Surah An-Nisa’ Part 6 Ayat 49-65

{49. Have you not seen those who claim sanctity for themselves? Nay, but Allah sanctifies whom He wills, and they will not be dealt with injustice even equal to the extent of a Fatil.

50. Look, how they invent a lie against Allah, and enough is that as a manifest sin.

51. Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They believe in Jibt and Taghut and say to those who disbelieve, “These people are better guided on the way, ” than the believers.

52. They are those whom Allah has cursed, and he whom Allah curses, you will not find for him (any) helper.}

Chastising and Cursing the Jews for Claiming Purity for Themselves and Believing in Jibt and Taghut

Al-Hasan and Qatadah said, “This Ayah, ”Have you not seen those who claim sanctity for themselves?” was revealed about the Jews and Christians when they said, ‘We are Allah’s children and His loved ones.”’ Ibn Zayd also said, “This Ayah was revealed concerning their statement, ”We are the children of Allah and His loved ones” and their statement, ”None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.” (At-Tabari 8:453) 

This is why Allah said, “Nay, but Allah sanctifies whom He wills” meaning, the decision in this matter is with Allah Alone, because He has perfect knowledge of the true reality and secrets of all things. Allah then said, ”And they will not be dealt with injustice even equal to the extent of a Fatil’‘ meaning, He does no injustice with anyone’s compensation in any part of his reward, even if it was the weight of a Fatil. Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Ata’, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and others among the Salaf said that Fatil means, “The scalish thread in the long slit of the date-stone.” (At-Tabari 8:458,459)

Allah said, “Look, how they invent a lie against Allah” claiming purity for themselves, their claim that they are Allah’s children and His loved ones, their statement; “None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian” their statement; “The Fire shall not touch us but for a number of days” and their reliance on the righteous deeds of their forefathers. Allah has decreed that the good actions of the fathers do not help the children, when He said, “That was a nation who has passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned and you of what you earn”.

Allah then said, “and enough is that as a manifest sin.” meaning, these lies and fabrications of theirs are sufficent. Allah’s statement, “Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They believe in Jibt and Taghut”. Muhammad bin Ishaq said from Hassan bin Fa’id that Umar bin Al-Khattab said, “Jibt is sorcery and Taghut is the Shaytan.” Abu Nasr Ismail bin Hammad Al-Jawhari, the renowned scholar, said in his book As-Sihah, “Al-Jibt means idol, soothsayer and sorcerer.” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah was asked about Taghut, and he said, “They are soothsayers upon whom the devils descend.” Mujahid said “Taghut is a devil in the shape of man, and they refer to him for judgment.” Imam Malik said, “Taghut is every object that is worshipped instead of Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored.”

Disbelievers Are not Better Guided Than Believers

Allah said, “and say to those who disbelieve, “These people are better guided on the way,” than the believers.” preferring the disbelievers over Muslims, because of their ignorance, un-religious nature and disbelief in Allah’s Book which is before them. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ikrimah said, “Huyay bin Akhtab and Kab bin Al-Ashraf (two Jewish leaders) came to the people of Makkah, who said to them, ‘You (Jews) are people of the Book and knowledge, so judge usand Muhammad.’ They said, ‘Describe yourselves and describe Muhammad.’ They said, ‘We keep relation with kith and kin, slaughter camels (for the poor), release the indebted and provide water for the pilgrims. As for Muhammad he is without male children, he severed our relations, and the thieves who rob pilgrims (the tribe of) Ghifar follow him. So who is better, we or him’ They said, ‘You are more righteous and better guided.’ Thereafter, Allah sent down, “Have you not seen those who were given a portion?” This story was also reported from Ibn Abbas and several others among the Salaf. Allah’s Curse on the Jews This Ayah [4:52] contains a curse for the Jews and informs them that they have no supporter in this life or the Hereafter, because they sought the help of the idolators. They uttered this statement [in Ayah 4:51] to lure the disbelievers into supporting them, and they ultimately gathered their forces for the battle of Al-Ahzab, forcing the Prophet and his Companions to dig a defensive tunnel around Al- Madinah. But, Allah saved the Muslims from their evil, “And Allah drove back those who disbelieved in their rage, they gained no advantage (booty). Allah sufficed for the believers in the fighting. And Allah is Ever All-Strong, All-Mighty.”

 

{53. Or have they a share in the dominion? Then in that case they would not give mankind even a Naqir.

54. Or do they envy men for what Allah has given them of His bounty Then, We have already given the family of Ibrahim the Book and Al-Hikmah, and conferred upon them a great kingdom.

55. Of them were (some) who believed in it, and of them were (some) who rejected it; and enough is Hell for burning (them).}

The Envy and Miserly Conduct of the Jews

Allah asked the Jews if they have a share in the dominion. That is merely a statement of rebuke, since they do not have any share in the dominion. Allah then described them as misers, “Then in that case they would not give mankind even a Naqir.” Meaning, if they had a share in the sovereignty and dominion, they would not give anyone anything, especially Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, even if it was the speck on the back of a date-stone, which is the meaning of Naqir according to Ibn Abbas and the majority of the scholars. This Ayah is similar to another of Allah’s statements, “Say: “If you possessed the treasure of the mercy of my Lord, then you would surely withold it out of fear of spending it.” meaning, for fear that what you have might end, although there is no such possibility here. This only demonstrates their greedy and stingy nature. This is why Allah said, “And man is ever Qatur” meaning Bakhil “stingy”. Allah then said, “Or do they envy men for what Allah has given them of His Bounty” referring to their envy of the Prophet for the great prophethood that Allah entrusted him with. Their envy made them reject him, because he was an Arab and not from the Children of Israel.

At-Tabarani recorded that Ibn Abbas said that, “Or do they envy men?” means, “We are the worthy people, rather than the rest of the people.” Allah said, “Then, We have already given the family of Ibrahim the Book and Al-Hikmah, and conferred upon them a great kingdom.” meaning, We gave the prophethood to the tribes of the Children of Israel, who are among the offspring of Ibrahim and sent down the Books to them. These Prophets ruled the Jews with the prophetic tradition, and We made kings among them. Yet, “Of them were (some) who believed in it” referring to Allah’s favor and bounty “Prophets, Books, kingship” “and of them were (some) who rejected it” by disbelieving in it, ignoring it, and hindering the people from its path, although this bounty was from and for them, the Children of Israel. They disputed with their own Prophets; so what about you, O Muhammad, especially since you are not from the Children of Israel Mujahid said, “Of them were (some) who believed in [him]” “Muhammad, and of them were (some) who rejected [him].)”Therefore, O Muhammad, the rejection of you because of their disbelief is even more severe and they are even further from the truth that you brought them. This is why Allah threatened them, “and enough is Hell for burning (them)” meaning, the Fire is a just punishment for them because of their disbelief, rebellion and defiance of Allah’s Books and Messengers.

{56. Surely, those who disbelieved in Our Ayat, 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, Allah is Ever Most Powerful, All-Wise.

57. But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, We shall admit them to Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), abiding therein forever. Therein they shall have Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates), and We shall admit them to shades, wide and ever deepening.}

The Punishment of Those Who Disbelieve in Allah’s Books and Messengers

Allah describes the torment in the Fire of Jahannam for those who disbelieve in His Ayat and hinder from the path of His Messengers. Allah said, “Surely, those who disbelieved in Our Ayat” meaning, We will place them in the Fire which will encompass every part of their bodies. Allah then states that their punishment and torment are everlasting, “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). Al-Amash said that Ibn Umar said, “When their skin are burned, they will be given another skin in replacement, and this skin will be as white as paper.” This was collected by Ibn Abi Hatim, who also recorded that Al-Hasan said, “As often as their skins are roasted through” “Their skin will be roasted through, seventy thousand times every day.” Husayn said; Fudayl added that Hisham said that Al-Hasan also said that, “As often as their skins are roasted through” means, “Whenever the Fire has roasted them through and consumed their flesh, they will be told, ‘Go back as you were before,’ and they will.”

The Wealth of the Righteous; Paradise and its Joy

Allah said, “But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, We shall admit them to Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), abiding therein forever” describing the destination of the happy ones in the gardens of Eden, beneath which rivers flow in all of its areas, spaces and corners, wherever they desire and wish. They will reside in it for eternity, and they will not be transferred or removed from it, nor would they want to move from it. Allah said, “Therein they shall have Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates)” free of menstruation, postnatal bleeding, filth, bad manners and shortcomings. Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah means, “They are purified of filth and foul things.” Similar was said by Ata’, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, An- Nakhai, Abu Salih, Atiyah, and As-Suddi. Mujahid said that they are, free of urine, menstruation, spit, mucous and pregnancies.” Allah’s statement, “And We shall admit them to shades, wide and ever deepening (Paradise)” means, wide, extensive, pure and elegant shade. Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“There is a tree in Paradise, (which is so big and huge that) that if a rider travels in its shade for a hundred years, he will not be able to cross it.” (Al-Bukhari Book 54 no. 474)

{58. Verily, Allah 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 (Allah) gives you! Truly, Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Seer.}

The Command to Return the Trusts to Whomever They Are Due

Allah commands that the trusts be returned to their rightful owners. Al-Hasan narrated that Samurah said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Return the trust to those who entrusted you, and do not betray those who betrayed you.” (Ahmad 3:414)

This command refers to all things that one is expected to look after, such as Allah’s rights on His servants: praying, Zakah, fasting, penalties for sins, vows and so forth. The command also includes the rights of the servants on each other, such as what they entrust each other with, including the cases that are not recorded or documented. Allah commands that all types of trusts be fulfillled. Those who do not implement this command in this life, it will be extracted from them on the Day of Resurrection. It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“The rights will be rendered back to those to whom they are due, and even the sheep that does not have horns will take revenge from the horned sheep.” (Muslim 4:1097)

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Jurayj said about this Ayah, “It was revealed concerning Uthman bin Talhah from whom the Messenger of Allah took the key of the Kabah and entered it on the Day of the victory of Makkah. When the Prophet went out, he was reciting this Ayah, “Verily, Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due”. He then called Uthman and gave the key back to him.” Ibn Jarir also narrated that Umar bin Al-Khattab said, “When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah, went out of the Kabah, he was reciting this Ayah, “Verily, Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due”. May I sacrifice my father and mother for him, I never heard him recite this Ayah before that.” It is popular that this is the reason behind revealing the Ayah (4:58). Yet, the application of the Ayah is general, and this is why Ibn Abbas and Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah said, “This Ayah is for the righteous and wicked,” meaning it is a command that encompasses everyone.

The Order to Be Just

Allah said, ”and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice” commanding justice when judging between people. Muhammad bin Kab, Zayd bin Aslam and Shahr bin Hawshab said; “This Ayah was revealed about those in authority”, meaning those who judge between people. A Hadith states,

”Allah is with the judge as long as he does not commit injustice, for when he does, Allah will make him reliant on himself.” (Ibn Majah 2:775)

A statement goes, “One day of justice equals forty years of worship.” Allah said, “Verily, how excellent is the teaching which He (Allah) gives you!” meaning, His commands to return the trusts to their owners, to judge between people with justice, and all of His complete, perfect and great commandments and laws. Allah’s statement, “Truly, Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Seer.” means, He hears your statements and knows your actions.

 

{59. O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those of you who are in authority. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.}

The Necessity of Obeying the Rulers in Obedience to Allah

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah, “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those of you who are in authority.” “Was revealed about Abdullah bin Hudhafah bin Qays bin Adi, who the Messenger of Allah sent on a military expedition.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:101)  Imam Ahmad recorded that Ali said, “The Messenger of Allah sent a troop under the command of a man from Al-Ansar. When they left, he became angry with them for some reason and said to them, ‘Has not the Messenger of Allah commanded you to obey me?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Collect some wood,’ and then he started a fire with the wood, saying, ‘I command you to enter the fire.’ The people almost entered the fire, but a young man among them said, ‘You only ran away from the Fire to Allah’s Messenger. Therefore, do not rush until you go back to Allah’s Messenger, and if he commands you to enter it, then enter it.’ When they went back to Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, they told him what had happened, and the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

”Had you entered it, you would never have departed from it. Obedience is only in righteousness.” (Ahmad 1:82)

Abu Dawud recorded that Abdullah bin Umar said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

”The Muslim is required to hear and obey in that which he likes and dislikes, unless he was commanded to sin. When he is commanded with sin, then there is no hearing or obeying.” (Bukhari:7144)

Ubadah bin As-Samit said, “We gave our pledge to Allah’s Messenger to hear and obey (our leaders), while active and otherwise, in times of ease and times of difficulty, even if we were deprived of our due shares, and to not dispute this matter (leadership) with its rightful people. The Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

”Except when you witness clear Kufr about which you have clear proof from Allah.” This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs. Another Hadith narrated by Anas states that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

”Hear and obey (your leaders), even if an Ethiopian slave whose head is like a raisin, is made your chief.” (Fath Al-Bari 13:130)

Umm Al-Husayn said that she heard the Messenger of Allah giving a speech during the Farewell Hajj, in which he said;

”Even if a slave was appointed over you, and he rules you with Allah’s Book, then listen to him and obey him.” (Muslim :1838)

In another narration with Muslim, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

”Even if an Ethiopian slave, whose nose was mutilated…”

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

”Whoever obeys me, obeys Allah, and whoever disobeys me, disobeys Allah. Whoever obeys my commander, obeys me, and whoever disobeys my commander, disobeys me.” (Fath Al-Bari 13:119)

This is why Allah said, ”Obey Allah”, adhere to His Book, ”and obey the Messenger”, adhere to his Sunnah, ”And those of you who are in authority” in the obedience to Allah which they command you, not what constitutes disobedience of Allah, for there is no obedience to anyone in disobedience to Allah, as we mentioned in the authentic Hadith,

“Obedience is only in righteousness” (Fath Al-Bari 13:130)

The Necessity of Referring to the Qur’an and Sunnah for Judgment

Allah said, ‘(And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger”. Mujahid and several others among the Salaf said that the Ayah means, “(Refer) to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger.” (At-Tabari 8:504)  This is a command from Allah that whatever areas the people dispute about, whether major or minor areas of the religion, they are required to refer to the Qur’an and Sunnah for judgment concerning these disputes. In another Ayah, Allah said, “And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allah”. Therefore, whatever the Book and Sunnah decide and testify to the truth of, then it, is the plain truth. What is beyond truth, save falsehood? This is why Allah said,  “if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day” meaning, refer the disputes and conflicts that arise between you to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger for judgment. Allah’s statement, “if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day” indicates that those who do not refer to the Book and Sunnah for judgment in their disputes, are not believers in Allah or the Last Day. Allah said, ”That is better” meaning, referring to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger for judgment in various disputes is better, ”and more suitable for final determination.” meaning, “Has a better end and destination,” as As- Suddi and several othershave stated while Mujahid said, “Carries a better reward.” (At-Tabari 8:506)

 

{60. Have you not 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 judgment (in their disputes) to the Taghut while they have been ordered to reject them. But Shaytan wishes to lead them far astray.

{61. And when it is said to them: “Come to what Allah has sent down and to the Messenger,” you see the hypocrites turn away from you with aversion.

62. How then, when a catastrophe befalls them because of what their hands have sent forth, they come to you swearing by Allah, “We meant no more than goodwill and conciliation!”

63. They (hypocrites) are those of whom Allah 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 to reach their innerselves.}

Referring to Other than the Qur’an and Sunnah for Judgment is Characteristic of Non-Muslims

Allah chastises those who claim to believe in what Allah has sent down to His Messenger and to the earlier Prophets, yet they refer to other than the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger for judgment in various disputes. It was reported that the reason behind revealing this Ayah was that a man from the Ansar and a Jew had a dispute, and the Jew said, “Let us refer to Muhammad to judge between us.” However, the Muslim man said, “Let us refer to Kab bin Al-Ashraf (a Jew) to judge between us.” It was also reported that the Ayah was revealed about some hypocrites who pretended to be Muslims, yet they sought to refer to the judgment of Jahiliyyah. Other reasons were also reported behind the revelation of the Ayah. However, the Ayah has a general meaning, as it chastises all those who refrain from referring to the Qur’an and Sunnah for judgment and prefer the judgment of whatever they chose of falsehood, which befits the description of Taghut here. This is why Allah said, “and they wish to go for judgment to the Taghut” until the end of the Ayah. Allah’s statement, ”turn away from you with aversion” means, they turn away from you in arrogance, just as Allah described the polytheists, ”When it is said to them: “Follow what Allah has sent down.” They say: “Nay! We shall follow what we found our fathers following.” This is different from the conduct of the faithful believers, whom Allah describes as, “The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allah and His Messenger, to judge between them, is that they say: “We hear and we obey.”

Chastising the Hypocrites

Chastising the hypocrites, Allah said, “How then, when a catastrophe befalls them because of what their hands have sent forth,” meaning, how about it if they feel compelled to join you because of disasters that they suffer due to their sins, then they will be in need of you. ”They come to you swearing by Allah, “We meant no more than goodwill and conciliation!” apologizing and swearing that they only sought goodwill and reconciliation when they referred to other than the Prophet for judgment, not that they believe in such alternative judgment, as they claim. Allah describes these people to us further in His statement, ”And you see those in whose hearts there is a disease (of hypocrisy), they hurry to their friendship, saying: “We fear”, until, ”Then they will become regretful for what they have been keeping as a secret in themselves”.

At-Tabarani recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “Abu Barzah Al-Aslami used to be a soothsayer who judged between the Jews in their disputes. When some Muslims came to him to judge between them, Allah sent down, ”Have you not 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?”, until, “We meant no more than goodwill and conciliation!” Allah then said, ”They (hypocrites) are those of whom Allah knows what is in their hearts” These people are hypocrites, and Allah knows what is in their hearts and will punish them accordingly, for nothing escapes Allah’s watch. Consequently, O Muhammad! Let Allah be sufficient for you in this regard, because He has perfect knowledge of their apparent and hidden affairs. This is why Allah said, ”so turn aside from them (do not punish them)” meaning, do not punish them because of what is in their hearts. ”but admonish them” means, advise them against the hypocrisy and evil that reside in their hearts, ‘‘and speak to them an effective word to reach their inner selves” advise them, between you and them, using effective words that might benefit them.

{64. We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed by Allah’s leave. If they, when they were unjust to themselves, had come to you and begged Allah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had begged forgiveness for them, indeed, they would have found Allah All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

65. But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.}

The Necessity of Obeying the Messenger

Allah said, ”We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed” meaning, obeying the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was ordained for those to whom Allah sends the Prophet. Allah’s statement, ”by Allah’s leave” means, “None shall obey, except by My leave,” according to Mujahid. This Ayah indicates that the Prophets are only obeyed by whomever Allah directs to obedience. In another Ayah, Allah said, ”And Allah did indeed fulfill His promise to you when you were killing them (your enemy) with His permission” meaning, by His command, decree, will and because He granted you superiority over them. Allah’s statement, ”If they (hypocrites), when they had been unjust to themselves” directs the sinners and evildoers, when they commit errors and mistakes, to come to the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, so that they ask Allah for forgiveness in his presence and ask him to supplicate to Allah to forgive them. If they do this, Allah will forgive them and award them His mercy and pardon. This is why Allah said, “they would have found Allah All-Forgiving (One Who forgives and accepts repentance), Most Merciful”.

One Does not Become a Believer Unless He Refers to the Messenger for Judgment and Submits to his Decisions

Allah said, ”But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them” Allah swears by His Glorious, Most Honorable Self, that no one shall attain faith until he refers to the Messenger for judgment in all matters. Thereafter, whatever the Messenger commands, is the plain truth that must be submitted to inwardly and outwardly. Allah said, ”and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.” meaning: they adhere to your judgment, and thus do not feel any hesitation over your decision, and they submit to it inwardly and outwardly. They submit to the Prophet’s decision with total submission without any rejection, denial or dispute. Al-Bukhari recorded that Urwah said, “Az-Zubayr quarreled with a man about a stream which both of them used for irrigation. Allah’s Messenger said to Az-Zubayr,

”O Zubayr! Irrigate (your garden) first, and then let the water flow to your neighbour.”

The Ansari became angry and said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Is it because he is your cousin?’ On that, the face of Allah’s Messenger changed color (because of anger) and said,

‘Irrigate (your garden), O Zubayr, and then withhold the water until it reaches the walls (surrounding the palms). Then, release the water to your neighbour.”

So, Allah’s Messenger gave Az-Zubayr his full right when the Ansari made him angry. Before that, Allah’s Messenger had given a generous judgment, beneficial for Az-Zubayr and the Ansari. Az-Zubayr said, ‘I think the following verse was revealed concerning that case, ”But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you (O Muhammad ) judge in all disputes between them.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:103)

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