I will take of Thy servants a portion Marked off;
PICKTHAL: Whom Allah cursed, and he said: Surely I will take of Thy bondmen an appointed portion,
SHAKIR: Allah has cursed him; and he said: Most certainly I will take of Thy servants an appointed portion:
YUSUFALI: "I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by Allah." Whoever, forsaking Allah, takes satan for a friend, hath of a surety suffered a loss that is manifest.
PICKTHAL: And surely I will lead them astray, and surely I will arouse desires in them, and surely I will command them and they will cut the cattle' ears, and surely I will command them and they will change Allah's creation. Whoso chooseth Satan for a patron instead of Allah is verily a loser and his loss is manifest.
SHAKIR: And most certainly I will lead them astray and excite in them vain desires, and bid them so that they shall slit the ears of the cattle, and most certainly I will bid them so that they shall alter Allah's creation; and whoever takes the Shaitan for a guardian rather than Allah he indeed shall suffer a manifest loss.
YUSUFALI: Satan makes them promises, and creates in them false desires; but satan's promises are nothing but deception.
PICKTHAL: He promiseth them and stirreth up desires in them, and Satan promiseth them only to beguile.
SHAKIR: He gives them promises and excites vain desires in them; and the Shaitan does not promise them but to deceive.
YUSUFALI: They (his dupes) will have their dwelling in Hell, and from it they will find no way of escape.
PICKTHAL: For such, their habitation will be hell, and they will find no refuge therefrom.
SHAKIR: These are they whose abode is hell, and they shall not find any refuge from it.
YUSUFALI: But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness,- we shall soon admit them to gardens, with rivers flowing beneath,-to dwell therein for ever. Allah's promise is the truth, and whose word can be truer than Allah's?
PICKTHAL: But as for those who believe and do good works We shall bring them into Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide for ever. It is a promise from Allah in truth; and who can be more truthful than Allah in utterance?
SHAKIR: And (as for) those who believe and do good, We will make them enter into gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide therein for ever; (it is) a promise of Allah, true (indeed), and who is truer of word than Allah?
YUSUFALI: Not your desires, nor those of the People of the Book (can prevail): whoever works evil, will be requited accordingly. Nor will he find, besides Allah, any protector or helper.
PICKTHAL: It will not be in accordance with your desires, nor the desires of the People of the Scripture. He who doeth wrong will have the recompense thereof, and will not find against Allah any protecting friend or helper.
SHAKIR: (This) shall not be in accordance with your vain desires nor in accordance with the vain desires of the followers of the Book; whoever does evil, he shall be requited with it, and besides Allah he will find for himself neither a guardian nor a helper.
YUSUFALI: If any do deeds of righteousness,- be they male or female - and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.
PICKTHAL: And whoso doeth good works, whether of male or female, and he (or she) is a believer, such will enter paradise and they will not be wronged the dint in a date-stone.
SHAKIR: And whoever does good deeds whether male or female and he (or she) is a believer-- these shall enter the garden, and they shall not be dealt with a jot unjustly.
YUSUFALI: Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to Allah, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in Faith? For Allah did take Abraham for a friend.
PICKTHAL: Who is better in religion than he who surrendereth his purpose to Allah while doing good (to men) and followeth the tradition of Abraham, the upright? Allah (Himself) chose Abraham for friend.
SHAKIR: And who has a better religion than he who submits himself entirely to Allah? And he is the doer of good (to others) and follows the faith of Ibrahim, the upright one, and Allah took Ibrahim as a friend.
YUSUFALI: But to Allah belong all things in the heavens and on earth: And He it is that Encompasseth all things.
PICKTHAL: Unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Allah ever surroundeth all things.
SHAKIR: And whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is Allah's; and Allah encompasses all things.
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when the Prophet was asked to comment on the rights of women and young children with regards to inheritance.
4 : 127
127. Wayastaftoonaka fee alnnisa-i quli Allahu yufteekum feehinna wama yutla AAalaykum fee alkitabi fee yatama alnnisa-i allatee la tu/toonahunna ma kutiba lahunna watarghaboona an tankihoohunna waalmustadAAafeena mina alwildani waan taqoomoo lilyatama bialqisti wama tafAAaloo min khayrin fa-inna Allaha kana bihi AAaleeman
They ask you for a ruling about the women. Say: 'Allah reaffirms His ruling about women as contained in the Scripture which is recited to you, and about the orphaned girls to whom you do not give their ordained shares even though you are desirous of marrying them, and about the weak amongst the children, that you should deal fairly with them. Whatever good you do, verily Allah becomes aware of it!
(During the dark ages of Paganism, it was a time-honoured custom not to include women and minor children as heirs in the estate of a deceased person because they were deemed incapable of managing their material assets.
In the case of the orphans, especially females, their treatment at the hands of their guardians was less than fair. If an orphaned girl in their care was rich as well as good looking, they used to wed her in return for a token dowry so that they can usurp or purloin her wealth; if she was neither rich nor desirable, they used to abandon her; if she was ugly but rich, they neither married her themselves nor gave her in marriage to others lest he who married her laid claims to her assets in their care.
through His revelations, proscribed such injustices being dealt to women at the
hands of their so-called peers behind the facade of obsolete customs and usage's
and hugely ameliorated their status).
* * *
4 : 128
128. Wa-ini imraatun khafat min baAAliha nushoozan aw iAAradan fala junaha AAalayhima an yusliha baynahuma sulhan waalssulhu khayrun waohdirati al-anfusu alshshuhha wa-in tuhsinoo watattaqoo fa-inna Allaha kana bima taAAmaloona khabeeran
If a woman apprehends cruelty from her husband, or indifference, it is no sin for the couple to draw a truce between themselves. Truce is always better, though the human heart is a prisoner of selfishness! If you act righteously and ward off evil, rest assured that Allah becomes aware of what you do.
(The verse contains a sound counsel for married couples who are experiencing difficulties in fulfilling their conjugal vows about to even out their misunderstandings and work out a sensible compromise to accomplish a common goal.
As it is, when a marriage is 'on the rocks', it requires a rather delicate balancing of resolve and resilience on part of both the spouses to put it back on track.
However, among traditional Muslim families, especially those living in Islamic states where polygamous marriages are not only lawful but are also actively practised, and men attempt to take advantage of a 'degree of superiority' which is sanctioned to them in the Qur'aan, - though for reasons other than these, - the burden of watching out for signs of breeches in relationships falls heavily on the shoulders of women who are expected to use their inborn strength of endurance towards mending them before they become beyond repair.
To this extent, the Qur'aan relies once again upon the insight and the innate ability of women to read the signs of danger and encourages both spouses to resort to negotiation and truce rather than get entangled in protracted arguments which could lead to disharmony and dissension, finally resulting in estrangement.
Men and women, quite often strangers to one another before wedlock, but required to set examples in mutual loyalties and self-sacrifice after wedlock, do find it most excruciating to form into perfect teams because the human heart is by nature a prisoner of selfishness and raises formidable hurdles in their way which can sometimes be insurmountable. It is, therefore, in their own interests to make allowances for such weaknesses and build their defences around them. If a wife spots the onset of trouble, either because the husband is loosing his temper with her once too often, or having too many arguments, or resorting to physical abuse, or is retreating behind the facade of indifference to demonstrate his dissatisfaction, it means the time has come for them to sit together, by themselves, in the privacy of their room and commence a dialogue on the subject, bearing in mind that every argument has two sides and that when we expect to get, we should also be prepared to give.
If we act sensibly, make sacrifices where necessary, keep the sanctity of wedlock above the futility of false pride and try to move forward than backwards, Allah knows about it and reaches out to us with His help and His guidance.
However, it should be pointed out yet again that there is no place for an
unhappy marriage in the Ordinances of Allah. If the feud between them becomes
implacable, neither of them are under compulsion to work out the unworkable and
be miserable in the process. There is a way out for both of them, and those who
wish to resort to it should do so before the wounds decompose and become
4 : 129
129. Walan tastateeAAoo an taAAdiloo bayna alnnisa-i walaw harastum fala tameeloo kulla almayli fatatharooha kaalmuAAallaqati wa-in tuslihoo watattaqoo fa-inna Allaha kana ghafooran raheeman
You will never be able to treat all your wives alike, no matter how hard you try. But turn not entirely away from one, leaving her in suspense. If you act righteously and keep away from turpitude, then verily Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful!
(While verse 128 is aimed at women, verse 129 is aimed at men and touches on a most sensitive aspect of relationships in polygamous marriages. even though we have already been told in previous verses that those who lack the ability to dispense equal justice and love between their wives should refrain from marrying more than one, it is easier said than done because of its sheer improbability.
Hence, for men who are trapped in polygamous marriages, the advice is to be fair to all their wives, in every aspect of conjugal relationship without showing preference to one above the other, in companionship, in affection, in desire, in inclination, in recompense, in care and in attention.
And to help them achieve this delicate balance, the Qur'aan makes a distinction between actions over which we have control and actions over which we have no control.
For instance, if a husband's love or respect for one of his wives is lost, no matter whose fault it was, there is no way in which he could be forced to love and respect her as these are matters beyond his control.
But there are other ways in which he can compensate her : be pleasant in conversation, be courteous in demeanour, feed her the same food which he provides for others, clothe her in the same way as he clothes the others, give her the same spending money and freedom of movement as the others, keep her in equal comfort and apportion her share in the domestic chores with fairness, - all of which is within his control.
Whatever else he does, one thing he should refrain from doing is to abruptly withdraw from one wife, without giving her any warning, leaving her in a limbo as to what her fate is going to be).
4 : 130
130. Wa-in yatafarraqa yughni Allahu kullan min saAAatihi wakana Allahu wasiAAan hakeeman
But if their bonds are severed once for all, then Allah will ensure that each of you is able to survive without the other out of His own wherewithal. And Allah's wherewithal is infinite, as is His Erudition!
(If all attempts at mutual appeasement fail and they decide to separate, she by waiving her dowry in lieu of estrangement or he by giving her the dowry to which he had agreed, then Allah will enable each of them to live without the other and compensate them with a better turn in life out of His own Grace).
4 : 131
131. Walillahi ma fee alssamawati wama fee al-ardi walaqad wassayna allatheena ootoo alkitaba min qablikum wa-iyyakum ani ittaqoo Allaha wa-in takfuroo fa-inna lillahi ma fee alssamawati wama fee al-ardi wakana Allahu ghaniyyan hameedan
To Allah belongs whatever is in heavens and whatever is on earth. We imposed it upon those who received the Scripture before you and We impose it on you, to be fearful of Allah at all times! But if you vituperate, know that to Allah belongs whatever is in heavens and whatever is on the earth! Allah is Transcendent and Praiseworthy!
4 : 132
132. Walillahi ma fee alssamawati wama fee al-ardi wakafa biAllahi wakeelan
To Allah belongs whatever is in heavens and whatever is on earth and Allah suffices you as your Stalwart!
4 : 133
133. In yasha/ yuthhibkum ayyuha alnnasu waya/ti bi-akhareena wakana Allahu AAala thalika qadeeran
If Allah will - O mankind! - He can abrogate you and replace you with an absolutely new Creation! And this, indeed, is within Allah's sphere of control!
4 : 134
134. Man kana yureedu thawaba alddunya faAAinda Allahi thawabu alddunya waal-akhirati wakana Allahu sameeAAan baseeran
Whoever wish to seek their rewards in the life of this world, let them know that with Allah rests the reward both in this world as well as in the Hereafter! And Allah hears everything and knows everything! (R)
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
127. They ask your legal instruction concerning women, say: All‚h instructs you about them, and about what is recited unto you in the Book concerning the orphan girls whom you give not the prescribed portions (as regards Mahr and inheritance) and yet whom you desire to marry, and (concerning) the children who are weak and oppressed, and that you stand firm for justice to orphans. And whatever good you do, All‚h is Ever All≠Aware of it.
128. And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, there is no sin on them both if they make terms of peace between themselves; and making peace is better. And human inner-selves are swayed by greed. But if you do good and keep away from evil, verily, All‚h is Ever Well≠Acquainted with what you do.
129. You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them (by giving her more of your time and provision) so as to leave the other hanging (i.e. neither divorced nor married). And if you do justice, and do all that is right and fear All‚h by keeping away from all that is wrong, then All‚h is Ever Oft≠Forgiving, Most Merciful.
130. But if they separate (by divorce), All‚h will provide abundance for everyone of them from His Bounty. And All‚h is Ever All≠Sufficient for His creatures' need, All≠Wise.
131. And to All‚h belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And verily, We have recommended to the people of the Scripture before you, and to you (O Muslims) that you (all) fear All‚h, and keep your duty to Him, But if you disbelieve, then unto All‚h belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and All‚h is Ever Rich (Free of all wants), Worthy of all praise.
132. And to All‚h belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And All‚h is Ever All≠Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.
133. If He wills, He can take you away, O people, and bring others. And All‚h is Ever All≠Potent over that.
134. Whoever desires a reward in this life of the world, then with All‚h (Alone and none else) is the reward of this worldly life and of the Hereafter. And All‚h is Ever All≠Hearer, All≠Seer.
YUSUFALI: They ask thy instruction concerning the women say: Allah doth instruct you about them: And (remember) what hath been rehearsed unto you in the Book, concerning the orphans of women to whom ye give not the portions prescribed, and yet whom ye desire to marry, as also concerning the children who are weak and oppressed: that ye stand firm for justice to orphans. There is not a good deed which ye do, but Allah is well-acquainted therewith.
PICKTHAL: They consult thee concerning women. Say: Allah giveth you decree concerning them, and the Scripture which hath been recited unto you (giveth decree), concerning female orphans and those unto whom ye give not that which is ordained for them though ye desire to marry them, and (concerning) the weak among children, and that ye should deal justly with orphans. Whatever good ye do, lo! Allah is ever Aware of it.
SHAKIR: And they ask you a decision about women. Say: Allah makes known to you His decision concerning them, and that which is recited to you in the Book concerning female orphans whom you do not give what is appointed for them while you desire to marry them, and concerning the weak among children, and that you should deal towards orphans with equity; and whatever good you do, Allah surely knows it.
YUSUFALI: If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best; even though men's souls are swayed by greed. But if ye do good and practise self-restraint, Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.
PICKTHAL: If a woman feareth ill treatment from her husband, or desertion, it is no sin for them twain if they make terms of peace between themselves. Peace is better. But greed hath been made present in the minds (of men). If ye do good and keep from evil, lo! Allah is ever Informed of what ye do.
SHAKIR: And if a woman fears ill usage or desertion on the part of her husband, there is no blame on them, if they effect a reconciliation between them, and reconciliation is better, and avarice has been made to be present in the (people's) minds; and if you do good (to others) and guard (against evil), then surely Allah is aware of what you do.
YUSUFALI: Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: But turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). If ye come to a friendly understanding, and practise self-restraint, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: Ye will not be able to deal equally between (your) wives, however much ye wish (to do so). But turn not altogether away (from one), leaving her as in suspense. If ye do good and keep from evil, lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: And you have it not in your power to do justice between wives, even though you may wish (it), but be not disinclined (from one) with total disinclination, so that you leave her as it were in suspense; and if you effect a reconciliation and guard (against evil), then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
YUSUFALI: But if they disagree (and must part), Allah will provide abundance for all from His all-reaching bounty: for Allah is He that careth for all and is Wise.
PICKTHAL: But if they separate, Allah will compensate each out of His abundance. Allah is ever All-Embracing, All-Knowing.
SHAKIR: And if they separate, Allah will render them both free from want out of His ampleness, and Allah is Ample-giving, Wise.
YUSUFALI: To Allah belong all things in the heavens and on earth. Verily we have directed the People of the Book before you, and you (o Muslims) to fear Allah. But if ye deny Him, lo! unto Allah belong all things in the heavens and on earth, and Allah is free of all wants, worthy of all praise.
PICKTHAL: Unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. And We charged those who received the Scripture before you, and (We charge) you, that ye keep your duty toward Allah. And if ye disbelieve, lo! unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, and Allah is ever Absolute, Owner of Praise.
SHAKIR: And whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is Allah's and certainly We enjoined those who were given the Book before you and (We enjoin) you too that you should be careful of (your duty to) Allah; and if you disbelieve, then surely whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is Allah's and Allah is Self-sufficient, Praise-worthy.
YUSUFALI: Yea, unto Allah belong all things in the heavens and on earth, and enough is Allah to carry through all affairs.
PICKTHAL: Unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender.
SHAKIR: And whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is Allah's, and Allah is sufficient as a Protector.
YUSUFALI: If it were His will, He could destroy you, o mankind, and create another race; for He hath power this to do.
PICKTHAL: If He will, He can remove you, O people, and produce others (in your stead). Allah is Able to do that.
SHAKIR: If He please, He can make you pass away, O people! and bring others; and Allah has the power to do this.
YUSUFALI: If any one desires a reward in this life, in Allah's (gift) is the reward (both) of this life and of the hereafter: for Allah is He that heareth and seeth (all things).
PICKTHAL: Whoso desireth the reward of the world, (let him know that) with Allah is the reward of the world and the Hereafter. Allah is ever Hearer, Seer.
SHAKIR: Whoever desires the reward of this world, then with Allah is the reward of this world and the hereafter; and Allah is Hearing, Seeing.
4 : 135
135. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo koonoo qawwameena bialqisti shuhadaa lillahi walaw AAala anfusikum awi alwalidayni waal-aqrabeena in yakun ghaniyyan aw faqeeran faAllahu awla bihima fala tattabiAAoo alhawa an taAAdiloo wa-in talwoo aw tuAAridoo fa-inna Allaha kana bima taAAmaloona khabeeran
O those of you who believe! Be resolute in your pursuit of justice and be witnesses for Allah, whether it is against your own selves or against your parents or against your kindred, and whether it involves someone rich or someone poor, for Allah is nearer to both of them. So follow not your desires lest you are forced to abandon justice! If you flounder or deviate, then verily Allah is aware of what you do!
(When a man is called upon to sit in judgement on others and pass a just and fair verdict, he is being asked to perform a function upon the earth which is the prerogative of Allah alone, in the same way as when a surgeon is called upon to perform a crucial operation in order to save a human life, which is also the sole prerogative of Allah.
Each time a human judge triumphs in dispensing justice, Allah's justice triumphs through his words; and every time a surgeon succeeds in saving a human life, Allah's Will is asserted on earth through his hands.
In this verse, those who are entrusted with the honour and distinction of judging others are exhorted to remember that, for as long as they are occupying that chair, they are acting on behalf of Allah; that those who judge would also be judged one Day; that justice is no longer justice if it is something for someone and something else for someone else; that a judge who does not place himself in the dock alongside the accused and hear himself spell out his verdict is not at all a true judge, and that it is wrong to pronounce judgements without pursuing justice and truth!)
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when certain believers among the peoples of the Scriptures approached the Prophet and told him that, although they were prepared to believe in him and in the Qur'aan, and in Moses and the Torah, they were not prepared to believe in other messengers or Scripture besides these, obviously hinting at Jesus and the Gospel.
4 : 136
136. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo aminoo biAllahi warasoolihi waalkitabi allathee nazzala AAala rasoolihi waalkitabi allathee anzala min qablu waman yakfur biAllahi wamala-ikatihi wakutubihi warusulihi waalyawmi al-akhiri faqad dalla dalalan baAAeedan
O those of you who believe! Believe in Allah and in all His messenger and in the Scripture which He has revealed to this Messenger and the Scripture which He revealed prior to it. And whoever does not believe in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and in the Last Day, he has strayed too far away in his quandary.
(This verse, as many other verses before it and after it, contains the pre-requisites for anyone who looks upon himself as a true believer that, not only must he believe in Allah and the Prophet and in the Qur'aan, but also in everyone of His messengers and in every Scripture revealed to them without omissions and without discrimination, and in all the Angels and in the Last Day, without which his faith is incomplete)
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed with reference to certain Jews who believed in Moses but renounced him in preference to the Calf; then they believed in the Gospel but reviled Jesus; and when it came to believing the Qur'aan, they did not even concede that it was a Divine revelation.
4 : 137
137. Inna allatheena amanoo thumma kafaroo thumma amanoo thumma kafaroo thumma izdadoo kufran lam yakuni Allahu liyaghfira lahum wala liyahdiyahum sabeelan
Verily those who believe and then relapse into apostasy, then believe and then relapse into apostasy again and thereafter persist in disbelieving, Allah will never reprieve them nor will He give them His guidance.
* * *
4 : 138
138. Bashshiri almunafiqeena bi-anna lahum AAathaban aleeman
Convey the tidings to the hypocrites that there is a painful castigation in store for them!
4 : 139
139. Allatheena yattakhithoona alkafireena awliyaa min dooni almu/mineena ayabtaghoona AAindahumu alAAizzata fa-inna alAAizzata lillahi jameeAAan
Those who choose the disbelievers as their friends in preference to the believers, do they do it in quest of power? Verily power belongs to Allah alone!
4 : 140
140. Waqad nazzala AAalaykum fee alkitabi an itha samiAAtum ayati Allahi yukfaru biha wayustahzao biha fala taqAAudoo maAAahum hatta yakhoodoo fee hadeethin ghayrihi innakum ithan mithluhum inna Allaha jamiAAu almunafiqeena waalkafireena fee jahannama jameeAAan
He has already exhorted you in the Scripture that, if you hear the revelations of Allah being repudiated or ridiculed, join not in their assembly until the topic has been changed, or else it would seem as though you are one with them! Allah will gather the hypocrites and the disbelievers and haul them together in hell!
(This verse admonishes believers to avoid visiting any place where Allah, His messengers and His Scriptures are being insulted. In the same way as a leopard can never change its spots, the disbelievers too can never be reformed through persuasion and debate. Hence, if we are accidentally present when something offensive is being said about the things we hold in high esteem, our intervention could tend to exacerbate their animosity towards the values we respect and result in more disrespect. It is therefore best to avoid the company of those who are insensitive to others and try not to convince them that we are right and they are wrong.
The verse effectively prohibits the believers from taking part in assemblies, or in religious ceremonies of the idolaters, or visiting their temples and 'Ashrams' where deities other than Allah are adored, whether by invitation or by accident, to such an extent that fraternizing with the disbelievers tantamounts to being a disbeliever).
4 : 141
141. Allatheena yatarabbasoona bikum fa-in kana lakum fathun mina Allahi qaloo alam nakun maAAakum wa-in kana lilkafireena naseebun qaloo alam nastahwith AAalaykum wanamnaAAkum mina almu/mineena faAllahu yahkumu baynakum yawma alqiyamati walan yajAAala Allahu lilkafireena AAala almu/mineena sabeelan
Those who watch your progress so that, if you triumphed, they could say : 'Were we not with you?' and if the disbelievers triumph, they can say : 'Did we not guard you and protect you against the believers?' Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection and He will never give an edge to the disbelievers over the believers. (R)
(The reference is to the hypocrites of Madina, their insatiable greed for a share in Spoils, the way they changed sides in order to secure it, how they claimed to have played a major role in the battles won by the believers, how they claimed to have tilted the results in favour of the disbelievers in battles which they won by slowing down the believers, making sure that, one way or another, a generous portion is kept for them by either side in the Spoils).
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
135. O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to All‚h, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, All‚h is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, All‚h is Ever Well≠Acquainted with what you do.
136. O you who believe! Believe in All‚h, and His Messenger (Muhammad SAW), and the Book (the Qur'‚n) which He has sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He sent down to those before (him), and whosoever disbelieves in All‚h, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, then indeed he has strayed far away.
137. Verily, those who believe, then disbelieve, then believe (again), and (again) disbelieve, and go on increasing in disbelief; All‚h will not forgive them, nor guide them on the (Right) Way.
138. Give to the hypocrites the tidings that there is for them a painful torment.
139. Those who take disbelievers for Auliy‚' (protectors or helpers or friends) instead of believers, do they seek honour, power and glory with them? Verily, then to All‚h belongs all honour, power and glory.
140. And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Qur'‚n) that when you hear the Verses of All‚h being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them. Surely, All‚h will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell,
141. Those (hyprocrites) who wait and watch about you; if you gain a victory from All‚h, they say: "Were we not with you," but if the disbelievers gain a success, they say (to them): "Did we not gain mastery over you and did we not protect you from the believers?" All‚h will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection. And never will All‚h grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers.
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Be ye staunch in justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) kindred, whether (the case be of) a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer unto both (them ye are). So follow not passion lest ye lapse (from truth) and if ye lapse or fall away, then lo! Allah is ever Informed of what ye do.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness of Allah's sake, though it may be against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives; if he be rich or poor, Allah is nearer to them both in compassion; therefore do not follow (your) low desires, lest you deviate; and if you swerve or turn aside, then surely Allah is aware of what you do.
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Messenger and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). Any who denieth Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgment, hath gone far, far astray.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger, and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Book which He has revealed to His Messenger and the Book which He revealed before; and whoever disbelieves in Allah and His angels and His messengers and the last day, he indeed strays off into a remote error.
YUSUFALI: Those who believe, then reject faith, then believe (again) and (again) reject faith, and go on increasing in unbelief,- Allah will not forgive them nor guide them nor guide them on the way.
PICKTHAL: Lo! those who believe, then disbelieve and then (again) believe, then disbelieve, and then increase in disbelief, Allah will never pardon them, nor will He guide them unto a way.
SHAKIR: Surely (as for) those who believe then disbelieve, again believe and again disbelieve, then increase in disbelief, Allah will not forgive them nor guide them in the (right) path.
YUSUFALI: To the Hypocrites give the glad tidings that there is for them (but) a grievous penalty;-
PICKTHAL: Bear unto the hypocrites the tidings that for them there is a painful doom;
SHAKIR: Announce to the hypocrites that they shall have a painful chastisement:
YUSUFALI: Yea, to those who take for friends unbelievers rather than believers: is it honour they seek among them? Nay,- all honour is with Allah.
PICKTHAL: Those who chose disbelievers for their friends instead of believers! Do they look for power at their hands? Lo! all power appertaineth to Allah.
SHAKIR: Those who take the unbelievers for guardians rather than believers. Do they seek honor from them? Then surely all honor is for Allah.
YUSUFALI: Already has He sent you Word in the Book, that when ye hear the signs of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, ye are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme: if ye did, ye would be like them. For Allah will collect the hypocrites and those who defy faith - all in Hell:-
PICKTHAL: He hath already revealed unto you in the Scripture that, when ye hear the revelations of Allah rejected and derided, (ye) sit not with them (who disbelieve and mock) until they engage in some other conversation. Lo! in that case (if ye stayed) ye would be like unto them. Lo! Allah will gather hypocrites and disbelievers, all together, into hell;
SHAKIR: And indeed He has revealed to you in the Book that when you hear Allah's communications disbelieved in and mocked at do not sit with them until they enter into some other discourse; surely then you would be like them; surely Allah will gather together the hypocrites and the unbelievers all in hell.
YUSUFALI: (These are) the ones who wait and watch about you: if ye do gain a victory from Allah, they say: "Were we not with you?"- but if the unbelievers gain a success, they say (to them): "Did we not gain an advantage over you, and did we not guard you from the believers?" but Allah will judge betwixt you on the Day of Judgment. And never will Allah grant to the unbelievers a way (to triumphs) over the believers.
PICKTHAL: Those who wait upon occasion in regard to you and, if a victory cometh unto you from Allah, say: Are we not with you? and if the disbelievers meet with a success say: Had we not the mastery of you, and did we not protect you from the believers? - Allah will judge between you at the Day of Resurrection, and Allah will not give the disbelievers any way (of success) against the believers.
SHAKIR: Those who wait for (some misfortune to befall) you then If you have a victory from Allah they say: Were we not with you? And i. there IS a chance for the unbelievers, they say: Did we not acquire the mastery over you and defend you from the believers? So Allah shall Judge between you on the day of resurrection, and Allah will by no means give the unbelievers a way against the believers.
4 : 142
142. Inna almunafiqeena yukhadiAAoona Allaha wahuwa khadiAAuhum wa-itha qamoo ila alssalati qamoo kusala yuraoona alnnasa wala yathkuroona Allaha illa qaleelan
The hypocrites are under the impression that they could delude Allah whereas it is Allah Who is deluding them. Even when they stand up for worship, they do so half heatedly, and only to show off to the people, without cogitating over Allah, except a little.
4 : 143
143. Muthabthabeena bayna thalika la ila haola-i wala ila haola-i waman yudlili Allahu falan tajida lahu sabeelan
Stranded in the middle, neither to this side nor to that! He whom Allah sends astray, you will not find a way out for him!
4 : 144
144. Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo la tattakhithoo alkafireena awliyaa min dooni almu/mineena atureedoona
O those of you who believe! Never choose disbelievers for friends in preference to the believers! Would you bring upon yourselves an open conflict with Allah?
4 : 145
145. Inna almunafiqeena fee alddarki al-asfali mina alnnari walan tajida lahum naseeran
Verily the hypocrites belong to the lowest rank amongst the dwellers of hell, and you will not find anyone anywhere who wishes to help them -
4 : 146
146. Illa allatheena taboo waaslahoo waiAAtasamoo biAllahi waakhlasoo deenahum lillahi faola-ika maAAa almu/mineena wasawfa yu/ti Allahu almu/mineena ajran AAatheeman
Except those among them who repent, and make amends, and hold on to the rope given to them by Allah, making religion pure for Allah alone! Only then will they be deemed in par with the believers. And Allah will proffer upon the believers a great reward!
(The reason why the hypocrites are considered to be lower than the lowest is because the disbelievers at least have the courage of their convictions and openly declare themselves to be the enemies of the believers, while the hypocrites hide behind the cloak of affinity with Islam for their own ulterior motives and resort to betrayals in times of crisis, - a most deplorable and cowardly trait of their ethos!
Nonetheless, even the hypocrites can be ameliorated and reprieved and elevated to the ranks of believers by virtue of their having professed belief, no matter how half-heartedly, provided they turned repentant to Allah, confessed to their mendacity, restitute the harm they did to the others as a result of their betrayal, held fast to the ligature of Allah and thereafter remained sincere in their convictions).
4 : 147
147. Ma yafAAalu Allahu biAAathabikum in shakartum waamantum wakana Allahu shakiran AAaleeman
What will Allah gain by inflicting punishment on you if you are grateful to Him and believe in Him? Allah is more inclined to reward your gratitude and recognize your sincerity!
(Allah is Love, Allah is Compassion, Allah is Munificence! When He punished Adam and Eve for their disobedience, He did not cast them in hell nor did He abandon their side; instead, He banished them to earth with the promise that there would be a habitation and a provision for them in it for an appointed term and that if they and those who sprung from their seed followed His guidance, they would be redeemed and given back their place in Paradise. And when Satan vowed to avenge man for his ignominy, He did not forsake man to fend for himself against the devil but challenged him that he would not succeed in deflecting His bondsmen who believed in Him and put their trust in Him! Allah is not an enemy of man but an enemy of man's enemy, and guards over him during the hectic hours of day as well as the tranquil hours of the night! So, why should He be keen to mete out punishment to man rather than reward him?)
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed in response to a believer's complaints against a tribe who were inhospitable to him when he visited them at their own invitation.
4 : 148
148. La yuhibbu Allahu aljahra bialssoo-i mina alqawli illa man thulima wakana Allahu sameeAAan AAaleeman
Allah cherishes not those who publicly broadcast their grievances, except him who is genuinely wronged. And Allah hears and knows everything!
(This verse contributes one more principle to the Code of Conduct preached by Islam. It does not become a Muslim to go around speaking ill of others and spreading rumours which have no basis, no matter how genuine our grievances may be against them.
Some commentators ascribe the revelation of the verse to an incident that occurred when a tedious man kept saying all sorts of disrespectful things to Hadrath Abu Bakr in the presence of the Prophet. After putting up with his affronts for quite a while, Abu Bakr opened his mouth to defend himself, but as soon as he did, the Prophet rose to his feet and prepared to leave. Amazed by his reaction, Abu Bakr protested that he spoke out only once in response to the man's countless insults, but the Prophet replied : 'For as long as you were forbearing, your Guardian Angel was defending you, but when you opened your mouth, he shut his!'
However, the verse should not be misconstrued as an excuse for strangling genuine protestations and remonstrations, provided they are based upon truth and their exposition yields propitious results, such as a testimony given under oath in a Court of Law in order to bring to book an offender. In such cases, not only is it expedient to unmask an evil man masquerading in the garb of virtuosity, but also legally binding upon us).
4 : 149
149. In tubdoo khayran aw tukhfoohu aw taAAfoo AAan soo-in fa-inna Allaha kana AAafuwwan qadeeran
If you perform a righteous deed, be it openly or discreetly, or forgive others for their shortcomings, then verily Allah too is Relenting and Omnipotent.
(This verse, when read in conjunction with verse 147, makes greater sense and shows us how generous our Lord is to us, how responsive and how relenting!
Our beloved Prophet said : 'If you relent towards him who is on earth, He who is in heaven will relent towards you!').
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed with reference to those Jews and Christians who did believed in their own messengers but reviled the rest.
4 : 150
150. Inna allatheena yakfuroona biAllahi warusulihi wayureedoona an yufarriqoo bayna Allahi warusulihi wayaqooloona nu/minu bibaAAdin wanakfuru bibaAAdin wayureedoona an yattakhithoo bayna thalika sabeelan
Those who believe not in Allah and His messengers and seek to distinguish between Allah's messengers by saying : 'We believe in some and repudiate the others!' and attempt to create a middle ground -
4 : 151
151. Ola-ika humu alkafiroona haqqan waaAAtadna lilkafireena AAathaban muheenan
These are the hard core agnostics for whom We have set aside an acerbic castigation.
4 : 152
152. Waallatheena amanoo biAllahi warusulihi walam yufarriqoo bayna ahadin minhum ola-ika sawfa yu/teehim ojoorahum wakana Allahu ghafooran raheeman
Those who believe in Allah and in all His messengers and do not discriminate between one messenger and another, Allah will give them their befitting rewards. Verily Allah is Magnanimous and Merciful! (R)
(The above verses are an open declaration that believing in some messengers and rejecting the others is insufficient to constitute faith. In fact, rejecting one messenger puts us in par with those who reject all the messengers. Those who discriminate between Allah's messengers are warned of a harsh stricture, while those who make no such distinction are assured of a worthy reward)
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
142. Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive All‚h, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for As-Sal‚t (the prayer), they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember All‚h but little.
143. (They are) swaying between this and that, belonging neither to these nor to those, and he whom All‚h sends astray, you will not find for him a way (to the truth - Isl‚m).
144. O you who believe! Take not for Auliy‚' (protectors or helpers or friends) disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer All‚h a manifest proof against yourselves?
145. Verily, the hyprocrites will be in the lowest depths (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them.
146. Except those who repent (from hypocrisy), do righteous good deeds, hold fast to All‚h, and purify their religion for All‚h (by worshipping none but All‚h, and do good for All‚h's sake only, not to show-off), then they will be with the believers. And All‚h will grant to the believers a great reward.
147. Why should All‚h punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And All‚h is Ever All≠Appreciative (of good), All≠Knowing.
148. All‚h does not like that the evil should be uttered in public except by him who has been wronged. And All‚h is Ever All≠Hearer, All≠Knower.
149. Whether you (mankind) disclose (by good words of thanks) a good deed (done to you in the form of a favour by someone), or conceal it, or pardon an evil, Ö verily, All‚h is Ever Oft≠Pardoning, All≠Powerful.
150. Verily, those who disbelieve in All‚h and His Messengers and wish to make distinction between All‚h and His Messengers (by believing in All‚h and disbelieving in His Messengers) saying, "We believe in some but reject others," and wish to adopt a way in between.
151. They are in truth disbelievers. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating torment.
152. And those who believe in All‚h and His Messengers and make no distinction between any of them (Messengers), We shall give them their rewards, and All‚h is Ever Oft≠Forgiving, Most Merciful.
YUSUFALI: The Hypocrites - they think they are over-reaching Allah, but He will over-reach them: When they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do they hold Allah in remembrance;
PICKTHAL: Lo! the hypocrites seek to beguile Allah, but it is He Who beguileth them. When they stand up to worship they perform it languidly and to be seen of men, and are mindful of Allah but little;
SHAKIR: Surely the hypocrites strive to deceive Allah, and He shall requite their deceit to them, and when they stand up to prayer they stand up sluggishly; they do it only to be seen of men and do not remember Allah save a little.
YUSUFALI: (They are) distracted in mind even in the midst of it,- being (sincerely) for neither one group nor for another whom Allah leaves straying,- never wilt thou find for him the way.
PICKTHAL: Swaying between this (and that), (belonging) neither to these nor to those. He whom Allah causeth to go astray, thou (O Muhammad) wilt not find a way for him:
SHAKIR: Wavering between that (and this), (belonging) neither to these nor to those; and whomsoever Allah causes to err, you shall not find a way for him.
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Take not for friends unbelievers rather than believers: Do ye wish to offer Allah an open proof against yourselves?
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Choose not disbelievers for (your) friends in place of believers. Would ye give Allah a clear warrant against you?
SHAKIR: O you who believe! do not take the unbelievers for friends rather than the believers; do you desire that you should give to Allah a manifest proof against yourselves?
YUSUFALI: The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire: no helper wilt thou find for them;-
PICKTHAL: Lo! the hypocrites (will be) in the lowest deep of the Fire, and thou wilt find no helper for them;
SHAKIR: Surely the hypocrites are in the lowest stage of the fire and you shall not find a helper for them.
YUSUFALI: Except for those who repent, mend (their lives) hold fast to Allah, and purify their religion as in Allah's sight: if so they will be (numbered) with the believers. And soon will Allah grant to the believers a reward of immense value.
PICKTHAL: Save those who repent and amend and hold fast to Allah and make their religion pure for Allah (only). Those are with the believers. And Allah will bestow on the believers an immense reward.
SHAKIR: Except those who repent and amend and hold fast to Allah and are sincere in their religion to Allah, these are with the believers, and Allah will grant the believers a mighty reward.
YUSUFALI: What can Allah gain by your punishment, if ye are grateful and ye believe? Nay, it is Allah that recogniseth (all good), and knoweth all things.
PICKTHAL: What concern hath Allah for your punishment if ye are thankful (for His mercies) and believe (in Him)? Allah was ever Responsive, Aware.
SHAKIR: Why should Allah chastise you if you are grateful and believe? And Allah is the Multiplier of rewards, Knowing
YUSUFALI: Allah loveth not that evil should be noised abroad in public speech, except where injustice hath been done; for Allah is He who heareth and knoweth all things.
PICKTHAL: Allah loveth not the utterance of harsh speech save by one who hath been wronged. Allah is ever Hearer, Knower.
SHAKIR: Allah does not love the public utterance of hurtful speech unless (it be) by one to whom injustice has been done; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
YUSUFALI: Whether ye publish a good deed or conceal it or cover evil with pardon, verily Allah doth blot out (sins) and hath power (in the judgment of values).
PICKTHAL: If ye do good openly or keep it secret, or forgive evil, lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Powerful.
SHAKIR: If you do good openly or do it in secret or pardon an evil then surely Allah is Pardoning, Powerful.
YUSUFALI: Those who deny Allah and His messengers, and (those who) wish to separate Allah from His messengers, saying: "We believe in some but reject others": And (those who) wish to take a course midway,-
PICKTHAL: Lo! those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and seek to make distinction between Allah and His messengers, and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and seek to choose a way in between;
SHAKIR: Surely those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers and (those who) desire to make a distinction between Allah and His messengers and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and desire to take a course between (this and) that.
YUSUFALI: They are in truth (equally) unbelievers; and we have prepared for unbelievers a humiliating punishment.
PICKTHAL: Such are disbelievers in truth; and for disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom.
SHAKIR: These it is that are truly unbelievers, and We have prepared for the unbelievers a disgraceful chastisement.
YUSUFALI: To those who believe in Allah and His messengers and make no distinction between any of the messengers, we shall soon give their (due) rewards: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: But those who believe in Allah and His messengers and make no distinction between any of them, unto them Allah will give their wages; and Allah was ever Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: And those who believe in Allah and His messengers and do not make a distinction between any of them-- Allah will grant them their rewards; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed in response to the challenges made by the Jews demanding that the Prophet brought a Scripture from Allah in the same way as Moses had brought the Tablets with His Commandments inscribed on them.
4 : 153
153. Yas-aluka ahlu alkitabi an tunazzila AAalayhim kitaban mina alssama-i faqad saaloo moosa akbara min thalika faqaloo arina Allaha jahratan faakhathat-humu alssaAAiqatu bithulmihim thumma ittakhathoo alAAijla min baAAdi ma jaat-humu albayyinatu faAAafawna AAan thalika waatayna moosa sultanan mubeenan
The People of the Scripture demand of you that you cause a Book to descend on them from heaven! They made a more spurious demand of Moses when they said : 'Reveal to us Allah !' Hence a storm festered by lightning seized them because of their sinfulness. Then they resorted to the worship of a Calf even after definitive portents had come to them. Yet We forgave them and We gave Moses clear authority over them -
4 : 154
154. WarafaAAna fawqahumu alttoora bimeethaqihim waqulna lahumu odkhuloo albaba sujjadan waqulna lahum la taAAdoo fee alssabti waakhathna minhum meethaqan ghaleethan
And We raised the Mount over their heads in order to obtain from them a covenant; and We bade them : 'Enter the gate prostrate!' and We bade them : 'Exceed not the bounds of the Sabbath!' and We took from them a firm commitment!
(The above verses take us back to the Reminders concerning the Jews and their persistent insubordination to Allah as contained in Surah 2.
Demanding the Prophet to produce a Book that descended upon him from heaven in the form of a single volume was not half as brazen as demanding Moses to show them Allah's countenance. Their audacity led to dire consequences, but they persisted with their insubordination and turned to the worship of a Calf despite the definitive portents which came to them, despite the Prophethood of Moses and despite so many a palpable miracle performed by him at Allah's behest.
The fact that Allah nevertheless forgave the ancestors of contemporary Jews is reiterated in this verse to serve the purpose of an incentive to them that, if they repented and restituted in a like manner, they too could be forgiven and reprieved).
4 : 155
155. Fabima naqdihim meethaqahum wakufrihim bi-ayati Allahi waqatlihimu al-anbiyaa bighayri haqqin waqawlihim quloobuna ghulfun bal tabaAAa Allahu AAalayha bikufrihim fala yu/minoona illa qaleelan
But because they breached their covenant and repudiated Our revelations and slew Our Prophets without justification; and because they said : 'Our hearts are encased in wraps!' Nay! Allah has put a seal upon their hearts because of their repudiations so that they can never believe even if they want to, - none except a few of them -
4 : 156
156. Wabikufrihim waqawlihim AAala maryama buhtanan AAatheeman
And because of their persistent vituperations and of the insidious scandal which they spread about Mary -
4 : 157
157. Waqawlihim inna qatalna almaseeha AAeesa ibna maryama rasoola Allahi wama qataloohu wama salaboohu walakin shubbiha lahum wa-inna allatheena ikhtalafoo feehi lafee shakkin minhu ma lahum bihi min AAilmin illa ittibaAAa alththanni wama qataloohu yaqeenan
And because of saying : 'We slew the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary and a messenger of Allah!', when in truth they slew him not nor did they crucify him, though it seemed so to them; those who disagree with this are plunged in blatant error and have no real knowledge about it except pursuit of suppositions; - and surely they slew him not -
4 : 158
158. Bal rafaAAahu Allahu ilayhi wakana Allahu AAazeezan hakeeman
But Allah caused him to rise to His side. Verily Allah is Ubiquitous and Wise!
(The above verses catalogue the series of evil deeds the ancient Jews perpetrated in defiance of Allah's commands: when they were ordered to enter the gates of Jerico prostrate, they did not; when they were asked not to transgress the stints of the Sabbath, they did; when the Mount was raised above their heads and a firm covenant was obtained from them, they breached it; they repudiated the revelations of Allah, they killed many of His Prophets; they said there was a blindfold wrapped on their eyes because of which they were unable to see the truth; they cast spurious aspersions on the sanctity of Mary and claimed that they slew Jesus when in actual fact they did no such thing.
Verses 157 and 158 revive our recollection of the events regarding the alleged crucifixion of Jesus and reaffirm that, although the Jews insist upon having been instrumental in the death of Jesus at the hands of the Roman soldiers, the man who was crucified on that doleful day was not Jesus, but a criminal who bore strong resemblance to him. The Qur'aanic version, as opposed to the Biblical version, already discussed in Surah 2, is upheld yet again that Allah did deliver Jesus from the sinful hands of his tormentors by raising him to heaven in the same way as He delivered Noah from the deluge, Jonas from the belly of the fish, Abraham from the fire and Ishmael from the slaughtered.
It should be noted that a number of early Christian churches also disagree with the Biblical version of Crucifixion by reason of the fact that there is no historic proof in support of the assertion that the man known as the Messiah was, indeed, slain on the Cross and that the sources who introduced this concept in Christendom were neither credible nor reputable)
4 : 159
159. Wa-in min ahli alkitabi illa layu/minanna bihi qabla mawtihi wayawma alqiyamati yakoonu AAalayhim shaheedan
There is none amongst the Peoples of the Scriptures who would not believe in Jesus before his death; and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.
(This verse contains an eclectic prophesy about the returning of Jesus before the Day of Judgement and bringing the whole mankind under the fold of a single religion.
There are several interpretations and opinions put forward by various commentators in this regard:
According to some, the religion which Jesus will come back to preach will be Islam - or an unconditional surrender to the hegemony of Allah - which was first preached by Abraham; subsequently revived in the Torah but obliterated by its adherents, - the Jews; subsequently revived in the Gospel but obliterated by its adherents, - the Christians; and then finally revived in the Qur'aan and preserved forever intact by its adherents, - the Muslims. The returning of Jesus will ensure that no adherent of these Scriptures would be able to avoid the ultimate'surrender' to Allah and is bound to fall in line.
According to some others, when the moment of death arrives, - which is the end of the line for the living, - the Jews and the Christians would encounter the Spirit of Jesus and would accept the faith preached by him, - which is the same as Islam - though it would not be acceptable to Allah because any gesture of repentance resorted to on the death-bed cannot be deemed honest and stable.
There are also some who opine that it means all peoples of the Scriptures would embrace the religion preached by Prophet Mohammed and there will be no exceptions; and some say that it means all mankind will become one creed and believe in no God save Allah, as it used to be in the beginning.
The verse makes plain to the Jews and the Christians that Jesus will bear witness against all of them on the Day of Resurrection; against the Jews concerning how they repudiated the Gospel, claiming it was not a Divine Revelation; how they prevented people from attending his sermons; how they tormented him for preaching a religion they could not acknowledge, how they colluded with Roman soldiers and almost got him crucified on the cross, - had it not been for the arrival of the Archangel at the behest of Allah who carried away the body and the Spirit of Jesus to heaven before it was desecrated by his assailants; and he would also bear witness against the Christians for having ascribed to him blatant lies, declaring that he asked himself to be looked upon as the Son of God, then to be turned into a God and worshipped in the place of Allah).
* * *
4 : 160
160. Fabithulmin mina allatheena hadoo harramna AAalayhim tayyibatin ohillat lahum wabisaddihim AAan sabeeli Allahi katheeran
Because of the trespasses perpetrated by the Jews, We rendered unlawful to them some of the clean things that were once made lawful to them; and because they prevented people from gaining access to the path of Allah -
4 : 161
161. Waakhthihimu alrriba waqad nuhoo AAanhu waaklihim amwala alnnasi bialbatili waaAAtadna lilkafireena minhum AAathaban aleeman
And because they charged interests even though they were forbidden from doing it; and also because they wrongfully devoured other people's wealth! For those amongst them who vituperated, We have prepared a grievous punishment -
4 : 162
162. Lakini alrrasikhoona fee alAAilmi minhum waalmu/minoona yu/minoona bima onzila ilayka wama onzila min qablika waalmuqeemeena alssalata waalmu/toona alzzakata waalmu/minoona biAllahi waalyawmi al-akhiri ola-ika sanu/teehim ajran Aaatheeman
But for those of them who are firm in knowledge, and for the believers amongst them who believe in that which is revealed to you (O Mohammed), and that which was revealed before you, and for those who establish worship and give to the poor their due, and believe in Allah and in the Last Day, We have set aside a generous reward! (R)
(The catalogue of sins perpetrated by the ancient Jews against Allah and the chevalier attitude which they assumed towards His Ordinances continues in above verses, highlighting how they led a life of solecism; how they obstructed people from gaining access to the righteous path; how they kept charging interests despite its being outlawed, thereby swallowing wealth which belonged to other people by unfair means.
Whereas verse 161 warns those of them who refuted the revelations of Allah of grim consequences in the Hereafter, verse 162 contains the opposite of it, assuring those who believed in the revelations of Allah and acknowledged the inevitability of the Last Day, performed righteous deeds and ameliorated themselves, of bounteous rewards in the Hereafter.
It is in the ethos of the Qur'aan that it depicts a well-balanced picture of sin and punishment, requital and reward, heaven and hell)
OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
153. The people of the Scripture (Jews) ask you to cause a book to descend upon them from heaven. Indeed they asked MŻsa (Moses) for even greater than that, when they said: "Show us All‚h in public," but they were struck with thunder clap and lightning for their wickedness. Then they worshipped the calf even after clear proofs, evidences, and signs had come to them. (Even) so We forgave them. And We gave MŻsa (Moses) a clear proof of authority.
154. And for their covenant, We raised over them the Mount and (on the other occasion) We said: "Enter the gate prostrating (or bowing) with humility;" and We commanded them: "Transgress not (by doing worldly works on) the Sabbath (Saturday)." And We took from them a firm covenant.
155. Because of their breaking the covenant, and of their rejecting the Ay‚t (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of All‚h, and of their killing the Prophets unjustly, and of their saying: "Our hearts are wrapped (with coverings, i.e. we do not understand what the Messengers say)" - nay, All‚h has set a seal upon their hearts because of their disbelief, so they believe not but a little.
156. And because of their (Jews) disbelief and uttering against Maryam (Mary <>« <> ) a grave false charge (that she has committed illegal sexual intercourse);
157. And because of their saying (in boast), "We killed Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of All‚h," - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of 'Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) <><> <>]:
158. But All‚h raised him ['Iesa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he <><> is in the heavens). And All‚h is Ever All≠Powerful, All≠Wise.
159. And there is none of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), but must believe in him ['Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), as only a Messenger of All‚h and a human being], before his ['Iesa (Jesus) <><> or a Jew's or a Christian's] death (at the time of the appearance of the angel of death). And on the Day of Resurrection, he ['Iesa (Jesus)] will be a witness against them.
160. For the wrong≠doing of the Jews, We made unlawful to them certain good foods which has been lawful to them, and for their hindering many from All‚h's Way;
161. And their taking of Rib‚ (usury) though they were forbidden from taking it and their devouring of men's substance wrongfully (bribery, etc.). And We have prepared for the disbelievers among them a painful torment.
162. But those among them who are well-grounded in knowledge, and the believers, believe in what has been sent down to you (Muhammad SAW) and what was sent down before you, and those who perform As≠Sal‚t (Iq‚mat-as-Sal‚t), and give Zak‚t and believe in All‚h and in the Last Day, it is they to whom We shall give a great reward.
YUSUFALI: The people of the Book ask thee to cause a book to descend to them from heaven: Indeed they asked Moses for an even greater (miracle), for they said: "Show us Allah in public," but they were dazed for their presumption, with thunder and lightning. Yet they worshipped the calf even after clear signs had come to them; even so we forgave them; and gave Moses manifest proofs of authority.
PICKTHAL: The people of the Scripture ask of thee that thou shouldst cause an (actual) Book to descend upon them from heaven. They asked a greater thing of Moses aforetime, for they said: Show us Allah plainly. The storm of lightning seized them for their wickedness. Then (even) after that) they chose the calf (for worship) after clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty) had come unto them. And We forgave them that! And We bestowed on Moses evident authority.
SHAKIR: The followers of the Book ask you to bring down to them a book from heaven; so indeed they demanded of Musa a greater thing than that, for they said: Show us Allah manifestly; so the lightning overtook them on account of their injustice. Then they took the calf (for a god), after clear signs had come to them, but We pardoned this; and We gave to Musa clear authority.
YUSUFALI: And for their covenant we raised over them (the towering height) of Mount (Sinai); and (on another occasion) we said: "Enter the gate with humility"; and (once again) we commanded them: "Transgress not in the matter of the sabbath." And we took from them a solemn covenant.
PICKTHAL: And We caused the Mount to tower above them at (the taking of) their covenant: and We bade them: Enter the gate, prostrate! and We bode them: Transgress not the Sabbath! and We took from them a firm covenant.
SHAKIR: And We lifted the mountain (Sainai) over them at (the li taking of the covenant) and We said to them: Enter the door making obeisance; and We said to them: Do not exceed the limits of the Sabbath, and We made with them a firm covenant.
YUSUFALI: (They have incurred divine displeasure): In that they broke their covenant; that they rejected the signs of Allah; that they slew the Messengers in defiance of right; that they said, "Our hearts are the wrappings (which preserve Allah's Word; We need no more)";- Nay, Allah hath set the seal on their hearts for their blasphemy, and little is it they believe;-
PICKTHAL: Then because of their breaking of their covenant, and their disbelieving in the revelations of Allah, and their slaying of the prophets wrongfully, and their saying: Our hearts are hardened - Nay, but Allah set a seal upon them for their disbelief, so that they believe not save a few -
SHAKIR: Therefore, for their breaking their covenant and their disbelief in the communications of Allah and their killing the prophets wrongfully and their saying: Our hearts are covered; nay! Allah set a seal upon them owing to their unbelief, so they shall not believe except a few.
YUSUFALI: That they rejected Faith; that they uttered against Mary a grave false charge;
PICKTHAL: And because of their disbelief and of their speaking against Mary a tremendous calumny;
SHAKIR: And for their unbelief and for their having uttered against Marium a grievous calumny.
YUSUFALI: That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-
PICKTHAL: And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.
SHAKIR: And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, the messenger of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure.
YUSUFALI: Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;-
PICKTHAL: But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise.
SHAKIR: Nay! Allah took him up to Himself; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.
YUSUFALI: And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them;-
PICKTHAL: There is not one of the People of the Scripture but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them -
SHAKIR: And there is not one of the followers of the Book but most certainly believes in this before his death, and on the day of resurrection he (Isa) shall be a witness against them.
YUSUFALI: For the iniquity of the Jews We made unlawful for them certain (foods) good and wholesome which had been lawful for them;- in that they hindered many from Allah's Way;-
PICKTHAL: Because of the wrongdoing of the Jews We forbade them good things which were (before) made lawful unto them, and because of their much hindering from Allah's way,
SHAKIR: Wherefore for the iniquity of those who are Jews did We disallow to them the good things which had been made lawful for them and for their hindering many (people) from Allah's way.
YUSUFALI: That they took usury, though they were forbidden; and that they devoured men's substance wrongfully;- we have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment.
PICKTHAL: And of their taking usury when they were forbidden it, and of their devouring people's wealth by false pretences, We have prepared for those of them who disbelieve a painful doom.
SHAKIR: And their taking usury though indeed they were forbidden it and their devouring the property of people falsely, and We have prepared for the unbelievers from among them a painful chastisement.
YUSUFALI: But those among them who are well-grounded in knowledge, and the believers, believe in what hath been revealed to thee and what was revealed before thee: And (especially) those who establish regular prayer and practise regular charity and believe in Allah and in the Last Day: To them shall We soon give a great reward.
PICKTHAL: But those of them who are firm in knowledge and the believers believe in that which is revealed unto thee, and that which was revealed before thee, especially the diligent in prayer and those who pay the poor-due, the believers in Allah and the Last Day. Upon these We shall bestow immense reward.
SHAKIR: But the firm in knowledge among them and the believers believe in what has been revealed to. you and what was revealed before you, and those who keep up prayers and those who give the poor-rate and the believers in Allah and the last day, these it is whom We will give a mighty reward.
4 : 163
163. Inna awhayna ilayka kama awhayna ila noohin waalnnabiyyeena min baAAdihi waawhayna ila ibraheema wa-ismaAAeela wa-ishaqa wayaAAqooba waal-asbati waAAeesa waayyooba wayoonusa waharoona wasulaymana waatayna dawooda zabooran
Verily We inspired you in the same way as We inspired Noah and the other Prophets who followed him; and as We inspired Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and his sons and Isa (Jesus) and Job and Jonah and Aaron and Solomon; and as We bestowed on David the Psalms -
(The counter argument put forward in the Qur'aan to deal with demands of the Jews is that, Allah inspired Prophet Mohammed in the same way as He inspired eleven named Prophets, besides Moses. Those among the Peoples of the Scriptures who believe in Allah acknowledge the Prophethood of each and every one of them and know that no Scripture was ever revealed as a single volume. So, if they have no qualms about accepting the other Prophets and their Scriptures, why should there be an exception made in the case of this Prophet?
Besides, the purpose for which messengers are sent is to provide guidance to all mankind; to make them realize that there is only One Creator and He is the sole Lord of the Worlds; to consummate their faith and teach them how to offer Him worship. Hence, it makes no difference whether the Scripture was revealed as a single volume or in several stages; if anything, revelation in stages is better than as a single volume for a proper understanding of the text and for memorizing it).
4 : 164
164. Warusulan qad qasasnahum AAalayka min qablu warusulan lam naqsushum AAalayka wakallama Allahu moosa takleeman
The messengers whom We have already mentioned to you before, and the messengers whom We have not mentioned to you; and amongst whom Allah spoke only with Moses;
verse makes it clear that in addition to the messengers who have been named in
the Scripture, Allah sent several other messengers who have not been named in
any Scripture. And in the same way as naming some has no bearing on the
credibility of those who have not been named, or His communicating with just one
messenger out of them has no bearing on the credibility of those with whom He
did not communicate, His bestowing the Torah on Moses in the form of Tablets
also has no bearing whatsoever on the verity of Scriptures He revealed to the
others stage by stage).
4 : 165
165. Rusulan mubashshireena wamunthireena li-alla yakoona lilnnasi AAala Allahi hujjatun baAAda alrrusuli wakana Allahu AAazeezan hakeeman
These messengers brought good tidings for some and stern warnings for the others so that mankind have no complaints against Allah after they are gone. Allah is Ubiquitous and Wise!
(Allah appointed His messengers to warn mankind of dreadful consequences resulting from solecism and vituperation and give them tidings of bounteous rewards accruing from righteousness and subservience, so that mankind may not complain after their demise that, had they been warned by their messengers, they would not have erred nor refuted).
4 : 166
166. Lakini Allahu yashhadu bima anzala ilayka anzalahu biAAilmihi waalmala-ikatu yashhadoona wakafa biAllahi shaheedan
And Allah Himself bears witness to that which He has revealed to you; and has revealed it to you of His own knowledge; and His angels will also testify, though Allah suffices you as a witness!
(Above and beyond everything else, Allah Himself bears testimony for the verity of the Qur'aan as a Divine revelation from His presence, so why should the Jews insist on its being confined to a format approved and demanded by them?)
* * *
4 : 167
167. Inna allatheena kafaroo wasaddoo AAan sabeeli Allahi qad dalloo dalalan baAAeedan
Verily those who disbelieve and at the same time obstruct others from gaining access to the path of Allah have strayed too far away from the right course!
4 : 168
168. Inna allatheena kafaroo wathalamoo lam yakuni Allahu liyaghfira lahum wala liyahdiyahum tareeqan
Verily those who disbelieve and perpetrate evil, Allah will never forgive them nor will He guide them on to any other path -
4 : 169
169. Illa tareeqa jahannama khalideena feeha abadan wakana thalika AAala Allahi yaseeran
Except the path that leads straight to Hell in which they will burn forever! And it is easy for Allah to do it.
(The above three verses are aimed at those who erred against the Prophet by denigrating him and by obstructing men from following the path of righteousness which he preached at the behest of Allah and by making wanton changes in the Torah to suit their convenience.
They are also aimed at those that sinned against Allah by vituperating Him and perpetrating evil deeds. Allah will not forgive them nor will give them any guidance except leading them on to a path which will take them straight to hell)
4 : 170
170. Ya ayyuha alnnasu qad jaakumu alrrasoolu bialhaqqi min rabbikum faaminoo khayran lakum wa-in takfuroo fa-inna lillahi ma fee alssamawati waal-ardi wakana Allahu AAaleeman hakeeman
O mankind! This messenger has come to you with the Truth from your Lord, so believe him for your own good. But if you choose not to believe, then know that to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and on the earth and that Allah is profound in Erudition and in Insight!
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed with reference to the Christians who had fragmented into several sects, each subscribing to their own notions about ' Holy Trinity' : the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
4 : 171
171. Ya ahla alkitabi la taghloo fee deenikum wala taqooloo AAala Allahi illa alhaqqa innama almaseehu AAeesa ibnu maryama rasoolu Allahi wakalimatuhu alqaha ila maryama waroohun minhu faaminoo biAllahi warusulihi wala taqooloo thalathatun intahoo khayran lakum innama Allahu ilahun wahidun subhanahu an yakoona lahu waladun lahu ma fee alssamawati wama fee al-ardi wakafa biAllahi wakeelan
O People of the Scripture! Make no plethoric additions to your religion nor ascribe to Allah anything other than the truth. The Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, was a messenger of Allah, - a Word from Him to Mary and a Spirit from Him to mankind, - so believe in Allah and in all His messengers alike and say not ĎTrinity!í but refrain from it for your own good. Allah is but One God and Glory be to Him that He should have a son! To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on the earth. Allah is for you the most potent Guardian! (R)
(By the time Prophet Mohammed arrived to preach to mankind the last Divine Scripture, the followers of the one that preceded it were in a shambles with regards to their faith. According to some, Jesus was God; according to some, he was one out of three Gods; according to some, he was the son of Allah and Allah his father, thereby drawing a most infamous and deplorable inference that Jesus was born to the Blessed Virgin because Allah Himself impregnated her with His own seed, - an utterly blasphemous suggestion that turns Divinity into a joke and makes a mockery out of their faith. To those who believed in the concept of One God, such as the Jews and the Muslims, a spurious imputation like this is unthinkable, unacceptable and downright sacrilegious.
However, according to certain Islamic traditions, the confusion surrounding the miraculous birth of Jesus to a woman whom no mortal had ever touched was first created by a fanatic Jew determined to discredit Christianity because the Gospel was revealed by Allah in order to supersede the revelations contained in the Torah
In this verse we are admonished not to bring the name of a cherished Prophet of Allah into disrepute by assigning to him unbecoming attributes; not to ascribe a partner or a family to Allah who is above such mundane bonds, but firmly believe that Jesus was a messenger of Allah like any other; that he was the son of Mary who came into being because Allah said 'Be!' and he was; that he was the Spirit of Allah sent to mankind with the same message which the others also brought; that Allah is One and not Three and hence making pronouncements to the contrary amounts to utter blasphemy; that we all should believe from the bottom of our hearts that Allah has no son nor a consort; that all things in heavens and on the earth belong to Him and that He suffices those who believe in Him as Guardian and Protector)
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
163. Verily, We have inspired you (O Muhammad SAW) as We inspired NŻh (Noah) and the Prophets after him; We (also) inspired Ibr‚him (Abraham), Ism‚'il (Ishmael), Ish‚que (Isaac), Ya'qŻb (Jacob), and Al≠Asb‚t [the twelve sons of Ya'qŻb (Jacob)], 'Iesa (Jesus), Ayub (Job), YŻnus (Jonah), H‚rŻn (Aaron), and Sulaim‚n (Solomon), and to DawŻd (David) We gave the ZabŻr (Psalms).
164. And Messengers We have mentioned to you before, and Messengers We have not mentioned to you, - and to MŻsa (Moses) All‚h spoke directly.
165. Messengers as bearers of good news as well as of warning in order that mankind should have no plea against All‚h after the Messengers. And All‚h is Ever All≠Powerful, All≠Wise.
166. But All‚h bears witness to that which He has sent down (the Qur'‚n) unto you (O Muhammad SAW), He has sent it down with His Knowledge, and the angels bear witness. And All‚h is All-Sufficient as a Witness.
167. Verily, those who disbelieve [by concealing the truth about Prophet Muhammad SAW and his message of true Isl‚mic Monotheism written with them in the Taur‚t (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] and prevent (mankind) from the Path of All‚h (Isl‚mic Monotheism), they have certainly strayed far away. (Tafsir Al-QurtubÓ). (See V.7:157)
168. Verily, those who disbelieve and did wrong [by concealing the truth about Prophet Muhammad SAW and his message of true Isl‚mic Monotheism written with them in the Taur‚t (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)], All‚h will not forgive them, nor will He guide them to any way, - (Tafsir Al-QurtubÓ).
169. Except the way of Hell, to dwell therein forever, and this is ever easy for All‚h.
170. O mankind! Verily, there has come to you the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) with the truth from your Lord, so believe in him, it is better for you. But if you disbelieve, then certainly to All‚h belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. And All‚h is Ever All≠Knowing, All≠Wise.
171. O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of All‚h aught but the truth. The Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of All‚h and His Word, ("Be!" - and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (RŻh) created by Him; so believe in All‚h and His Messengers. Say not: "Three (trinity)!" Cease! (it is) better for you. For All‚h is (the only) One Il‚h (God), Glory be to Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And All‚h is All≠Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.
YUSUFALI: We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms.
PICKTHAL: Lo! We inspire thee as We inspired Noah and the prophets after him, as We inspired Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and Jesus and Job and Jonah and Aaron and Solomon, and as We imparted unto David the Psalms;
SHAKIR: Surely We have revealed to you as We revealed to Nuh, and the prophets after him, and We revealed to Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq and Yaqoub and the tribes, and Isa and Ayub and Yunus and Haroun and Sulaiman and We gave to Dawood
YUSUFALI: Of some messengers We have already told thee the story; of others We have not;- and to Moses Allah spoke direct;-
PICKTHAL: And messengers We have mentioned unto thee before and messengers We have not mentioned unto thee; and Allah spake directly unto Moses;
SHAKIR: And (We sent) messengers We have mentioned to you before and messengers we have not mentioned to you; and to Musa, Allah addressed His Word, speaking (to him):
YUSUFALI: Messengers who gave good news as well as warning, that mankind, after (the coming) of the messengers, should have no plea against Allah: For Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.
PICKTHAL: Messengers of good cheer and of warning, in order that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the messengers. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise.
SHAKIR: (We sent) messengers as the givers of good news and as warners, so that people should not have a plea against Allah after the (coming of) messengers; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.
YUSUFALI: But Allah beareth witness that what He hath sent unto thee He hath sent from His (own) knowledge, and the angels bear witness: But enough is Allah for a witness.
PICKTHAL: But Allah (Himself) testifieth concerning that which He hath revealeth unto thee; in His knowledge hath He revealed it; and the angels also testify. And Allah is sufficient Witness.
SHAKIR: But Allah bears witness by what He has revealed to you that He has revealed it with His knowledge, and the angels bear witness (also); and Allah is sufficient as a witness.
YUSUFALI: Those who reject Faith and keep off (men) from the way of Allah, have verily strayed far, far away from the Path.
PICKTHAL: Lo! those who disbelieve and hinder (others) from the way of Allah, they verily have wandered far astray.
SHAKIR: Surely (as for) those who disbelieve and hinder (men) from Allah's way, they indeed have strayed off into a remote
YUSUFALI: Those who reject Faith and do wrong,- Allah will not forgive them nor guide them to any way-
PICKTHAL: Lo! those who disbelieve and deal in wrong, Allah will never forgive them, neither will He guide them unto a road,
SHAKIR: Surely (as for) those who disbelieve and act unjustly Allah will not forgive them nor guide them to a path
YUSUFALI: Except the way of Hell, to dwell therein for ever. And this to Allah is easy.
PICKTHAL: Except the road of hell, wherein they will abide for ever. And that is ever easy for Allah.
SHAKIR: Except the path of hell, to abide in it for ever, and this is easy to Allah.
YUSUFALI: O Mankind! The Messenger hath come to you in truth from Allah: believe in him: It is best for you. But if ye reject Faith, to Allah belong all things in the heavens and on earth: And Allah is All-knowing, All-wise.
PICKTHAL: O mankind! The messenger hath come unto you with the Truth from your Lord. Therefor believe; (it is) better for you. But if ye disbelieve, still, lo! unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth. Allah is ever Knower, Wise.
SHAKIR: O people! surely the Messenger has come to you with the truth from your Lord, therefore believe, (it shall be) good for you and If you disbelieve, then surely whatever is in the heavens and the earth is Allah's; and Allah is Knowing, Wise.
YUSUFALI: O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not "Trinity" : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.
PICKTHAL: O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not "Three" - Cease! (it is) better for you! - Allah is only One Allah. Far is it removed from His Transcendent Majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender.
SHAKIR: O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only a messenger of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His messengers, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one Allah; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector.
Context of Revelation: The following verse was revealed when the Christians complained to the Prophet that he was denigrating Jesus by referring to him as a 'slave' of Allah!
4 : 172
172. Lan yastankifa almaseehu an yakoona AAabdan lillahi wala almala-ikatu almuqarraboona waman yastankif AAan AAibadatihi wayastakbir fasayahshuruhum ilayhi jameeAAan
The Messiah detests not being referred to as a slave of Allah, nor do any of His cherished angels (who are also His slaves!) Those who despise His slavery and scorn being referred to as His slaves, He will herd them together and then -
4 : 173
173. Faamma allatheena amanoo waAAamiloo alssalihati fayuwaffeehim ojoorahum wayazeeduhum min fadlihi waamma allatheena istankafoo waistakbaroo fayuAAaththibuhum AAathaban aleeman wala yajidoona lahum min dooni Allahi waliyyan wala naseeran
As for those who believed and performed righteous deeds, He will give them their wages in full, - and much more besides from His plentiful benefactions; - but as for those who were spiteful and conceited, He will mete out to them a most astringent castigation and they shall have neither a cohort nor an acolyte to help them against Allah!
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4 : 174
174. Ya ayyuha alnnasu qad jaakum burhanun min rabbikum waanzalna ilaykum nooran mubeenan
O mankind! Verily there has come to you from Allah a definitive portent, and through him We have sent to you a brilliant effulgence!
(The definitive portent being the Prophet, and the brilliant effulgence being the Qur'aan).
4 : 175
175. Faamma allatheena amanoo biAllahi waiAAtasamoo bihi fasayudkhiluhum fee rahmatin minhu wafadlin wayahdeehim ilayhi siratan mustaqeeman
And As for those who believe in Allah and grasp His rope with a firm hold, He will cause them to enter the sphere of His Mercy and Grace and will guide them on to the straight path that will lead them to Him.
* * *
Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when the Prophet visited a close friend who was on his death-bed and asked for a ruling on how his estate should be divided after his death, as he was not leaving behind either parents or children.
4 : 176
176. Yastaftoonaka quli Allahu yufteekum fee alkalalati ini imruon halaka laysa lahu waladun walahu okhtun falaha nisfu ma taraka wahuwa yarithuha in lam yakun laha waladun fa-in kanata ithnatayni falahuma alththuluthani mimma taraka wa-in kanoo ikhwatan rijalan wanisaan falilththakari mithlu haththi alonthayayni yubayyinu Allahu lakum an tadilloo waAllahu bikulli shay-in Aaaleemun
They ask you (O Mohammed) for a ruling. Say to them : 'Allah has given this ruling about the estate of one who dies without leaving any issues : 'If it is a man and he is survived by a sister, she inherits half of his estate; and if it is a woman and she is survived by a brother, he inherits the whole of her estate; and if there are two sisters, each inherits one third of the estate; and if there are brethren, men and women, the man's share equals two shares of the woman. Thus does Allah make everything clear so that you commit not errors; and Allah's knowledge is truly profound! (R)
TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL & SHAKIR:
172. The Messiah will never be proud to reject to be a slave to All‚h, nor the angels who are near (to All‚h). And whosoever rejects His worship and is proud, then He will gather them all together unto Himself.
173. So, as for those who believed (in the Oneness of All‚h - Isl‚mic Monotheism) and did deeds of righteousness, He will give their (due) rewards, and more out of His Bounty. But as for those who refuse His worship and were proud, He will punish them with a painful torment . And they will not find for themselves besides All‚h any protector or helper.
174. O mankind! Verily, there has come to you a convincing proof (Prophet Muhammad SAW) from your Lord, and We sent down to you a manifest light (this Qur'‚n).
175. So, as for those who believed in All‚h and held fast to Him, He will admit them to His Mercy and Grace (i.e. Paradise), and guide them to Himself by a Straight Path.
176. . They ask you for a legal verdict. Say: "All‚h directs (thus) about Al≠Kal‚lah (those who leave neither descendants nor ascendants as heirs). If it is a man that dies, leaving a sister, but no child, she shall have half the inheritance. If (such a deceased was) a woman, who left no child, her brother takes her inheritance. If there are two sisters, they shall have two-thirds of the inheritance; if there are brothers and sisters, the male will have twice the share of the female. (Thus) does All‚h makes clear to you (His Law) lest you go astray. And All‚h is the All-Knower of everything."
YUSUFALI: Christ disdaineth nor to serve and worship Allah, nor do the angels, those nearest (to Allah): those who disdain His worship and are arrogant,-He will gather them all together unto Himself to (answer).
PICKTHAL: The Messiah will never scorn to be a slave unto Allah, nor will the favoured angels. Whoso scorneth His service and is proud, all such will He assemble unto Him;
SHAKIR: The Messiah does by no means disdain that he should be a servant of Allah, nor do the angels who are near to Him, and whoever disdains His service and is proud, He will gather them all together to Himself.
YUSUFALI: But to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, He will give their (due) rewards,- and more, out of His bounty: But those who are disdainful and arrogant, He will punish with a grievous penalty; Nor will they find, besides Allah, any to protect or help them.
PICKTHAL: Then, as for those who believed and did good works, unto them will He pay their wages in full, adding unto them of His bounty; and as for those who were scornful and proud, them will He punish with a painful doom. And they will not find for them, against Allah, any protecting friend or helper.
SHAKIR: Then as for those who believe and do good, He will pay them fully their rewards and give them more out of His grace; and as for those who disdain and are proud, He will chastise them with a painful chastisement. And they shall not find for themselves besides Allah a guardian or a helper
YUSUFALI: O mankind! verily there hath come to you a convincing proof from your Lord: For We have sent unto you a light (that is) manifest.
PICKTHAL: O mankind! Now hath a proof from your Lord come unto you, and We have sent down unto you a clear light;
SHAKIR: O people! surely there has come to you manifest proof from your Lord and We have sent to you clear light.
YUSUFALI: Then those who believe in Allah, and hold fast to Him,- soon will He admit them to mercy and grace from Himself, and guide them to Himself by a straight way.
PICKTHAL: As for those who believe in Allah, and hold fast unto Him, them He will cause to enter into His mercy and grace, and will guide them unto Him by a straight road.
SHAKIR: Then as for those who believe in Allah and hold fast by Him, He will cause them to enter into His mercy and grace and guide them to Himself on a right path.
YUSUFALI: They ask thee for a legal decision. Say: Allah directs (thus) about those who leave no descendants or ascendants as heirs. If it is a man that dies, leaving a sister but no child, she shall have half the inheritance: If (such a deceased was) a woman, who left no child, Her brother takes her inheritance: If there are two sisters, they shall have two-thirds of the inheritance (between them): if there are brothers and sisters, (they share), the male having twice the share of the female. Thus doth Allah make clear to you (His law), lest ye err. And Allah hath knowledge of all things.
PICKTHAL: They ask thee for a pronouncement. Say: Allah hath pronounced for you concerning distant kindred. If a man die childless and he have a sister, hers is half the heritage, and he would have inherited from her had she died childless. And if there be two sisters, then theirs are two-thirds of the heritage, and if they be brethren, men and women, unto the male is the equivalent of the share of two females. Allah expoundeth unto you, so that ye err not. Allah is Knower of all things.
SHAKIR: They ask you for a decision of the law. Say: Allah gives you a decision concerning the person who has neither parents nor offspring; if a man dies (and) he has no son and he has a sister, she shall have half of what he leaves, and he shall be her heir she has no son; but if there be two (sisters), they shall have two-thirds of what he leaves; and if there are brethren, men and women, then the male shall have the like of the portion of two females; Allah makes clear to you, lest you err; and Allah knows all things.