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Surah Nisa’ (101-152)
Qur'anic Exegesis
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)

 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

 

وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُواْ مِنَ الصَّلاَةِ إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَن يَفْتِنَكُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ إِنَّ الْكَافِرِينَ كَانُواْ لَكُمْ عَدُوًّا مُّبِينًا (١٠١)

 

When you travel [to wage this jihād] it is no offence for you to shorten your prayers if you fear that the disbelievers may torment you because these disbelievers are your open enemies.1 (101)

 

وَإِذَا كُنتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ الصَّلاَةَ فَلْتَقُمْ طَآئِفَةٌ مِّنْهُم مَّعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُواْ أَسْلِحَتَهُمْ فَإِذَا سَجَدُواْ فَلْيَكُونُواْ مِن وَرَآئِكُمْ وَلْتَأْتِ طَآئِفَةٌ أُخْرَى لَمْ يُصَلُّواْ فَلْيُصَلُّواْ مَعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُواْ حِذْرَهُمْ وَأَسْلِحَتَهُمْ وَدَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ تَغْفُلُونَ عَنْ أَسْلِحَتِكُمْ وَأَمْتِعَتِكُمْ فَيَمِيلُونَ عَلَيْكُم مَّيْلَةً وَاحِدَةً وَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِن كَانَ بِكُمْ أَذًى مِّن مَّطَرٍ أَوْ كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَن تَضَعُواْ أَسْلِحَتَكُمْ وَخُذُواْ حِذْرَكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا (١٠٢)

 

And [O Prophet (sws)!] when you are among them, and stand to lead them in the prayer [at dangerous places], then let one group stand with you such that they are armed with their weapons. Then after making their prostration, let them withdraw to the rear and then let the other group who has yet to pray come forward and pray with you; they also be armed with their weapons. These disbelievers desire that if you are even slightly oblivious of your arms and your gear, they attack you united together. But it is no offence for you to put aside your weapons if you are inflicted with heavy rain or are stricken with an illness, though you should still take necessary protection and you should be certain that God has prepared a humiliating punishment for the disbelievers.2(102)

 

فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمُ الصَّلاَةَ فَاذْكُرُواْ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَى جُنُوبِكُمْ فَإِذَا اطْمَأْنَنتُمْ فَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ إِنَّ الصَّلاَةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَّوْقُوتًا (١٠٣)

So when the prayer ends, remember God standing, sitting and lying down [in whatever circumstances you are in].3 But when the circumstances become peaceful, offer the full prayer, [and, for this, pray at the appointed times] for the prayer is incumbent on the believers at the appointed times.4(103)

 

وَلاَ تَهِنُواْ فِي ابْتِغَاء الْقَوْمِ إِن تَكُونُواْ تَأْلَمُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ يَأْلَمُونَ كَمَا تَأْلَمونَ وَتَرْجُونَ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ يَرْجُونَ وَكَانَ اللّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا (١٠٤)

 

[Believers! Set out for this war] and do not show feebleness in pursuing the enemy.5 If you are suffering, they too are suffering like you. However, you expect from God what they do not. And God is all-knowing and wise.6 (104)

 

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِتَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ بِمَا أَرَاكَ اللّهُ وَلاَ تَكُن لِّلْخَآئِنِينَ خَصِيمًا وَاسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا وَلاَ تُجَادِلْ عَنِ الَّذِينَ يَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَهُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ خَوَّانًا أَثِيمًا  يَسْتَخْفُونَ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَلاَ يَسْتَخْفُونَ مِنَ اللّهِ وَهُوَ مَعَهُمْ إِذْ يُبَيِّتُونَ مَا لاَ يَرْضَى مِنَ الْقَوْلِ وَكَانَ اللّهُ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ مُحِيطًا (١٠٥-١٠٨)

 

We have revealed to you the Book with the Truth so that by that which God has shown you,7 you may decide between people [as to who is sincere and who is a hypocrite] and do not advocate those who break promises and seek God’s forgiveness. Indeed, God is forgiving and ever-merciful.8 Do not advocate9 those who betray their own selves; God does not like such people who break promises and usurp rights. They can hide from people, but they cannot hide from God. He is with them even when against His will they keep whispering. And God encompasses everything they do. (105-108)

 

هَاأَنتُمْ هَـؤُلاء جَادَلْتُمْ عَنْهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فَمَن يُجَادِلُ اللّهَ عَنْهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَم مَّن يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَكِيلاً وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ يَجِدِ اللّهَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا وَمَن يَكْسِبْ إِثْمًا فَإِنَّمَا يَكْسِبُهُ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ وَكَانَ اللّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا وَمَن يَكْسِبْ خَطِيئَةً أَوْ إِثْمًا ثُمَّ يَرْمِ بِهِ بَرِيئًا فَقَدِ احْتَمَلَ بُهْتَانًا وَإِثْمًا مُّبِينًا (١٠٩-١١٢)

 

It is you who argued in the favour [of these sinners] in the life of this world, but who will argue in favour of them with God on the Day of Judgement or who will be responsible for them? 10 Yes, he who does evil or wrongs his own soul and then seeks God’s pardon, will find God to be forgiving and ever merciful.11 [By ascribing their sin to others, they try to save themselves. Tell them:] He who commits an offence, earns its punishment for his own self. [This is the law of God] and God is all-knowing and wise.12 [Tell them:] he who commits an offence or a sin and then blames others for it bears the burden of a great calumny and a blatant sin.13 (109-112)

 

وَلَوْلاَ فَضْلُ اللّهِ عَلَيْكَ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَهَمَّت طَّآئِفَةٌ مُّنْهُمْ أَن يُضِلُّوكَ وَمَا يُضِلُّونَ إِلاُّ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَضُرُّونَكَ مِن شَيْءٍ وَأَنزَلَ اللّهُ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَعَلَّمَكَ مَا لَمْ تَكُنْ تَعْلَمُ وَكَانَ فَضْلُ اللّهِ عَلَيْكَ عَظِيمًا (١١٣)

 

But for God’s grace and mercy on you [O Prophet!] a group from among them had decided that it would lead you astray come what may even though they are leading astray none but themselves nor are they harming you. [How can they lead you astray?] God has revealed to you His law and His wisdom and [in this manner] taught you what you did not know before. And great is God’s blessing on you. (113)

 

لاَّ خَيْرَ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِّن نَّجْوَاهُمْ إِلاَّ مَنْ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوْ مَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ إِصْلاَحٍ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ ابْتَغَاء مَرْضَاتِ اللّهِ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا  وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَى وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّى وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ وَسَاءتْ مَصِيرًا (١١٤-١١٥)

 

Seldom is there any good in their whispering. Yes, there is certainly good in the whispering of those who enjoin charity or guide people to virtue or enjoin reformation in the matters of people. And they who do this to please God, on them We shall soon confer a great reward. [On the other hand], they who oppose the Prophet (sws) even after the path of guidance is fully evident to them, and leaving the path of those who sincerely professed faith in you14 follow some other path, We will put them on the path on which they themselves went15 and cast them into Hell. It is a very evil abode. (114-115)

 

إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاء وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلاَلاً بَعِيدًا  إِن يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلاَّ إِنَاثًا وَإِن يَدْعُونَ إِلاَّ شَيْطَانًا مَّرِيدًا  لَّعَنَهُ اللّهُ وَقَالَ لَأَتَّخِذَنَّ مِنْ عِبَادِكَ نَصِيبًا مَّفْرُوضًا وَلأُضِلَّنَّهُمْ وَلأُمَنِّيَنَّهُمْ وَلآمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُبَتِّكُنَّ آذَانَ الأَنْعَامِ وَلآمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُغَيِّرُنَّ خَلْقَ اللّهِ وَمَن يَتَّخِذِ الشَّيْطَانَ وَلِيًّا مِّن دُونِ اللّهِ فَقَدْ خَسِرَ خُسْرَانًا مُّبِينًا يَعِدُهُمْ وَيُمَنِّيهِمْ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ إِلاَّ غُرُورًا  أُوْلَـئِكَ مَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ وَلاَ يَجِدُونَ عَنْهَا مَحِيصًا (١١٦-١٢١)

 

[Thus, this is what happened and leaving the path of faith, they have now joined the Idolaters. Tell them:] God will not forgive associating partners with Him.16 However, He will forgive  [according to His law17] lesser [sins] of whomsoever He wants. [So stay away from polytheism] and [remember] he who imputes partners to God has strayed far indeed. [Pity on them!] if they do invoke someone other than God, they invoke18 female deities,19 and invoke the Satan20 who has become rebellious, who was cursed by God and who had said: “I shall grab a certain number of your people.21 I shall lead them astray, implicate them in desires,22 teach them23 so that they will slit the ears of cattle24 and shall teach them so that they will distort the creation of God.25 [Tell them that] he who made Satan rather than God his protector totally ruined himself. He makes promises with them and gives them hopes; however, all his promises are sheer deception. It is these people whose abode is Hell and they will find no way to escape from it.26  (116-121)

 

وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ سَنُدْخِلُهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا وَعْدَ اللّهِ حَقًّا وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللّهِ قِيلاً (١٢٢)

 

[On the other hand], those who have embraced faith and did righteous deeds, We will soon admit them into gardens watered with streams; they will live in them forever. True is the promise of God and Who can be more truthful than God in what he says. (122)

 

لَّيْسَ بِأَمَانِيِّكُمْ وَلا أَمَانِيِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ وَلاَ يَجِدْ لَهُ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ وَلِيًّا وَلاَ نَصِيرًا  وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّالِحَاتَ مِن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ وَلاَ يُظْلَمُونَ نَقِيرًا (١٢٣-١٢٤)

 

[It should remain clear to you that success in the Hereafter] is neither dependent on your desires nor on those of the People of the Book.27 [So], he who does evil shall punished for it, and shall find none besides God to his protector or helper. And he who does a virtue, whether man or woman and also has faith, then such are the people who shall enter the Paradise [of God] and they shall not suffer the slightest injustice. (123-124)

 

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِينًا مِّمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لله وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ واتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَاتَّخَذَ اللّهُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلاً  وَللّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَكَانَ اللّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُّحِيطًا (١٢٥-١٢٦)

 

[These Hypocrites give preference to the Idolaters with regard to the believers] and [do not understand] who has a better religion than he who resigns himself to God and is one who practices it befittingly and follows the way of Abraham who was totally devoted – and [because of this reason] God had chosen Abraham to be His friend.28 [Who is more worthy than God to submit one self to because] to God belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth, and God encompasses all things. (125-126)

 

وَيَسْتَفْتُونَكَ فِي النِّسَاء قُلِ اللّهُ يُفْتِيكُمْ فِيهِنَّ وَمَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الْكِتَابِ فِي يَتَامَى النِّسَاء الَّلاتِي لاَ تُؤْتُونَهُنَّ مَا كُتِبَ لَهُنَّ وَتَرْغَبُونَ أَن تَنكِحُوهُنَّ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الْوِلْدَانِ وَأَن تَقُومُواْ لِلْيَتَامَى بِالْقِسْطِ وَمَا تَفْعَلُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِهِ عَلِيمًا  وَإِنِ امْرَأَةٌ خَافَتْ مِن بَعْلِهَا نُشُوزًا أَوْ إِعْرَاضًا فَلاَ جُنَاْحَ عَلَيْهِمَا أَن يُصْلِحَا بَيْنَهُمَا صُلْحًا وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ وَأُحْضِرَتِ الأَنفُسُ الشُّحَّ وَإِن تُحْسِنُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا (١٢٧-١٢٨)

 

129 – They ask your verdict about women.30  Tell them that God gives His verdict about them and those women whose rights you do not want to fulfill31 but want to marry them, the directives which are being given about their orphans in this Book,32 about these [directives] and about [other] helpless children also [that O people! fulfill the rights of women in all circumstances] and deal justly with orphans [in all circumstances]33 and [remember that any other act] of virtue that you do is in the knowledge of God. And if a woman fears revulsion34 or neglect on her husband’s part, there is no blame on the two of them if they arrange a compromise between themselves [because] a such a compromise is best.35 And, [you well know that] greed is found in the nature of people.36 But if you deal kindly and practice self-restraint, God knows all that you do. (127-128)

 

وَلَن تَسْتَطِيعُواْ أَن تَعْدِلُواْ بَيْنَ النِّسَاء وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ فَلاَ تَمِيلُواْ كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ وَإِن تُصْلِحُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا  وَإِن يَتَفَرَّقَا يُغْنِ اللّهُ كُلاًّ مِّن سَعَتِهِ وَكَانَ اللّهُ وَاسِعًا حَكِيمًا (١٢٩-١٣٠)

 

And even if it is your desire, you will never be able to be totally just between women; so it is enough if you do not completely incline yourself to one woman altogether, so as to leave the other dangling. Yes if you keep reforming yourselves and keep fearing God, God is Oft-Forgiving, Ever-Merciful.37 And if the husband and wife must part, God will provide abundance for each from His bounty. God is Bountiful and Wise.38 (129-130)

 

وَللّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَلَقَدْ وَصَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ أَنِ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَإِن تَكْفُرُواْ فَإِنَّ لِلّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَكَانَ اللّهُ غَنِيًّا حَمِيدًا  وَلِلّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَكَفَى بِاللّهِ وَكِيلاً  إِن يَشَأْ يُذْهِبْكُمْ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ وَيَأْتِ بِآخَرِينَ وَكَانَ اللّهُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ قَدِيرًا  مَّن كَانَ يُرِيدُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا فَعِندَ اللّهِ ثَوَابُ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَكَانَ اللّهُ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا (١٣١-١٣٤)

 

[These are the directives of God; if you do not accept them, you will only harm yourself because] to God belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. To those whom We had given the Book before you, We also gave the same directive and to you too We are giving the same directive that fear God and [remember that] if you do not follow it [you will cause no loss to God] because whatever is in the heavens and the earth belongs to God and God is self-sufficient and worthy of praise.39 [Listen again!] To God belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth and sufficient is God to trust. [For this reason, it is only He who deserves to be consigned all affairs of life; in case of your disobedience] if He wants, He can destroy all of you and bring others [in your place]. God has the power to do this. [Because of your vested interests you try to evade the sharī‘ah of God; you should know that] he who wants the reward of this world [it lies with God; and he who wants the reward of both this world and of the next], then with God lies the reward of this world and of the next one as well, and God hears and sees all.40 (131-134)

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاء لِلّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالأَقْرَبِينَ إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقَيرًا فَاللّهُ أَوْلَى بِهِمَا فَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ الْهَوَى أَن تَعْدِلُواْ وَإِن تَلْوُواْ أَوْ تُعْرِضُواْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ آمِنُواْ بِاللّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَابِ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَابِ الَّذِيَ أَنزَلَ مِن قَبْلُ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِاللّهِ وَمَلاَئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلاَلاً بَعِيدًا  إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ثُمَّ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ آمَنُواْ ثُمَّ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ ازْدَادُواْ كُفْرًا لَّمْ يَكُنِ اللّهُ لِيَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ وَلاَ لِيَهْدِيَهُمْ سَبِيلاً  بَشِّرِ الْمُنَافِقِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا  الَّذِينَ يَتَّخِذُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاء مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَيَبْتَغُونَ عِندَهُمُ الْعِزَّةَ فَإِنَّ العِزَّةَ لِلّهِ جَمِيعًا (١٣٥-١٣٩)

 

2. Believers!41 Adhere to justice bearing witness to it for God42 even though it be against yourselves, your parents, and your kinsfolk. If someone is rich or poor, God only is more worthy for both. So do not be led by desires [by leaving His guidance], lest as a result you swerve from the truth. And if you distort [what is true and just] or evade43 [it, you should remember that] God is well aware of what you do. Believers! Have faith in God44 and in His Messenger and also in the Book He has revealed to His Messenger and in the Book He had revealed earlier45 and [remember that] those who deny God and His angels and His Books and His messengers and the Day of Resurrection have strayed far in error. As for those who embraced faith, then renounced it, then again embrace faith, again renounced it and grew in this disbelief46 – God will neither forgive them nor guide them. Give glad tidings of a grievous penalty to these Hypocrites [O Prophet] who make friends with [your] rejecters leaving aside the believers. They seek honour with them? [The reality is that] all honour lies with God.  (135-139)

 

وَقَدْ نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الْكِتَابِ أَنْ إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ آيَاتِ اللّهِ يُكَفَرُ بِهَا وَيُسْتَهْزَأُ بِهَا فَلاَ تَقْعُدُواْ مَعَهُمْ حَتَّى يَخُوضُواْ فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ إِنَّكُمْ إِذًا مِّثْلُهُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ جَامِعُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ فِي جَهَنَّمَ جَمِيعًا الَّذِينَ يَتَرَبَّصُونَ بِكُمْ فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمْ فَتْحٌ  مِّنَ اللّهِ قَالُواْ أَلَمْ نَكُن مَّعَكُمْ وَإِن كَانَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ نَصِيبٌ قَالُواْ أَلَمْ نَسْتَحْوِذْ عَلَيْكُمْ وَنَمْنَعْكُم مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَاللّهُ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلَن يَجْعَلَ اللّهُ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلاً (١٤٠-١٤١)

 

He has revealed in this very Book the instruction that when you hear that the God’s revelations being rejected or ridiculed you must not sit there with those [who ridicule] until they get engaged in some other talk, otherwise you shall yourselves become like them.47 It is the decision of God that He will gather such Hypocrites and Disbelievers at the same place in Hell, those who await misfortunes to befall you.48 Thus if God grants you a victory, they say: “Were we not with you?” And if your rejecters are victorious, they say: “Were we not surrounding you and did we not save you from the Muslims?” So God will judge between you on the Day of Judgement and God [has passed the judgement that He] will certainly not let the these rejecters find a way against the believers.49   (140-141)

 

إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ يُخَادِعُونَ اللّهَ وَهُوَ خَادِعُهُمْ وَإِذَا قَامُواْ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ قَامُواْ كُسَالَى يُرَآؤُونَ النَّاسَ وَلاَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً  مُّذَبْذَبِينَ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ لاَ إِلَى هَـؤُلاء وَلاَ إِلَى هَـؤُلاء وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلاً (١٤٢-١٤٣)

 

These Hypocrites seek to deceive God, but it is He who has deceived them. [You see them] when they get up for prayer, they do so sluggishly only to show off to people. They remember God but little. They are wavering in between; neither here nor there.50 [Because of their sins, the Almighty has led them astray] and He whom God leads astray, you will find no way out for him. (142-143)

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاء مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَجْعَلُواْ لِلّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَانًا مُّبِينًا إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ فِي الدَّرْكِ الأَسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ نَصِيرًا إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ وَأَصْلَحُواْ وَاعْتَصَمُواْ بِاللّهِ وَأَخْلَصُواْ دِينَهُمْ لِلّهِ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَسَوْفَ يُؤْتِ اللّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا (١٤٤-١٤٦)

 

Believers! [By being misled by them] do not make friends with the disbelievers [of the Prophet] leaving aside the Muslims. Do you like to give God clear evidence against yourselves? [You should know that] these hypocrites shall be in the lowest level of Hell and you will not find any one to help them. But those who repent and mend their ways and hold fast to God and are sincere in their obedience to God51 – they shall be with the believers and God will soon richly reward the believers. (144-146)

 

مَّا يَفْعَلُ اللّهُ بِعَذَابِكُمْ إِن شَكَرْتُمْ وَآمَنتُمْ وَكَانَ اللّهُ شَاكِرًا عَلِيمًا (١٤٧)

 

[Creatures of God!] If you remain grateful to God and are true believers,52 why should God punish you? God is a great accepter and knows [everything]. 53 (147)

 

لاَّ يُحِبُّ اللّهُ الْجَهْرَ بِالسُّوَءِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ إِلاَّ مَن ظُلِمَ وَكَانَ اللّهُ سَمِيعًا عَلِيمًا  إِن تُبْدُواْ خَيْرًا أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ أَوْ تَعْفُواْ عَن سُوَءٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَفُوًّا قَدِيرًا (١٤٨-١٤٩)

 

[Believers! If these Hypocrites inflict harm on you and you want to retaliate, you can do so because] God does not like harsh words except when uttered by an oppressed person and God hears all and knows all.54 [However, instead of this] if you do good openly and secretly or [at least] forgive a wrong [then this is better] because God [by His nature is] forgiving [in spite of being all-powerful.] (148-149)

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْفُرُونَ بِاللّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يُفَرِّقُواْ بَيْنَ اللّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيقُولُونَ نُؤْمِنُ بِبَعْضٍ وَنَكْفُرُ بِبَعْضٍ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَّخِذُواْ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ سَبِيلاً  أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ حَقًّا وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا  وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ بِاللّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَلَمْ يُفَرِّقُواْ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ أُوْلَـئِكَ سَوْفَ يُؤْتِيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَكَانَ اللّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا (١٥٠-١٥٢)

[It should however remain evident that] those who have remained rejecters of God and His messengers and want to discriminate between God and His messengers and say: “We believe in some, but deny others,” and want to seek a middle way between belief and disbelief, are indeed firm disbelievers. And for these disbelievers We have prepared a humiliating punishment. [On the other hand,] those who believe in God and His messengers and discriminate against none of them, God shall definitely give their reward to them. And God is forgiving and ever-merciful. (150-152)

 

(Translated. by Dr Shehzad Saleem)

 

 

 

 

 

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1. The importance of the prayer becomes evident from this: even in times of war, it cannot be ignored by a Muslim. It has been mentioned in sūrah Baqarah that in times of danger a person can pray while on foot or riding in whatever way possible. Here it is mentioned that the prayer can even be reduced keeping in view the circumstances. In technical parlance this is called qasr. The sunnah established by the Prophet (sws) in this regard is that the four rak‘āt prayer shall be shortened to two. No reduction shall be made in two and three rak‘āt prayers. Consequently, the fajr and the maghrib prayers were offered in full in such circumstances. The reason is that while the former already has two rak‘āt, the latter is considered as the witr of daytime, and this status of the maghrib prayer cannot be changed.

The concession of shortening the prayer and that of offering it while on foot or while riding are stated in these verses with the condition: إِنْ خِفْتُمْ (if you fear). It is evident from Ahādīth that on the basis of this condition the Prophet (sws) analogously offered the qasr prayer when there was uneasiness and discomfort while travelling in general.

Umar (rta) says that he deemed it strange for the Prophet (sws) to offer the qasr prayer because of uneasiness and discomfort, and therefore he asked the Prophet (sws). Upon this, he replied: “This is a favour of God upon you; so you should accept it.” (Muslim, Al-Jāmi‘ al-sahīh, (no. 686)

From this concession granted in the prayer, the Prophet (sws) has also deduced a concession in the times it is offered, and in such journeys he has led the Muslims in prayer by combining the zuhr and ‘asr prayers together and the maghrib and ‘ishā prayers together. (Abū Dā’ūd, Sunan, (no, 1220). Similar is the case with the hajj. Since in the hajj, the battle against Satan is symbolized through various rituals, he established the Sunnah in consideration of this symbolism that whether people are residents or outsiders, they shall shorten the prayers at Minā and shorten and combine them at Muzdalifah and ‘Arafāt.

2. This is the solution of a complexity. In the lifetime of the Prophet (sws), if he led a congregational prayer offered in dangerous situations, no Muslim could have tolerated to have been left out from such a prayer. Every soldier would have desired to pray behind him. Though this was a very natural desire, it was essential that proper arrangements for defence be made. One solution to this problem could have been that the Prophet (sws) pray four rak‘āt and the army be divided into half with each half praying two rak‘āt behind him. At some instances, this solution was adopted as well. However, to save the Prophet (sws) from difficulty that this way could have created, the Qur’ān suggested another way: the Prophet (sws) as the prayer-leader and all the soldiers should shorten their prayers and each half of the army should pray one rak‘āt each behind the Prophet (sws) and pray the other rak‘āt by themselves. Consequently, the first half after completing the first rak‘āt including its prostrations should retreat and take up the task of defence and the other half should now stand behind the Prophet (sws) to pray in the Prophet’s second rak‘āt.

It is evident from the narratives on this subject that various ways were adopted to offer the rak‘āt which each half of the army had to offer on its own as per this directive. At one instance, the Prophet (sws) waited until those behind him completed their rak‘āt and then withdrew and at another the army later completed the rak‘āt. (Bukhārī, no. 3900; Muslim, no. 842). There remains no need to state the details of this because this measure, as is evident from the words وَإِذَا كُنتَ فِيهِمْ (when you are among them), related to the presence of the Prophet (sws). After him, neither can the desire to pray behind one prayer-leader be as strong nor as important. Today, if there does arise a possibility of congregational prayers in such circumstances, then soldiers can easily pray behind different prayer-leaders

3. The essence of prayer is remembering God and the spirit of religion is perpetuity in this remembrance. The reduction in prayer because of qasr has been asked to be compensated for in this manner here: it should be specially offered in the battlefield especially in dangerous circumstances because the fountainhead of determination and courage is the remembrance of God.

4. The Qur’ān itself has referred to the concession in prayer timings. The words: إِنَّ الصَّلاَةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَّوْقُوتًا (because the prayer is incumbent upon the Muslims at appointed times) require that words like “and pray at the appointed times” or similar to these be understood to be present before them as per the linguistic principles of Arabic. It is evident from this understood expression that besides shortening the prayer, people can also reduce its timings. Consequently, it was directed  that once peace is restored Muslims should pray the full rak‘āt and pray at the appointed times because prayer is incumbent upon the Muslims at appointed times.

5. The Qur’ānic word used is: الْقَوْمِ. When it is used in this context, it refers to the enemy. Examples of such usage can be seen both in the Qur’ān and in classical Arabic literature.

6. Hence Muslims must rest assured that the hardships they are inflicted with are for their own well-being and are a requisite of the knowledge and wisdom of God.

7. ie. God showed it to the Prophet (sws) as if he could see it with his mind’s eye.

8. Though these verses address the Prophet (sws), a little deliberation shows that they are directed at the Hypocrites who are under discussion since the previous verses. The words هَاأَنتُمْ هَـؤُلاء جَادَلْتُمْ عَنْهُمْ explain this fact. This style of address is adopted when the purpose is to express abhorrence towards the real addressees.

9. The Qur’ānic word used is: مُجَادَلَة. It means “to quarrel” and “to emphatically advocate someone and affectionately raise objections”. Here it is used in this second meaning.

10. The Qur’ānic word used is: وَكِيل. When it is used with the preposition عَلَيْ then in the Arabic language just as it means “a guardian and guarantor”, it also means “someone who is accountable and who takes responsibility.” The verse warns those who supported the Hypocrites because of their personal relationship with them. They would also try to find excuses to exonerate these Hypocrites from their blatant sins. Till verse 115, all the discourse answers them.  Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī has commented on this. He writes:

When I read these verses, my mind repeatedly makes me conclude that this is an answer to people who, while supporting the Hypocrites, would argue and debate with the Prophet (sws) and the faithful believers. Obviously, when news of the secret gatherings and conspiracies of the Hypocrites would reach the Prophet (sws) and his companions, they would be taken to task in some form or the other. At those times, the supporters of the Hypocrites mentioned earlier would try to defend them by saying that they were very sincere people and are well-wishers of the Muslims; the conversations and discussion in their gatherings were to the benefit and well-being of Islam and  the Muslims; and if in this regard, they were asked about something that they were unable to justify, they would ascribe it to some decent person who could not even have imagined such a thing. To counter the advocacy of these people, the Qur’ān has very subtly exposed these connivances and done so in such a beautiful manner that everything has come to the fore and the addressees are not in a position to deny it. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 2, 383)

11. The way to escape God’s punishment is not that other people should start backing and advocating the criminals; the right way in this regard is that the criminal himself should turn to God and confess his sin and seek His pardon.

12. Hence how can He tolerate imputing the burden of one to another.

13. Here the mischief of the Hypocrites is exposed. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

… when these people were called to account for some mistake or act of injustice, then instead of confessing to it, they would blame some innocent person for the offence. The verse says that this attitude of absolving one self from God is also wrong. Through this calumny or lie, they can deceive the world but they cannot deceive God. In His eyes, such people will not only bear the burden of their own sin but also the additional burden of the sin of slander and falsehood. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 2, 380)

14. This refers to the Companions of the Prophet (sws). The path they adopted was that when once they accepted Muhammad (sws) as God’s Messenger, they never broke their promises, were never unfaithful, never opposed him, never showed evasion nor ran away from their responsibilities; on the contrary, they followed him with full sincerity and fully obeyed whatever they were ordered to do. Thus this is the path of faith and sincerity, obedience and compliance and resignation and acquiescence which should be followed by every Muslim. It has no bearing on interpreting religion or showing difference in opinion in understanding it.

15. This is the law of God regarding guidance and misguidance which is mentioned at more than one place in the Qur’ān: only those receive guidance who are its true seekers; only those are led astray who themselves choose to go astray.

16. What is the reason for this? Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

… just as the source of all good is tawhid (monotheism) ie. not associating anyone in the being, attributes and rights of God, similarly, the source of all evil is shirk ie. associating someone with the being, attributes and rights of God. If a person while adhering to tawhidstumbles it is a chance happening that takes place because he is overwhelmed with emotions; he never makes sinning a part and parcel of his life; for this reason, he always gets up after falling down. On the other hand, if a person while adhering to shirk does a good deed, it is incidental; its real source is not his relationship with God – the real good; for this reason, such a virtue is baseless. A polytheist after severing his relationship with God necessarily gives his reins in the hands of Satan. For this reason, he gradually drifts so far away from the right path that it becomes impossible for him to return to God unless he repents from polytheism. For this reason, polytheism is an unforgivable sin in the eyes of God. However, if a person commits a sin while adhering to monotheism, God will forgive whomsoever He wants. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 2, 387)

17. That is according to the law which He has mentioned in His Book.

18. To invoke here means to invoke for the purpose of supplication, pleading, help and appeal for mercy – the very purpose for which a deity is invoked.

19. The Qur’ānic word used is إِنَاثً. It is the plural of أُنْثَى which means “a lady”. It is evident from the context that here it refers to female deities.

20. Wherever polytheism is found, its chief and leader in reality is always Satan. Invoking him here is in this very sense.

21. This is a reference to the threat Satan had given when he was regarded as accursed and condemned after he had arrogantly refused to bow down before Adam.

22. This is a reference to the false desires with which polytheistic nations are often afflicted. Consequently, the belief of the Arabs that the favours of this world and the next are acquired through the intercession of their deities and the belief of the Jews that since they are the progeny of Abraham khalīlullāh they have been promised Paradise are examples of these desires. The case of the Nazarenes was no different. They think that God has forgiven man for the original sin through His son.

23. The Qur’ānic word used is وَلآمُرَنَّهُمْ. Just as it means “to command”, it also means “to inform,” “to teach.” and “to urge”.

24. The way this threat of Satan materialized was that certain polytheistic nations ceremonially dedicated (nadhr) certain animals to their alleged deities, and as a symbol for this dedication slit their ears so that no one should tamper with these animals.

25. This means that they shall pervert the nature on which God has created man; thus they will become advocates of polytheism instead of monotheism, and then, as a result, adopt all those things which fall under the ambit of changing their nature. For example, rahbāniyyah, brahmachari, men trying to imitate women and vice versa, and other similar nonsensical things.

26. It is mentioned above that polytheism in an unpardonable sin. While giving due consideration to this contextual background, the Qur’an has explained the feeble nature of polytheism as well as its lineage. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

Its feebleness is mentioned with regard to two aspects. Firstly, the whole system of polytheism is founded on the basis of female deities. In the first place, it is extreme foolishness that a person seek the support of someone other than God; even more foolish is the fact that this support be sought from imaginary women – whose weakness and helplessness is proverbial. Secondly, polytheism is entirely founded on the false desires and false promises of Satan, and all the promises of Satan are baseless. When they see the  reality neither the ancestory of Abraham (sws) will of any benefit to them nor will there be any existence of their deities Lāt and Manāt and their intercession. At that time, everything will be dependent on a person’s faith and deeds. He who does not have these will have only Hell as his abode from which there will be no way to escape.

Hell has been mentioned in such a way that it becomes evident that its inventor and leader will be the accursed Satan. On the very day of creation, in his frenzied jealousy he had threatened God that he would take share of His people and mislead them and afflict them with various false desires; at his behest, they will present their offerings to idols and at his bidding distort the nature on which He created human beings. The verse asks who can be more unfortunate and ill-fated than he who makes the accursed and arrogant Satan his protector and helper; Satan is trying to lure them through false promises and by spinning a web of false desires before them but all his promises are mere deception. Neither will intercession be of any avail to these people nor will their ancestry be any use;  Hell is their abode from which no one will be able to escape. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 2, 391)

27. This is mention of the desires referred to earlier.

28. ie. this is the real religion. Abraham (sws) was its follower. If God chose him to be His friend, it was because he had totally devoted himself to Him while cutting himself off from everything. Muslims are following this supreme leader of monotheism. Contrary to them, the Idolaters have left the way of Abraham (sws) and have chosen to follow Satan, the supreme leader of polytheism.

29. The sūrah ends here as regards its subject. The succeeding verses form an annexure in which God has answered questions which arose about the directives mentioned in this sūrah while it was being read. The first question has been answered till verse 134. This was posed by the Muslims who till then were slightly weak in fulfilling the responsibilities of faith and morality. The second question was raised by the Hypocrites. It is answered till verse 152. The third question is in the form of a demand and is posed by the People of the Book. The Qur’ān has answered it till verse 175. Verse 176 is the answer to the fourth and last question. It relates to those directives of inheritance which were given at the beginning of this sūrah.

30. The nature of this verdict becomes evident from its answer given later. It is a very common style of the Qur’ān that the questions are cited very briefly. A little deliberation will show that this style is also a requisite of eloquence. This is because if the question is evident from the answer, then citing it will only lengthen the discourse.

31. The Qur’ānic words are: لاَ تُؤْتُونَهُنَّ مَا كُتِبَ لَهُنَّ  (you do not give to them what has been prescribed for them). This refers to the conditions of dower and justice which have been regarded as essential in verses 3-4 of this sūrah  in case one wished to marry the mothers of the orphans.

32. The Qur’ānic words used are: وَمَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الْكِتَابِ. In my opinion, they are co-ordinated to the genitive pronoun in فِيهِنَّ, and the word الْكِتَابِ refers to the Qur’ān.

33. This is the verdict of God delivered in response to the question. For it, the Qur’ānic words used are: وَأَن تَقُومُواْ لِلْيَتَامَى بِالْقِسْطِ. The clause to which these words are co-ordinated to is suppressed. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī has explained it. He writes:

… there is nothing in the discourse which can form the co-ordinate clause (ma‘tūf ‘alayh) of وَأَن تَقُومُواْ لِلْيَتَامَى بِالْقِسْطِ. Hence it must necessarily be deemed as suppressed, and this suppression shall be determined in the light of the context. Thus before the words, the suppression would be to the effect: give dowers to these women; deal with them justly. Only then will the clause وَأَن تَقُومُواْ لِلْيَتَامَى بِالْقِسْطِ become appropriate to be co-ordinated to these suppressed words. The complete meaning would be: deal justly with these women and adhere to justice regarding the orphans. In other words, it has been elucidated in the verdict that just as the conditions of giving dower and dealing justly exist with regard to the general category of women, they also exist with regard to the mother of the orphans, and the directive of dealing justly with women in the verseوَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ  and giving dower to women in the verse وَآتُواْ النَّسَاء صَدُقَاتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً relate to the mother of the orphans whom Muslims wanted to marry but were not ready to either deal justly with them or to give them their dowers. In this way, this verse has explained the concise wording of verses 3-4 of this sūrah and by this verdict emphasized further the directives enshrined in them. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 2, 397)

34. The Qur’ānic word used is نُشُوز. If it emanates from the husband, then it means that he refuses to deal with his wife in spite of regarding her his wife.

35. Here women are then counseled that if they fear that husbands may show indifference to them or even think of parting ways with them because of their insistence to be treated equally, it is alright if a husband and wife settle for a compromise. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

… this means that a wife may show lenience to her husband in her demand for justice as well as payment of dower and maintenance to her in order to dispense with the imminent fear of separation. The verse goes on to say that in compromises and settlements rest the welfare of all because it is in the interest of both husband and wife that this relationship once established should continue forever, even if a lot of sacrifice has to be made to keep it intact. Continuing with words of counsel, the verse says that greed is an evil found in human beings that affects mutual relationships; the remedy for this malady is that either both should get ready to make some sacrifice or if one of them is ill enough by not being willing to do so, the other should take the initiative. So if the wife has to make some sacrifice to keep the family unit intact, it is better that she does so. In the end, the words: “but if you do good and practice self-restraint” of the verse urge the husband to adopt the way of sacrifice and selflessness and it is only befitting that he show magnanimity and piety in this regard. He should live up to his traditions of grit and character and instead of being a “receiver” from the woman, he should let her be the “receiver”. The Almighty has knowledge of every deed a person does and He will greatly reward pious deeds. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 2, 399)

36. The Qur’ānic words used are: وَأُحْضِرَتِ الأَنفُسُ الشُّحَّ. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

The word   means both “stinginess” and “greed”. The first of these meanings implies that a person is miserly in fulfilling the rights of others. This trait is condemnable in all circumstances. However, greed can relate to a desire for a noble thing as well as for an evil one; it can be within bounds and it can also exceed bounds. Hence, the fact that whether it is good or evil is an additional thing. As per its positive aspect, it does occupy a status in human nature; however, most people are so overwhelmed by it that it becomes a malady. The words وَأُحْضِرَتِ الأَنفُسُ الشُّحَّ refer to this very aspect of greed. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 2, 398)

37. It is evident from the above quoted verses that the requirement of justice between wives does not mean justice between them regarding the husband’s inner inclination or external behaviour. It is humanly impossible to be just in this matter because one has no power over one’s heart in such affairs. Therefore, in this regard, the Qur’ān requires of a husband to not completely lean towards one of the wives and show indifference to the other, as if she had no husband. Consequently, he is asked to show balance in his behaviour towards them and in fulfilling their rights. In case of any fault or blemish in this matter, he should at once try to reform the state of affairs by making amends and should keep fearing the Almighty. If in spite of the effort something remains amiss, hopefully the Almighty will have mercy on him: Allah’s mercy is all-embracing.

38. The implication is that one should try everything to save the family from dismemberment. This is what Allah wants. However, if owing to compelling circumstances, separation does take place, one should hope for the best from the Almighty. It is He who provides sustenance to His creatures and assists them in hardships. He would fully help both the husband and the wife and fulfill their needs through His grace. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

… the implication is that efforts that reflect selflessness and sacrifice are required from both the husband and wife in order to keep this relationship intact; however, this reconciliation must be done with honour and integrity: just as it is not permissible for either the husband or wife to show vanity in this regard, it is also not permissible to show accommodation beyond a certain point. Although the words used are general, it is evident from the context that the wife is encouraged to adjust and adapt to the situation as much as is possible and also show selflessness to achieve this end. However, she should rest assured that if in spite of her efforts the family does not remain intact, the Almighty is the one who provides and sustains all. He will completely fulfill her needs from His treasures. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 2, 400)

39. ie. if God wants people to adopt something, it is not because He needs that thing but because He is Hamīd and this attribute of His requires that He show graciousness to all His creatures in spite of being self-sufficient.

40. This verse has some suppressions which I have revealed in the translation. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī has explained them thus:

… in Arabic, one clause of two contrasting clauses is suppressed because the mentioned bears witness to the unmentioned. In my opinion, if the suppressions of this verse are revealed, the discourse would be something to the effect: مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا فَعِندَ اللّهِ ثَوَابُ الدُّنْيَا وَ مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَة فَعِندَ اللّهِ ثَوَابُ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ. In the first part, the clause فَعِندَ اللّهِ ثَوَابُ الدُّنْيَا has been suppressed while in the second part the clause وَ مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَة has been suppressed. The reason for this suppression is the same as I have indicated earlier: the stated part points to the suppressed part. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 2, 401)

41. On the previous verse ended the answer to the question posed about marrying the mothers of the orphans. From here onwards to verse 152, the answer is given to people who gave preference to friendships and relationships over the truth and in order to keep intact their status and position among the rejecters of truth would repeatedly ask: what is the problem in adopting the middle course? Why is it necessary to equate the rejecters from the People of the Book to the disbelievers whom the Qur’ān is regarding as worthy of punishment? They contended that the People of the Book believe in a lot of things and thus should be dealt with leniently. Such questions would arise in their minds with regard to the various topics discussed in this sūrah. While answering these questions, the Qur’ān has fully explained that there existed no such possibility because disbelief is not merely rejecting God and His messengers in blatant words; what also constitutes disbelief is insistence to accept God and His messengers not on His conditions but on one’s own. Thus the verdict of God is that Muslims have to speak the truth at all costs, bear witness to it and accept the whole religion the way it is without any additions or deletions. All attitudes besides this amount to hypocrisy and there is no difference between hypocrisy and disbelief in the eyes of God.

42. ie. It is not sufficient that people  fully adhere to the truth and to justice; they must also bear witness to these before others.

43. ie. You will try to find a way to escape and evade it.

44. The Qur’ānic words used are يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ آمِنُواْ بِاللّهِ. In this sentence, the first verb is in its initial meaning and the second in its complete meaning. The words thus mean: Believers who lay claim to faith! Have faith in God the way it is befitting.

45. In this verse, the verb أَنزَلَ is used for the Torah and the word نَزَّلَ for the Qur’ān. What is the reason for this difference? Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

... those who are aware of the delicacies of the Arabic language know that the word َأنْزَل means to merely reveal while نَزَّلَ means to reveal in an elaborate way and gradually. This difference of verbs throws light on the nature of revelation of the Torah and the Qur’ān. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 2, 401)

46. These words depict an actual situation: these people would take the initiative in embracing faith and after that engage in conspiracies against the Qur’ān, Islam and the Messenger. It is this attitude of theirs which is called disbelief here.

47. This is a reference to the verse sixty eight of sūrah An‘ām in which it is instructed that when people start baselessly arguing with the verses of God, Muslims should not sit with these wrongdoers until they get involved in some other talk. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes: 

If a Muslim sits in gatherings in which God’s religion and sharī‘ah are ridiculed, then this shows that he has no sense of honour and dignity left in him. If a person thinks that he thinks that being part of such gatherings is a source of honour and respect for him, then this would not only show that he is devoid of any sense of honour, but also he is devoid of faith. Such hypocrites will meet the same fate as has been destined for people who ridicule religion – with whom they sit. (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 2, 410)

48. The Qur’ānic words used are: يَتَرَبَّصُونَ بِكُمْ. This is an idiom of the Arabic language ie. الدَّوَائر يَتَرَبَّصُونَ بِكُمْ.   

49. The implication is that on that day these people will not be able to influence and overpower the believers, and the way these people are audacious enough here to say أَلَمْ نَكُن مَّعَكُمْ (were we not with you?), they should not even image that they will be able to say this there.

50. The implication is that these hypocrites are neither with the Muslims nor with the rejecters whose cause they are advocating. When they are with the Muslims, they assure them about their support, and when they are with the rejecters, they assure them that they are backing them. The fact is that in their hearts they are with neither. The Qur’ān has used the wordsكُسالَى , يُرآءُوْن and ُمذَبذَبِيْنَ  for them. All the three are accusatives of state. A little deliberation shows that they portray their complete situation. Imām Amīn Ahsan Islāhī writes:

The implication is that these hypocrites are not trying to deceive merely the people of God, they also seek to deceive God Himself. The fact is that anyone who tries to deceive God does not deceive God; he only deceives his own self. This is because God gives him respite; as a result of this, he thinks that he has deceived God whereas he has been deceived by God. The words وَإِذَا قَامُواْ إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ portray an example of their deception:  ie. When they get up for prayer, they do so lazily, slothfully and under compulsion because if they do not participate in the prayer, their name will be struck off from the register of the Muslims; it is a pretentious prayer and is meant to show to the Muslims that they are with them. Thus in this prayer they remember God only to the extent a person can who offers the prayer in duress and to just put up a display. This is obviously a blatant act of deception against God. The Qur’ān thus says that they have been forsaken by God; He has left them to wander about, and who can guide those who have been left to wander by God? (Amīn Ahsan Islāhī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 2, 411)

51. The Qur’ānic words used are: يَتَرَبَّصُونَ بِكُمْ. The word وَأَخْلَصُواْ دِينَهُمْ used here signifies obedience. It is used in this very meaning in the eleventh verse of sūrah Zumar.   

52. Deliberation on this verse will show that a mention of gratitude precedes that of faith. This is because with regard to philosophy of religion it is gratitude which is the fountainhead of true faith.

53. Thus if you adopt the right attitude, God will duly honour this and reward you more than your expectations. He is aware of the faith and deeds of every person; hence your attitude will also not remain hidden from him.

54. The implication is that whatever you say, you must be well-guarded about it because God hears all and know all.   

   
 
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