Surah An-Nisa’ Ayat 40-83

{40. Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of a speck of dust, 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) as a witness against these people

42. On that day those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger will wish that they were buried in the earth, but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah.}

Allah Wrongs Not Even the Weight of a Speck of Dust

Allah states that He does not treat any of His servants with injustice on the Day of Resurrection, be it the weight of a mustard seed or a speck of dust. Rather, Allah shall reward them for this action and multiply it, if it were a good deed. For instance, Allah said, “And We shall set up balances of justice” Allah said that Luqman said, “O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth”. Allah said, “That Day mankind will proceed in scattered groups that they may be shown their deeds. So whosoever does good equal to the weight of a speck of dust shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of a speck of dust shall see it.” The Two Sahihs recorded the long Hadith about the intercession that Abu Said Al-Khudri narrated, and in which the Messenger of Allah said,

 “Allah then says, “Go back, and take out of the Fire everyone in whose heart you find the weight of a mustard seed of faith”

In another narration, Allah says, “Whosoever had the least, least, least speck of faith, take him out of the Fire,” and they will take out many people. Abu Sa`id then said, “Read, if you will, “Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of a speck of dust.” (Fath Al-Bari 13:413)

Will Punishment be Diminished for the Disbelievers

Said bin Jubayr commented about Allah’s statement, “but if there is any good (done), He doubles it,” “As for the disbeliever, his punishment will be lessened for him on the Day of Resurrection, but he will never depart the Fire.” He used as evidence the authentic Hadith in which Al-Abbas said, “O Messenger of Allah! Your uncle Abu Talib used to protect and support you, did you benefit him at all” The Messenger said,

“Yes. He is in a shallow area in Hell-fire, and were it not for me, he would have been in the deepest depths of the Fire.” However, this Hadith only applies to Abu Talib, not the rest of the disbelievers. To support this, we mention what Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded in his Musnad that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

“Allah does not wrong the faithful even concerning one good action, for he will be rewarded for it by provision in this life and awarded for it in the Hereafter. As for the disbeliever, he will be provided provision in this life for his good action, and on the Day of Resurrection, he will not have any good deed.” (Muslim no. 2808)

What Does ‘Great Reward’ Mean

Abu Hurayrah, Ikrimah, Said bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak said that Allah’s statement, “and gives from Him a great reward” refers to Paradise. We ask Allah for His pleasure and Paradise. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Uthman An-Nahdi said, “No other person accompanied Abu Hurayrah more than I. One year, he went to Hajj before me, and I found the people of Al-Basrah saying that he narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying, “Allah rewards the good deed with a million deeds.” So I said, ‘Woe to you! No person accompanied Abu Hurayrah more than I, and I never heard him narrate this Hadith!’ When I wanted to meet him, I found that he had left for Hajj so I followed him to Hajj to ask him about this Hadith.” Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded this Hadith using another chain of narration leading to Abu Uthman. In this narration, Abu Uthman said, “I said, ‘O Abu Hurayrah! I heard my brethren in Al-Basrah claim that you narrated that you heard the Messenger of Allah saying, “Allah rewards the good deed with a million deeds.” Abu Hurayrah said, ‘By Allah! I heard the Messenger of Allah saying, ”Allah rewards the good deed with two million deeds.” He then recited this Ayah, ”But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world as compared to the Hereafter.” (Ahmad no.7932)

Our Prophet will be a Witness Against, or For his Ummah on the Day of Resurrection, When the Disbelievers Will Wish for Death

Allah said, ”How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people?” Allah describes the horrors, hardships and difficulties of the Day of Resurrection, saying, how would it be on that Day when there will be a witness from every nation, meaning the Prophets, just as Allah said; ”And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord, and the Book will be placed (open); and the Prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward’‘, and, “And (remember) the Day when We shall raise up from every nation a witness against them from amongst themselves”.  Al-Bukhari recorded that Abdullah bin  Masud  said, “The Messenger of Allah said to me, ‘Recite to me.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Should I recite (the Qur’an) to you, while it was revealed to you?’ He said, ‘Yes, for I like to hear it from other people.’ I recited Surat An-Nisa’ until I reached this Ayah, ”How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people” He then said, ‘Stop now.’ I found that his eyes were tearful.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:712)

Allah’s statement, ”On that day those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger will wish that they were buried in the earth, but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah” means, they will wish that the earth would open up and swallow them because of the horror of the gathering place and the disgrace, dishonor and humiliation they will suffer on that Day. This is similar to Allah’s statement, ”The Day when man will see that (the deeds) which his hands have sent forth” Allah then said, ”but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah” indicating that they will admit to everything they did and will not hide any of it.

Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Said bin Jubayr said, “A man came to Ibn Abbas and said to him, ‘There are things that confuse me in the Qur’an.’ Ibn Abbas said, ‘What things do you have doubts about in the Qur’an?’ He said, ‘Not doubts, but rather confusing things.’ Ibn Abbas said, ‘Tell me what caused you confusion.’ He said, ‘I hear Allah’s statement, ”There will then be no test for them but to say: “By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah” but He also says, ”but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah.” They have indeed hid something.’ Ibn Abbas said, ‘As for Allah’s statement, ‘‘There will then be no test for them but to say: “By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah.”, when they see that on the Day of Resurrection that Allah does not forgive, except for the people of Islam, and that He forgives the sins, no matter how big they are, except Shirk, then the Mushriks will lie. They will say, “By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah.”, hoping that Allah will forgive them. However, Allah will then seal their mouths, and their hands and feet will disclose what they used to do. Then, ”those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger will wish that they were buried in the earth, but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah.” (Abdur-Razzaq 1:160)

{43. O you who believe! Do not approach Salah while you are in a druken state until you know what you are saying, nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through, until you bathe (your entire body), and if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes from the Gha’it (toilet), or from Lamastum (touching) women, but you do not find water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth, rubbing your faces and hands. Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.}

The Prohibition of Approaching Prayer When Drunk or Junub

Allah forbade His believing servants from praying while drunk, for one does not know the meaning of what he is saying in that state, and He forbade them from attending the Masjids while sexually impure, except when one is just passing through the Masjid from one door to another. This Ayah was revealed before alcohol consumption was completely prohibited, as evident by the Hadith that we mentioned in Surat Al-Baqarah when we explained Allah’s statement, ”They ask you about alcoholic drink and gambling’‘. In that Hadith, the Messenger of Allah recited this Ayah to Umar, who said, “O Allah! Explain the ruling about Khamr (intoxicants) for us in a plain manner.” When this Ayah [4:43] was revealed, the Prophet recited it to Umar, who still said, “O Allah! Explain the ruling about Khamr (intoxicants) for us in a plain manner.” After that, they would not drink alcohol close to the time of prayer. When Allah’s statement,

”O you who believe! alcoholic drinks, gambling, Al-Ansab, and Al-Azlam are an abomination of Shayatan’s handiwork. So avoid that in order that you may be successful” (5:90), until, “So, will you not then abstain” (5:91) was revealed, Umar said, “We abstain, we abstain.” (Ahmad 1:53)

In another narration, when the Ayah in Surat An-Nisa’ was revealed, “O you who believe! Do not approach Salah while you are in a druken state until you know what you are saying,” at the time of prayer, the Messenger of Allah would have someone proclaim; “Let not any drunk approach the prayer.” This is the wording collected by Abu Dawud. (4:80)

Causes of Its Revelation

Ibn Abi Hatim has recorded some reports about the incident of its revelation: Sad said, “Four Ayat were revealed concerning me. A man from the Ansar once made some food and invited some Muhajirin and Ansar men to it, and we ate and drank until we became intoxicated. We then boasted about our status. ”Then a man held a camel’s bone and injured Sad’s nose, which was scarred ever since. This occurred before Al-Khamr was prohibited, and Allah later revealed, “O you who believe! Approach not As Salat (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state”. (Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi 28)

Another Reason Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that Ali bin Abi Talib said, “Abdur-Rahman bin Awf made some food to which he invited us and served some alcohol to drink. When we became intoxicated, and the time for prayer came, they asked someone to lead us in prayer. He recited ‘Say, ‘O disbelievers! I do not worship that which you worship, but we worship that which you worship [refer to the correct wording of the Surah: 109].”’ Allah then revealed, “O you who believe! Do not approach Salah when you are in a drunken state until you know what you are saying.” (At-Tabari 8:378)

Allah’s statement, ”until you know what you are saying” is the best description for when one is intoxicated, that is, when he does not know the meaning of what he is saying. When a person is drunk, he makes obvious mistakes in the recitation and will not be able to be humble during the prayer. Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

‘If one feels sleepy while he is praying, let him sleep for a while so that he knows the meaning of what he is saying.” (Ahmad 3:142)

In some of the narrations of this Hadith, the Messenger said, ”…For he might want to ask for forgiveness, but instead curses himself!” (Fath Al-Bari 1:375)

Allah said, ”nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through, until you bathe (your entire body)” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas said that Allah’s statement, ”nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through, until you bathe (your entire body),” means, “Do not enter the Masjid when you are Junub, unless you are just passing by, in which case, you pass through without sitting down.” (At-Tabari 8:382)

Ibn Jarir recorded that Yazid bin Abi Habib commented on Allah’s statement, ”nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through,” when some men from the Ansar, whose doors literally opened into the Masjid, were sexually impure, and they did not have water, their only way to get water was to pass through the Masjid. So, Allah sent down, ”nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through.” (At-Tabari 8:38 but the chain is not authentic) What supports this statement by Yazid bin Abi Habib, may Allah have mercy upon him, is Al-Bukhari’s report in his Sahih, that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Close all the small doors in this Masjid, except that of Abu Bakr.” (Fath Al-Bari 1:665)

This is what the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, commanded at the end of his life, knowing that Abu Bakr will be the Khalifah after him, and that he would need to enter the Masjid on numerous occasions to manage the important affairs of the Muslims. Yet, the Messenger of Allah commanded that all the small doors that open into the Masjid be closed, except Abu Bakr’s door. Some of the Sunan compilers recorded the Prophet saying that only Ali’s door should remain open, but this is an error, what is in the Sahih is what is correct. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that A’ishah said, “The Messenger of Allah said to me, “Bring me the garment from the Masjid.” I said, ‘I am having my period.’ He said, ”Your period is not in your hand.” (Muslim 1:245) Muslim also collected a similar narration from Abu Hurayrah. This Hadith indicates that the woman is allowed to pass through the Masjid during menses or post-natal bleeding, and Allah knows best.

Description of Tayammum

Allah said, ”and if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes from the Gha’it (toilet), or from Lamastum (touching) women, but you do not find water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth, rubbing your face and hands. Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.” As for the type of illness which would allow Tayammum, it is an illness that one fears would be aggravated by using water, which could be detrimental to a part of the body, or when doing so would prolong an illness. Some scholars said that any type of illness warrants Tayammum, because of the general indications of the Ayah. As for travelling on a journey, it is known, regardless of its length. Allah then said, ”or comes from the Gha’it.” The Gha’it is, literally, the flat land, and this part of the Ayah refers to the minor impurity. Allah then said, “or you Lamastum women”, which was recited Lamastum and Lamastum, referring to sexual intercourse. For instance, Allah said in another Ayah,

“And if you divorce them before you have touched them, and you have appointed unto them the dowry, then pay half of that” (2:237), and,

“O you who believe! When you marry believing women, and then divorce them before you have touched them, no Iddah (period of waiting) have you to count in respect of them” (33:49).

Ibn Abi Hat im recorded that Ibn Abbas said that Allah’s statement, “or Lamastum women” refers to sexual intercourse. (At-Tabari 8:392) Allah said, “but you do not find water,them perform Tayammum with clean earth”.

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Imran bin Husayn said

“Allah’s Messenger saw a person sitting away from the people and not praying with them. He asked him, ‘O so-and-so! What prevented you from offering the prayer with the people, are not you Muslim?’ He replied, ‘Yes, O Allah’s Messenger! I am Junub and there is no water.’ The Prophet said, ‘Perform Tayammum with clean earth and that will be sufficient for you.’ (Fath Al-Bari 1:545)

The linguistic meaning of Tayammum is to intend, as Arabs say, “May Allah Tayammamaka (direct at you) His care.” ‘Clean earth’ means dust. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Hudhayfah bin Al- Yaman said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“We were given preference over people in three things. Our lines (in prayer) were arranged in rows to resemble the rows of the angels, all of the earth was made a Masjid for us, and its dust was made clean for us when there is no water.” (Muslim 1:371)

The Messenger mentioned the favor of making dust a purifyer for us, and if there were any other substance to replace it for Tayammum, he would have mentioned it. Imam Ahmad and the collectors of Sunan, with the exception of Ibn Majah, recorded that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Clean earth is pure for the Muslim, even if he does not find water for ten years. When he finds water, let him use it for his skin, for this is better.” (Ahmad 5:180)

Allah’s statement, “rubbing your faces and hands (Tayammum)” indicates that Tayammum is a substitute for normal ablution, not that it involves cleaning the parts that normal ablution does. Therefore, it is sufficient in Tayammum to just wipe the face and hands, as the consensus concurs. The face and hands are wiped with one strike on the sand in this case, as Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdur-Rahman bin Abza said that a man came to Umar and asked him, “I am Junub, but there is no water.” Umar said, “Then, do not pray.” Ammar said, “Do you not remember, O Leader of the Faithful! You and I were on a military expedition when we became Junub and did not find water. You did not pray, but I rolled myself in the sand and then prayed. When we went back to the Prophet, we mentioned to him what had happened. He said to me, “This would have been sufficient for you”, and the Prophet stroked his hand on the earth once, blew into it and wiped his face and hands.” (Ahmad 4:265)

The Muslim Ummah, rather than all other nations, was favored with the allowance of Tayammum. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“I have been given five things which were not given to any (Prophet) before me: Allah made me victorious with fright that covers a month’s distance. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and an object to perform purification with. Therefore let my followers pray wherever the time of a prayer is due – and in another narration – he will have his means of purity and his Masjid. The spoils of war have been made lawful for me and it was not made so for anyone else before me. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection.) Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation exclusively, but I have been sent to all mankind.” (Fath Al-Bari 1:519)

We also mentioned the Hadith of Hudhayfah that Muslim recorded;

“We were preferred with three things over people. Our lines (in prayer) were arranged in rows to resemble the rows of the angels, all of the earth was made a Masjid for us, and its dust was made clean for us when there is no water.” (Muslim 1:371)

Allah said in this Ayah, “rubbing your faces and hands. Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.” meaning, a part of His pardoning and forgiving is that He allows you to use Tayammum and to pray after using it when there is no water, to make things easy for you. This Ayah sanctifies the position of the prayer, it being too sacred than to be performed in a defecient manner, like in a state of drunkenness, until one becomes aware of what he is saying, or sexually impure, until he bathes (Ghusl), or after answering the call of nature, until he performs ablution. There are exceptions when one is ill or when there is no water. In this case, Allah allows us to use Tayammum, out of His mercy and kindness for His servants, and to facilitate them, all praise is due to Allah.

The Reason behind allowing Tayammum

Al-Bukhari recorded that A’ishah said, “We set out with Allah’s Messenger on one of              his journeys until we reached Al-Bayda’ or Dhat-ul-Jaysh, where a necklace of mine was broken (and lost). Allah’s Messenger stayed there to search for it, and so did the people along with him. There was no water source or any water with them at that place, so the people went to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq and said, ‘Don’t you see what A’ishah has done! She has made Allah’s Messenger and the people stay where there is no source of water and they have no water with them.’ Abu Bakr came while Allah’s Messenger was sleeping with his head on my thigh. He said to me, ‘You have detained Allah’s Messenger and the people where there is no source of water and they have no water with them.’ So he admonished me and said what Allah wished him to say and hit me on my flank with his hand. Nothing prevented me from moving (because of pain) but the position of Allah’s Messenger on my thigh. Allah’s Messenger got up when dawn broke and there was no water. So Allah revealed the verses of Tayammum, and they all performed Tayammum. Usayd bin Hudayr said, ‘O the family of Abu Bakr! This is not the first blessing of yours.’ Then the camel on which I was riding was moved from its place and the necklace was found beneath it.”  (Fath Al-Bari 1:514)

{44. Have you not seen those (the Jews) who were given a portion of the Book, purchasing the wrong path, and wishing that you should go astray from the right path.

45. Allah has full knowledge of your enemies, and Allah is sufficient as a Wali (Protector), and Allah 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 and disobey,” and “Hear and let you hear nothing.” And Raina with a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion. 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 Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not except a few.}

Chastising the Jews for Choosing Misguidance, Altering Allah’s Words, and Mocking Islam

Allah states that the Jews, may Allah’s continued curse fall on them until the Day of Resurrection, have purchased the wrong path instead of guidance, and ignored what Allah sent down to His Messenger Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. They also ignored the knowledge that they inherited from previous Prophets, about the description of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, so that they may have a small amount of the delights of this life. “and wishing that you should go astray from the right path” for they would like that you disbelieve in what was sent down to you, O believers, and that you abandon the guidance and beneficial knowledge that you have. “Allah has full knowledge of your enemies” meaning, Allah has better knowledge of your enemies, and He warns you against them. “and Allah is sufficient as a Wali (Protector), and Allah is Sufficient as a Helper” He is a Sufficient Protector for those who seek refuge with Him and a Sufficient Supporter for those who seek His help. Allah then said, “there are some who displace words from (their) right places” meaning, they intentionally and falsely alter the meanings of the Words of Allah and explain them in a different manner than what Allah meant, “And say: “We hear your word and disobey” saying, “We hear what you say, O Muhammad, but we do not obey you in it,” as Mujahid and Ibn Zayd explained.

This is the implied meaning of the Ayah, and it demonstrates the Jews’ disbelief, stubbornness and disregard for Allah’s Book after they understood it, all the while aware of the sin and punishment that this behavior will earn for them. Allah’s statement, “And “Hear and let you hear nothing.” means, hear our words, may you never hear anything, as Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn Abbas. (At-Tabari 8:433) This is the Jews’ way of mocking and jesting, may Allah’s curse descend on them. “And Raina, with a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion.” meaning, they pretend to say, ‘Hear us,’ when they say, Raina (an insult in Hebrew, but in Arabic it means ‘Listen to us.’).’ Yet, their true aim is to curse the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. We mentioned this subject when we explained Allah’s statement,

“O you who believe! Say not Raina but say Unzurna (make us understand).” Therefore, Allah said about them, while they pretend to say other than what they truly mean, “With a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion” because of their cursing the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Allah then said, “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 Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not except a few.” meaning, their hearts are cast away from the path of righteousness and therefore, no beneficial part of faith enters it. Earlier, when we explained, “so little is that which they believe” which means they do not have beneficial faith.

{47. O you who have been given the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Believe in what We have revealed confirming what is with you, before We efface faces and turn them backwards or curse them as We cursed the people of the Sabbath. And the commandment of Allah is always executed.

48. Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that to whom He wills; and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.}

Calling the People of the Book to Embrace the Faith, Warning them Against Doing Otherwise

Allah commands the People of the Scriptures to believe in what He has sent down to His servant and Messenger, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, the Glorious Book that conforms to the good news that they already have about Muhammad. He also warns them, “before We efface faces and turn them backwards” Al- Awfi said that Ibn Abbas said that ‘effacing’ here refers to blindness, “and turn them backwards” meaning, We put their faces on their backs, and make them walk backwards, since their eyes will be in their backs. (At-Tabari 8:440) Similar was said by Qatadah and Atiyah Al- Awfi. This makes the punishment even more severe, and it is a parable that Allah set for ignoring the truth, preferring the wrong way and turning away from the plain path for the paths of misguidance. Therefore, such people walk backwards. Similarly, some said that Allah’s statement, “Verily, We have put on their necks iron collars reaching to the chins, so that their heads are raised up. And We have put a barrier before them” that is a parable that Allah gave for their deviation and hindrance from guidance.

Kab Al-Ahbar Embraces Islam Upon Hearing this Ayah [4:47]

It was reported that Kab Al-Ahbar became Muslim when he heard this Ayah [4:47]. Ibn Jarir recorded that Isa bin Al-Mughirah said: We were with Ibrahim when we talked about the time when Kab became Muslim. He said, ‘Kab became Muslim during the reign of Umar, for he passed by Al-Madinah intending to visit Jerusalem, and Umar said to him, “Embrace Islam, O Kab.’ Kab said, ‘Do you not read in your Book,

“The likeness of those who were entrusted with the Tawrah…” [62:5] until, “Books”

I am among those who were entrusted with the Tawrah.’ Umar left him alone and Kab went on to Hims (in Syria) and heard one of its inhabitants recite this Ayah while feeling sad, “O you who have been given the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Believe in what We have revealed confirming what is with you, before We efface faces and turn them backwards.” Kab said, ‘I believe, O Lord! I embraced Islam, O Lord!’ for He feared that this might be struck by this threat. He then went back to his family in Yemen and returned with them all as Muslims.” (At-Tabari 8:446)

Allah’s statement, “or curse them as We cursed the people of the Sabbath.” refers to those who breached the sanctity of the Sabbath, using deceit, for the purpose of doing more work. Allah changed these people into apes and swine, as we will come to know in the explanation of Surat Al-Araf (7). Allah’s statement, “And the commandment of Allah is always executed” means, when He commands something, then no one can dispute or resist His command.

Allah Does not Forgive Shirk, Except After Repenting From it

Allah said that He, “forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship)” meaning, He does not forgive a servant if he meets Him while he is associating partners with Him, “but He forgives except that” of sins, “to whom He wills” of His servants. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Allah said, “O My servant! As long as you worship and beg Me, I will forgive you, no matter your shortcomings. O My servant! If you meet Me with the earth’s fill of sin, yet you do not associate any partners with Me, I will meet you with its fill of forgiveness.” (Ahmad 5:154)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said, “I came to the Messenger of Allah and he said, “No servant proclaims,’There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah,’ and dies on that belief, but will enter Paradise.” I said, “Even if he committed adultery and theft?” He said, “Even if he committed adultery and theft.” I asked again, “Even if he committed adultery and theft?” He said, “Even if he committed adultery and theft.” The fourth time, he said, “Even if Abu Dharr’s nose was put in the dust.” Abu Dharr departed while pulling his Izar and saying, “Even if Abu Dharr’s nose was put in the dust.” Ever since that happened, Abu Dharr used to narrate the Hadith and then comment, “Even if Abu Dharr’s nose was put in dust.” (Ahmad 5:152)

Al-Bazzar recorded that Ibn Umar said, “We used to refrain from begging (Allah) for forgiveness for those who commit major sins until we heard our Prophet reciting, “Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills”, and his saying, “I have reserved my intercession on the Day of Resurrection for those among my Ummah who commit major sins.” Allah’s statement, “and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.” is similar to His statement, “Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.” In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn Masud said, “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Which is the greatest sin?’ He said,

“To make a rival with Allah, while He Alone created you.”

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 2 Pages 460-484

{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)

{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 conviction;

67. And indeed We would then have bestowed upon them a great reward from Ourselves.

68. And indeed We would have guided them to the straight way.

69. And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqin, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!

70. Such is the bounty from Allah, and Allah is sufficient as All-Knower.}

 

Most People Disobey What They Are Ordered

Allah states that even if the people were commanded to commit what they were prohibited from doing, most of them would not submit to this command, for their wicked nature is such that they dispute orders. Allah has complete knowledge of what has not occured, and how it would be if and when it did occur. This is why Allah said, “And if We had ordered them (saying), “Kill yourselves (i.e. the innnocent ones kill the guilty ones)” until the end of the Ayah. This is why Allah said, “but if they had done what they were told” meaning, if they do what they were commanded and refrain from what they were prohibited, “it would have been better for them” than disobeying the command and committing the prohibition, “and would have strengthened their conviction” stronger Tasdiq “conviction of faith” according to As-Suddi. “And indeed We should then have bestowed upon them from Ladunna” from Us, “A great reward” Paradise, “And indeed We should have guided them to the straight way” in this life and the Hereafter.

Whoever Obeys Allah and His Messenger Will Be Honored by Allah

Allah then said, “And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqin, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!” Consequently, whosoever implements what Allah and His Messenger have commanded him and avoids what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, then Allah will grant him a dwelling in the Residence of Honor. There, Allah will place him in the company of the Prophets, and those who are lesser in grade, the true believers, then the martyrs and then the righteous, who are righteous inwardly and outwardly. Allah then praised this company,  “And how excellent these companions are!”

Al-Bukhari recorded that A’ishah said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

“Every Prophet who falls ill is given the choice between this life and the Hereafter.”

During the illness that preceded his death, his voice became weak and I heard him saying,

“in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, the Prophets, the true believers (Siddiqin), the martyrs and the righteous”

I knew then that he was being given the choice.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:103)

This Hadith explains the meaning of another Hadith; the Prophet,  peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said before his death;

“O Allah! In the Most High Company”

three times, and he then died, may Allah’s best blessings be upon him. (Muslim 4:1894)

The Reason Behind Revealing this Honorable Ayah

Ibn Jarir recorded that Said bin Jubayr said, “An Ansari man came to the Messenger of Allah while feeling sad. The Prophet said to him, ‘Why do I see you sad?’ He said, ‘O Allah’s Prophet! I was contemplating about something.’ The Prophet said, ‘What is it?’ The Ansari said, ‘We come to you day and night, looking at your face and sitting by you. Tomorrow, you will be raised with the Prophets, and we will not be able to see you.’ The Prophet did not say anything, but later Jibril came down to him with this Ayah, “And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets” and the Prophet sent the good news to the Ansari man.” (At-Tabari 8:534) Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah recorded it with a different chain from A’ishah, who said; “A man came to the Prophet and said to him, ‘O Messenger of Allah! You are more beloved to me than myself, my family and children. Sometimes, when I am at home, I remember you, and I cannot wait until I come and look at you. When I contemplate about my death and your death, I know that you will be with the Prophets when you enter Paradise. I fear that I might not see you when I enter Paradise.’ The Prophet did not answer him until the Ayah, “And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets, the true believers, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!” was revealed to him.” This was collected by Al-Hafiz Abu Abdullah Al-Maqdisi in his book, Sifat Al-Jannah, he then commented, “I do not see problems with this chain.” (At-Tabarani in As-Saghir 3308) And Allah knows best.

Muslim recorded that Rabiah bin Kab Al-Aslami said, “I used to sleep at the Prophet’s house and bring him his water for ablution and his needs. He once said to me, ‘Ask me.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! I ask that I be your companion in Paradise.’ He said, ‘Anything except that’ I said, ‘Only that.’ He said, “Then help me (fulfill this wish) for you by performing many prostrations.” (Muslim:489)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Amr bin Murrah Al-Juhani said, “A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that you are the Messenger of Allah, pray the five (daily prayers), give the Zakah due on my wealth and fast the month of Ramadan.’ The Messenger of Allah,  peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Whoever dies in this state will be with the Prophets, the truthful and martyrs on the Day of Resurrection, as long as – and he raised his finger – he is not disobedient to his parents.” (Ahmad, Jami’ Al-Masanid was-Sunan 10:77)

Greater news than this is in the authentic Hadith collected in the Sahih and Musnad compilations, in Mutawatir form, narrated by several Companions that the Messenger of Allah was asked about the person who loves a people, but his status is not close to theirs. The Messenger said, “One is with those whom he loves.” (Al-Bukhari no.6168)  Anas commented, “Muslims were never happier than with this Hadith.” In another narration, Anas said, “I love the Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr and Umar, and I hope that Allah will resurrect me with them, even though I did not perform actions similar to theirs.” (Fath Al-Bari 7:51) Allah said, “Such is the bounty from Allah” meaning, from Allah by His mercy, for it is He who made them suitable for this, not their good deeds. “and Allah is sufficient as All-Knower” He knows those who deserve guidance and success.

 

{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. If a misfortune befalls you, he says, “Indeed Allah has favored me in that I was not present among them.”

73. But if a bounty comes to you from Allah, 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.”

74. So fight those who trade the life of this world with the Hereafter, in the cause of Allah, and whoever fights in the cause of Allah, and is killed or gets victory, We shall bestow on him a great reward.*}

 

[*There is a difference of opinion over the statement translated here as; “those who trade the life of this world with the Hereafter.” It could mean; “sold the life of this world for the sake of the Hereafter”, or; “purchased the life of this world for the sake of the Hereafter”. So it is either an order for those of conviction to fight, or an order to those whose hearts waver in faith, who are quoted in the previous Ayah, to fight with sincerity, not for worldly matters. Most of the commentators see it as the first example.”]

The Necessity of Taking Necessary Precautions Against the Enemy

Allah commands His faithful servants to take precautions against their enemies, by being prepared with the necessary weapons and supplies, and increasing the number of troops fighting in His cause. “in parties” means, group after group, party after party, and expedition after expedition. Ali bin Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said that, “and either go forth in parties” means, “In groups, expedition after expedition”, “or go forth all together” means, all of you.” (At-Tabari 8:537)

Refraining from Joining Jihad is a Sign of Hypocrites

Allah said, “There is certainly among you he who would linger behind.” Mujahid and others said that this Ayah was revealed about the hypocrites. (At-Tabari 8:538) Muqatil bin Hayyan said that, “linger behind” means, stays behind and does not join Jihad. It is also possible that this person himself lingers behind, while luring others away from joining Jihad. For instance, Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul, may Allah curse him, used to linger behind and lure other people to do the same and refrain from joining Jihad, as Ibn Jurayj and Ibn Jarir stated. This is why Allah said about the hypocrite, that when he lingers behind from Jihad, then: “If a misfortune befalls you” death, martyrdom, or – by Allah’s wisdom – being defeated by the enemy, “he says, “Indeed Allah has favored me that I was not present among them.” meaning, since I did not join them in battle. Because he considers this one of Allah’s favors on him, unaware of the reward that he might have gained from enduring war or martyrdom, if he was killed. ”But if a bounty comes to you from Allah” such as victory, triumph and booty, “he would surely say – as if there had never been ties of affection between you and him” meaning, as if he was not a follower of your religion, “Oh! I wish I had been with them; then I would have achieved a great success.” by being assigned a share of the booty and taking possession of that share. This is his ultimate aim and objective.

The Encouragement to Participation in Jihad

Allah then said, “So fight” the believer with an aversion “to fighting”“those who trade the life of this world with the Hereafter” referring to those sell their religion for the meager goods of the world, and they only do this because of their disbelief and lack of faith. Allah then said; “And whoever fights in the cause of Allah, and is killed or gets victory, We shall bestow on him a great reward” meaning, whoever fights in the cause of Allah, whether he was killed or triumphant, he will earn an immense compensation and a great reward with Allah. The Two Sahihs recorded, “Allah has guaranteed the Mujahid in His cause that He will either bring death to him, admitting into Paradise; or, He will help him return safely to his home with whatever reward and booty he gained.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:253)

 

{75. And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah, 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 Allah, and those who disbelieve, fight in the cause of the Taghut. So fight against the friends of Shaytan; ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shaytan.}

 

Encouraging Jihad to Defend the Oppressed

Allah encouraged His believing servants to perform Jihad in His cause and to strive hard to save the oppressed Muslims in Makkah, men, women and children who were restless because of having to remain there. This is why Allah said, “whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town” referring to Makkah. In a similar Ayah, Allah said, “And many a town, stronger than your town which has driven you out” Allah then describes 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” meaning, send protectors and helpers for us. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “I and my mother were from the oppressed (in Makkah).” (Fath Al-Bari 8:103)

Allah then said, ”Those who believe, fight in the cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve, fight in the cause of the Taghut.” Therefore, the believers fight in obedience to Allah and to gain His pleasure, while the disbelievers fight in obedience to Shaytan. Allah then encourages the believers to fight His enemies, ”So fight against the friends of Shaytan; ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shaytan”.

 

{77. Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands (from fighting) and perform Salah and give Zakah, but when the fighting was ordained for them, behold! a section of them fear men as they fear Allah or even more. They say: “Our Lord! Why have You ordained for us fighting? Would that You granted us respite for a short period?” Say: “Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is (far) better for him who fears Allah, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly even equal to the Fatil.

{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 Allah,” but if some evil befalls them, they say, “This is from you.” Say: “All things are from Allah,” so what is wrong with these people that they fail to understand any word?

79. Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself. And We have sent you as a Messenger to mankind, and Allah is sufficient as a Witness.}

 

The Wish that the Order for Jihad be Delayed

In the beginning of Islam, Muslims in Makkah were commanded to perform the prayer and pay some charity, so as to comfort the poor among them. They were also commanded to be forgiving and forbearing with the idolators and to observe patience with them at the time. However, they were eager and anticipating the time when they would be allowed to fight, so that they could punish their enemies. The situation at that time did not permit armed conflict for many reasons. For instance, Muslims were few at the time, compared to their numerous enemies. The Muslims’ city was a sacred one and the most honored area on the earth, and this is why the command to fight was not revealed in Makkah. Later on when the Muslims controlled a town of their own, Al-Madinah, and had strength, power and support, Jihad was then legislated. Yet, when the command to fight was revealed, just as Muslims wished, some of them became weary and were very fearful of facing the idolators in battle.

”They say: “Our Lord! Why have You ordained for us fighting? Would that You had granted us respite for a short period?” meaning, we wish that Jihad was delayed until a later time, because it means bloodshed, orphans and widows. In a similar Ayah, Allah said, “Those who believe say: “Why is not a Surah sent down (for us)? But when a precise surah is revealed and fighting is mentioned therein, you see those in whose hearts is hypocrisy looking at you with a look of one overcome by death.” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas said that Abdur- Rahman bin Awf and several of his companions came to the Prophet while in Makkah and said, “O Allah’s Prophet! We were mighty when we were pagans, but when we embraced the faith, we became weak.” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

”I was commanded to pardon the people, so do not fight them.”

When Allah transferred the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to Al-Madinah, He commanded him to fight (the idolators), but they (some Muslims) held back. So, Allah revealed the Ayah; “Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands?” This Hadith was collected by An-Nasa’i and Al-Hakim. Allah’s statement, “Say: “Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is (far) better for him who fears Allah” means, the destination of the one who with Taqwa is better for him than this life.“and you shall not be dealt with unjustly even equal to the Fatil” for your good deeds. Rather, you will earn your full rewards for them. This promise directs the focus of believers away from this life and makes them eager for the Hereafter, all the while encouraging them to fight in Jihad.

There is No Escaping Death

Allah said, “Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!” meaning, you shall certainly die and none of you shall ever escape death. Allah said, “Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish” “Everyone shall taste death”, and, “And We granted not to any human being immortality before you”. Therefore, every soul shall taste death and nothing can save any person from it, whether he performed Jihad or not. Everyone has an appointed time, and a limited term of life. In the illness that preceded his death, Khalid bin Al-Walid said, while in his bed, “I participated in so and so number of battles, and every part of my body sustained an injury due to a stab or a shot. Yet here I am, I die in my bed! Let not the eyes of the cowards ever taste sleep.” Allah’s statement, “even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!” means, entrenched, fortified, high and towering. No caution or fortification can ever avert death.

The Hypocrites Sense a Bad Omen Because of the Prophet!

Allah said, “And if some good reaches them” meaning, fertile years and provision of fruits, produce, children, etc., as said by Ibn Abbas, Abu Al-Aliyah and As-Suddi. “they say, “This is from Allah,” but if some evil befalls them” drought, famine, shortages of fruits and produce, death that strikes their children or animals, and so forth, as Abu Al-Aliyah and As-Suddi stated. “they say, “This is from you,” meaning, because of you and because we followed you and embraced your religion. Allah said about the people of Firawn, “But whenever good came to them, they said: “Ours is this.” And if evil afflicted them, they ascribed it to evil omens connected with Musa and those with him.” Allah said, “And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were upon the edge (i.e. in doubt)”.

The same is the statement uttered by the hypocrites, who embraced Islam outwardly, but disliked it inwardly. This is why when a calamity befell them, they attributed it to following the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Consequently, Allah revealed, “Say: All things are from Allah”, Allah’s statement that all things are from Him means, everything occurs by the decision and decree of Allah, and His decision shall come to pass for both the righteous and the wicked, the faithful and the disbelievers. Allah then said while addressing His Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, but refering to mankind in general, “Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah” meaning, of Allah’s bounty, favor, kindness and mercy. “But whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself”, meaning because of you and due to your actions. Similarly, Allah said, “And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much” As-Suddi, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ibn Jurayj and Ibn Zayd said that, “from yourself” means, because of your errors. Qatadah said that, “From yourself” means, as punishment for you, O son of Adam, because of your sins. Allah said, “And We have sent you as a Messenger to mankind” so that you convey to them Allah’s commandments, what He likes and is pleased with, and what He dislikes and refuses. “and Allah is sufficient as a Witness” that He has sent you. He is also Witness over you and them, having full knowledge in what you convey to them and the disbelief and rebellion with which they respond to the truth.

 

{80. He who obeys the Messenger, has indeed obeyed Allah, but he who turns away, then We have not sent you as a watcher over them.

81. They say: “We are obedient,” but when they leave you, a section of them spends all night in planning other than what you say. But Allah records their nightly (plots). So turn aside from them (do not punish them), and put your trust in Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.}

 

Obeying the Messenger is Obeying Allah

Allah states that whoever obeys His servant and Messenger, Muhammad,  peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, obeys Allah; and whoever disobeys him, disobeys Allah. Verily, whatever the Messenger utters is not of his own desire, but a revelation inspired to him. Ibn Abi Hatim 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 the Amir (leader, ruler), obeys me; and whoever disobeys the Amir, disobeys me.” (Ahmad 1:252) 

Allah’s statement, “But he who turns away, then We have not sent you as a watcher over them” means, do not worry about him. Your job is only to convey, and whoever obeys you, he will acquire happiness and success and you will gain a similar reward to that he earns. As for the one who turns away from you, he will gain failure and loss and you will not carry a burden because of what he does. A Hadith states,

“Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, will acquire guidance; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, will only harm himself.” (Muslim 2:594)

The Foolishness of the Hypocrites

Allah said, “They say: “We are obedient,”. Allah states that the hypocrites pretend to be loyal and obedient. ”but when they leave you”, meaning, when they depart and are no longer with you, ”a section of them spends all night in planning other than what you say”. They plot at night among themselves for other than what they pretend when they are with you. Allah said, ”But Allah records their nightly (plots)” meaning, He has full knowledge of their plots and records it through His command to His scribes, the angels who are responsible for recording the actions of the servants. This is a threat from Allah, stating that He knows what the hypocrites try to hide, their plotting in the night to defy the Messenger and oppose him, even though they pretend to be loyal and obedient to him. Allah will certainly punish them for this conduct. In a similar Ayah, Allah said,

”They (hypocrites) say: “We have believed in Allah and in the Messenger, and we obey,” until the end of the Ayah.

Allah’s statement, ”So turn aside from them” means, pardon them, be forbearing with them, do not punish them, do not expose them to the people and do not fear them.

”and put your trust in Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.” meaning, He is sufficient as Protector, Supporter and Helper for those who rely on Him and return to Him.

 

{82. Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely, have found therein contradictions in abundance.

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 Allah upon you, you would have followed Shaytan, except a few of you.}

 

The Qur’an is True

Allah commands them to contemplate about the Qur’an and forbids them from ignoring it, or ignoring its wise meanings and eloquent words. Allah states that there are no inconsistencies, contradictions, conflicting statements or discrepancies in the Qur’an, because it is a revelation from the Most-Wise, Worthy of all praise. Therefore, the Qur’an is the truth coming from the Truth, Allah. This is why Allah said in another Ayah, ”Do they not then think deeply in the Qur’an, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)?” Allah then said, ”Had it been from other than Allah” meaning, had it been fraudulent and made up, as the ignorant idolators and hypocrites assert in their hearts, ”they would surely, have found therein contradictions”, discrepancies and inconsistencies, ”in abundance”. However, this Qur’an is free of shortcomings, and therefore, it is from Allah. Similarly, Allah describes those who are firmly grounded in knowledge, ”We believe in it, all of it is from our Lord.” (3:7) meaning, the Muhkam sections (entirely clear) and the Mutashabih sections (not entirely clear) of the Qur’an are all true. So they understand the not entirely clear from the clear, and thus gain guidance. As for those in whose heart is the disease of hypocrisy, they understand the Muhkam from the Mutashabih; thus only gaining misguidance. Allah praised those who have knowledge and criticized the wicked.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Amr bin Shuayb said that his father said that his grandfather said, “I and my brother were present in a gathering, which is more precious to me than red camels. My brother and I came and found that some of the leaders of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah were sitting close to a door of his. We did not like the idea of being separate from them, so we sat near the room. They then mentioned an Ayah and began disputing until they raised their voices. The Messenger of Allah was so angry that when he went out his face was red. He threw sand on them and said to them,

”Behold, O people! This is how the nations before you were destroyed, because of their disputing with their Prophets and their contradicting parts of the Books with other parts. The Qur’an does not contradict itself. Rather, it testifies to the truth of itself. Therefore, whatever of it you have knowledge in, then implement it, and whatever you do not know of it, then refer it to those who have knowledge in it.” (Ahmad 2:181)

Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Amr said, “I went to the Messenger of Allah one day. When we were sitting, two men disputed about an Ayah, and their voices became loud. The Prophet,  peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

”Verily, the nations before you were destroyed because of their disagreements over the Book.” (Ahmad 2:192)

The Prohibition of Disclosing Unreliable and Uninvestigated News

Allah said, ”When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people)” chastising those who indulge in things before being sure of their truth, disclosing them, making them known and spreading their news, even though such news might not be true at all. In the introduction to his Sahih, Imam Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet,  peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

”Narrating everything one hears is sufficient to make a person a liar.” (Muslim 1:10)

This is the same narration collected by Abu Dawud in the section of Adab (manners) in his Sunan. (Abu Dawud 5:226) In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Al-Mughirah bin Shubah said that the Messenger of Allah prohibited, “It was said,” and, “So-and-so said.” This Hadith refers to those who often convey the speech that people utter without investigating the reliability and truth of what he is disclosing. The Sahih also records,

”Whoever narrates a Hadith while knowing it is false, then he is one of the two liars (who invents and who spreads the lie)” (Muslim 1:9)

We should mention here the Hadith of Umar bin Al-Khattab collected in the Two Sahihs. When Umar was informed that the Messenger of Allah divorced his wives, he came from his house, entered the Masjid and found the people talking about this news. He could not wait and went to the Prophet to ask him about what had truly happened, asking him, “Have you divorced your wives?” The Prophet said, “No.” Umar said, “I said, Allahu Akbar…” and mentioned the rest of the Hadith. In the narration that Muslim collected, Umar said, “I asked, ‘Have you divorced them?’ He said, ‘No.’ So, I stood by the door of the Masjid and shouted with the loudest voice, ‘The Messenger of Allah did not divorce his wives.’ Then, this Ayah was revealed, ”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).’‘ So I properly investigated that matter.” (Fath Al-Bari 9:187 and Muslim 2:1105)

This Ayah refers to proper investigation, or extraction of matters from their proper resources. Allah’s statement, ”you would have followed Shaytan except a few of you.” refers to the believers, as Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas. (At-Tabari 8:575)

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 2 Pages 507-529

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