Haroen Soebratie

In de naam van Allah, de Barmhartige, de Genadevolle.


The Tafsir of Al-Qur'an

4. An-Nisa (De Vrouwen)
5. Al-Ma'idah (De Tafel)
6. Al-An`am (Het Vee)
7. Al-A`raf (De Hoge Muren)
8. Al-Anfal (De Oorlogsbuit)

The Tafsir of Surat An-Nisa (De Vrouwen) (Chapter 4)
Top Index

Which was revealed in Al-Madinah

1. Virtues of Surat An-Nisa
2. The Command to have Taqwa, a Reminder about Creation, and Being Kind to Relatives
3. Protecting the Property of the Orphans
4. The Prohibition of Marrying Female Orphans Without Giving a Dowry
5. The Permission to Marry Four Women
6. Marrying Only One Wife When One Fears He Might not Do Justice to His Wives
7. Giving the Dowry is Obligatory
8. Holding the Property of the Unwise in Escrow
9. Spending on the Unwise with Fairness
10. Giving Back the Property of the Orphans When They Reach Adulthood
11. Poor Caretakers are Allowed to Wisely Spend from the Money of the Orphan Under Their Care, to Compensate for Their Work
12. The Necessity of Surrendering the Inheritance According to the Portions that Allah Ordained
13. Observing Fairness in the Will
14. A Stern Warning Against Those Who Use Up the Orphan's Wealth
15. Learning the Various Shares of the Inheritance is Encouraged
16. The Reason Behind Revealing Ayah 4:11
17. Males Get Two Times the Share of Females for Inheritance
18. The Share of the Females When They Are the Only Eligible Heirs
19. Share of the Parents in the Inheritance
20. First the Debts are Paid Off, then the Will, then the Fixed Inheritance
21. Share of the Spouses in the Inheritance
22. The Meaning of Kalalah
23. The Ruling Concerning Children of the Mother From Other Than the Deceased's Father
24. Warning Against Transgressing the Limits for Inheritance
25. The Adulteress is Confined in her House; A Command Later Abrogated
26. Repentance is Accepted Until one Faces death
27. Meaning of `Inheriting Women Against Their Will
28. Women Should not Be Treated with Harshness
29. Live With Women Honorably
30. The Prohibition of Taking Back the Dowry
31. Marrying the Wife of the Father is Prohibited
32. Degrees of Women Never Eligible for One to Marry
33. `Suckling' that Establishes Prohibition for Marriage
34. The Stepdaughter is Prohibited in Marriage Even if She Was Not Under the Guardianship of Her Stepfather
35. Meaning of `gone in unto them
36. Prohibiting the Daughter-in-Law for Marriage
37. A Doubt and Rebuttal
38. The Prohibition of Taking Two Sisters as Rival Wives
39. Forbidding Women Already Married, Except for Female Slaves
40. The Permission to Marry All Other Women
41. Prohibiting the Mut`ah of Marriage
42. Marrying a Female Slave, if One Cannot Marry a Free Woman
43. The Slave Girl's Punishment for Adultery is Half that of a Free Unmarried Woman
44. Prohibiting Unlawfully Earned Money
45. The Option to Buy or Sell Before Parting, is Part of `Mutual Consent' in Trading
46. Forbidding Murder and Suicide
47. Minor Sins Will be Pardoned if One Refrains from Major Sins
48. The Seven Destructive Sins
49. Do Not Wish for the Things Which Allah has Made Some Others to Excel In
50. Qualities of the Righteous Wife
51. Dealing with the Wife's Ill-Conduct
52. When the Wife Obeys Her Husband, Means of Annoyance Against Her are Prohibited
53. Appointing Two Arbitrators When the Possibility of Estrangement Between Husband and Wife Occurs
54. The Order to Worship Allah Alone and to Be Dutiful to Parents
55. The Right of the Neighbor
56. Being Kind to Slaves and Servants
57. Allah Does Not Like the Arrogant
58. The Censure of Stingy Behavior
59. Allah Wrongs Not Even the Weight of a Speck of Dust
60. Will Punishment be Diminished for the Disbelievers
61. What Does `Great Reward' Mean
62. Our Prophet will be a Witness Against, or For his Ummah on the Day of Resurrection, When the Disbelievers Will Wish for Death
63. The Prohibition of Approaching Prayer When Drunk or Junub
64. Causes of Its Revelation
65. Description of Tayammum
66. The Reason behind allowing Tayammum
67. Chastising the Jews for Choosing Misguidance, Altering Allah's Words, and Mocking Islam
68. Calling the People of the Book to Embrace the Faith, Warning them Against Doing Otherwise
69. Ka`b Al-Ahbar Embraces Islam Upon Hearing this Ayah [4:47]
70. Allah Does not Forgive Shirk, Except After Repenting From it
71. Chastising and Cursing the Jews for Claiming Purity for Themselves and Believing in Jibt and Taghut
72. Disbelievers Are not Better Guided Than Believers
73. The Envy and Miserly Conduct of the Jews
74. The Punishment of Those Who Disbelieve in Allah's Books and Messengers
75. The Wealth of the Righteous; Paradise and its Joy
76. The Command to Return the Trusts to Whomever They Are Due
77. The Order to Be Just
78. The Necessity of Obeying the Rulers in Obedience to Allah
79. The Necessity of Referring to the Qur'an and Sunnah for Judgment
80. Referring to Other than the Qur'an and Sunnah for Judgment is Characteristic of Non-Muslims
81. Chastising the Hypocrites
82. The Necessity of Obeying the Messenger
83. One Does not Become a Believer Unless He Refers to the Messenger for Judgment and Submits to his Decisions
84. Most People Disobey What They Are Ordered
85. Whoever Obeys Allah and His Messenger Will Be Honored by Allah
86. The Reason Behind Revealing this Honorable Ayah
87. The Necessity of Taking Necessary Precautions Against the Enemy
88. Refraining from Joining Jihad is a Sign of Hypocrites
89. The Encouragement to Participation in Jihad
90. Encouraging Jihad to Defend the Oppressed
91. The Wish that the Order for Jihad be Delayed
92. There is No Escaping Death
93. The Hypocrites Sense a Bad Omen Because of the Prophet !
94. Obeying the Messenger is Obeying Allah
95. The Foolishness of the Hypocrites
96. The Qur'an is True
97. The Prohibition of Disclosing Unreliable and Uninvestigated News
98. Allah Commands His Messenger to Perform Jihad
99. Inciting the Believers to Fight
100. Interceding for a Good or an Evil Cause
101. Returning the Salam, With a Better Salam
102. Censuring the Companions for Disagreeing over the Hypocrites who Returned to Al-Madinah Before Uhud
103. Combatants and Noncombatants
104. The Ruling Concerning Killing a Believer by Mistake
105. Warning Against Intentional Murder
106. Will the Repentance of those who Commit Intentional Murder, be Accepted
107. Greeting with the Salam is a Sign of Islam
108. The Mujahid and those Who Do not Join Jihad are Not the Same, [and Jihad is Fard Kifayah]
109. The Prohibition of Residing Among the Disbelievers While Able to Emigrate
110. Salat Al-Qasr, Shortening the Prayer
111. The Description of The Fear Prayer
112. The Reason behind Revealing this Ayah
113. The Order for Ample Remembrance After the Fear Prayer
114. The Encouragement to Pursue the Enemy Despite Injuries
115. The Necessity of Referring to What Allah has Revealed for Judgement
116. The Encouragement to Seek Allah's Forgiveness, and Warning those who Falsely Accuse Innocent People
117. Righteous Najwa, Secret Talk
118. The Punishment for Contradicting and Opposing the Messenger and Following a Path Other than That of the Believers
119. Shirk Shall not be Forgiven, in Reality the Idolators Worship Shaytan
120. The Reward of Righteous Believers
121. Success is Only Achieved by Performing Righteous Deeds, not Wishful Thinking
122. Ibrahim is Allah's Khalil
123. The Ruling Concerning Female Orphans
124. The Ruling Concerning Desertion on the Part of the Husband
125. Meaning of "Making Peace is Better
126. The Necessity of Taqwa of Allah
127. Commanding Justice and Conveying the Witness for Allah
128. The Order to Have Faith after Believing
129. Characteristics of the Hypocrites and Their Destination
130. Hypocrites Wait and Watch what Happens to Muslims
131. The Hypocrites Try to Deceive Allah and Sway Between Believers and Disbelievers
132. The Prohibition of Wilayah with the Disbelievers
133. The Hypocrites and the Friends of Disbelievers are in the Lowest Depth of the Fire, Unless they Repent
134. The Permission to Utter Evil in Public, For One Who Was Wronged
135. Believing in Some Prophets and Rejecting Others is Pure Kufr
136. The Stubbornness of the Jews
137. The Crimes of the Jews
138. The Evil Accusation the Jews Uttered Against Maryam and Their Claim that They Killed `Isa
139. All Christians Will Believe in `Isa Before He Dies
140. The Hadiths Regarding the Descent of `Isa Just Before the Day of Judgement, and his Mission
141. Another Hadith by Abu Hurayrah
142. Another Hadith 1
143. Another Hadith 2
144. Another Hadith 3
145. Another Hadith 4
146. The Description of `Isa, upon him be Peace
147. Some Foods Were Made Unlawful for the Jews Because of their Injustice and Wrongdoing
148. Revelation Came to Prophet Muhammad , Just as it Came to the Prophets Before Him
149. Twenty-Five Prophets Are Mentioned in the Qur'an
150. The Virtue of Musa
151. The Reason Behind Sending the Prophets is to Establish the Proof
152. Prohibiting the People of the Book From Going to Extremes in Religion
153. The Meaning of "His Word and a spirit from Him
154. The Christian Sects
155. The Prophets and Angels Are Never too Proud to Worship Allah
156. The Description of the Revelation that Came From Allah
157. This is the Last Ayah Ever Revealed, the Ruling on Al-Kalalah
158. The Meaning of This Ayah


1. Virtues of Surat An-Nisa

Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said that Surat An-Nisa' was revealed in Al-Madinah. Ibn Marduwyah recorded similar statements from `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr and Zayd bin Thabit. In his Mustadrak, Al-Hakim recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "There are five Ayat in Surat An-Nisa' that I would prefer to the life of this world and all that is in it,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ]

(Surely, Allah wrongs not even the weight of an atom,) [4:40],

[إِن تَجْتَنِبُواْ كَبَآئِرَ مَا تُنهَوْنَ عَنْهُ]

(If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do) [4:31],

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ]

(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) [4:48],

[وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآءُوكَ]

(If they (hypocrites), when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you) [4:64], and,

[وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّهَ يَجِدِ اللَّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً ]

(And whoever does evil or wrongs himself, but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful) [4:110].'' Al-Hakim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Ask me about Surat An-Nisa', for I learned the Qur'an when I was still young.'' Al-Hakim said, "This Hadith is Sahih according to the criteria of the Two Sahihs, and they did not collect it.''

[بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ ]

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

[يَـأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِى خَلَقَكُمْ مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيراً وَنِسَآءً وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ الَّذِى تَسَآءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالاٌّرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيباً ]

(1. O mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his mate, and from them both He created many men and women, and have Taqwa of Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and revere the wombs. Surely, Allah is always watching over you.)

2. The Command to have Taqwa, a Reminder about Creation, and Being Kind to Relatives

Allah commands His creatures to have Taqwa of Him by worshipping Him Alone without partners. He also reminds to them of His ability, in that He created them all from a single person, Adam, peace be unto him.

[وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا]

(And from him He created his wife) Hawwa' (Eve), who was created from Adam's left rib, from his back while he was sleeping. When Adam woke up and saw Hawwa', he liked her and had affection for her, and she felt the same toward him. An authentic Hadith states,

إِنَّ الْمَرْأَةَ خُلِقَتْ مِنْنِضلَعٍ، وَإِنَّ أَعْوَجَ شَيْءٍ فِي الضِّلَعِ أَعْلَاهُ، فَإِنْ ذَهَبْتَ تُقِيمُهُ كَسَرْتَهُ، وَإِنِ اسْتَمْتَعْتَ بِهَا اسْتَمْتَعْتَ بِهَا وَفِيهَا عِوَج

(Woman was created from a rib. Verily, the most curved portion of the rib is its upper part, so, if you should try to straighten it, you will break it, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked.) Allah's statement,

[وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيراً وَنِسَآءً]

(And from them both He created many men and women;) means, Allah created from Adam and Hawwa' many men and women and distributed them throughout the world in various shapes, characteristics, colors and languages. In the end, their gathering and return will be to Allah. Allah then said,

[وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ الَّذِى تَسَآءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالاٌّرْحَامَ]

(And have Taqwa of Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights) and revere the wombs), protect yourself from Allah by your acts of obedience to Him. Allah's statement,

[الَّذِى تَسَآءَلُونَ بِهِ]

(through Whom you demand your mutual (rights)), is in reference to when some people say, "I ask you by Allah, and then by the relation of the Rahim (the womb, i.e. my relationship to you)'', according to Ibrahim, Mujahid and Al-Hasan. Ad-Dahhak said; "Fear Allah Whom you invoke when you conduct transactions and contracts.'' "And revere the womb by not cutting the relations of the womb, but keep and honor them, as Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi`, and others have stated. Allah's statement,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيباً]

(Surely, Allah is always watching over you.) means, He watches all your deeds and sees your every circumstance. In another Ayah, Allah said;

[وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ شَهِيدٌ]

(And Allah is Witness over all things.) [58:6]. An authentic Hadith states,

اعْبُدِاللهَ كَأَنَّكَ تَرَاهُ، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ تَرَاهُ،فَإِنَّهُ يَرَاك

(Worship Allah as if you see Him, for even though you cannot see Him, He sees you.) This part of the Ayah encourages having a sense of certainty that Allah is always watching, in a complete and perfect manner. Allah mentioned that He has created mankind from a single father and a single mother, so that they feel compassion for each other and are kind to the weaker among them. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Jarir bin `Abdullah Al-Bajali said that a delegation from Mudar came to the Messenger of Allah , and he saw their state, wearing striped woolen clothes due to poverty. After the Zuhr prayer, the Messenger of Allah stood up and gave a speech in which he recited,

[يَـأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِى خَلَقَكُمْ مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَحِدَةٍ]

(O mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord, Who created you from a single person,) until the end of the Ayah. He also recited,

[يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ]

(O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the tomorrow) [59:18]. He also encouraged them to give charity, saying,

تَصَدَّقَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ دِينَارِهِ، مِنْ دِرْهَمِهِ، مِنْ صَاعِ بُرِّهِ، مِنْ صَاعِ تَمْرِه

(A man gave Sadaqah from his Dinar, from his Dirham, from his Sa` of wheat, from his Sa` of dates) until the end of the Hadith. This narration was also collected by Ahmad and the Sunan compilers from Ibn Mas`ud.

[وَءَاتُواْ الْيَتَـمَى أَمْوَلَهُمْ وَلاَ تَتَبَدَّلُواْ الْخَبِيثَ بِالطَّيِّبِ وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَهُمْ إِلَى أَمْوَلِكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حُوباً كَبِيراً - وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ فِى الْيَتَـمَى فَانكِحُواْ مَا طَابَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ النِّسَآءِ مَثْنَى وَثُلَـثَ وَرُبَاعَ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ فَوَحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ ذلِكَ أَدْنَى أَلاَّ تَعُولُواْ - وَءَاتُواْ النِّسَآءَ صَدُقَـتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً فَإِن طِبْنَ لَكُمْ عَن شَىْءٍ مِّنْهُ نَفْساً فَكُلُوهُ هَنِيئاً مَّرِيئاً ]

(2. And give unto orphans their property and do not exchange (your) bad things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by adding it) to your substance. Surely, this is a great sin.) (3. And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or (the captives and the servants) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from Ta`ulu.) (4. And give to the women (whom you marry) their Saduqat (or dowry) Nihlah (with a good heart), but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm.)

3. Protecting the Property of the Orphans

Allah commands that the property of the orphans be surrendered to them in full when they reach the age of adolescence, and He forbids using or confiscating any part of it. So He said;

[وَلاَ تَتَبَدَّلُواْ الْخَبِيثَ بِالطَّيِّبِ]

(and do not exchange (your) bad things for (their) good ones;) Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib and Az-Zuhri commented, "Do not substitute a weak animal of yours for a fat animal (of the orphans).'' Ibrahim An-Nakha`i and Ad-Dahhak commented, "Do not give something of bad quality for something of good quality.'' As-Suddi said, "One of them (caretakers of orphans) would take a fat sheep from the orphan's property and put in its place, a weak sheep of his, saying, `A sheep for a sheep.' He would also take a good Dirham and exchange it for a fake Dirham, saying, `A Dirham for a Dirham.''' Allah's statement,

[وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَهُمْ إِلَى أَمْوَلِكُمْ]

(and devour not their substance to your substance.) means, do not mix them together so that you eat up both, as Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muqatil bin Hayyan, As-Suddi and Sufyan bin Hassin stated. Allah said,

[إِنَّهُ كَانَ حُوباً كَبِيراً]

(Surely, this is a great sin. ), a major and substantial sin, according to Ibn `Abbas. This was also reported from Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Ibn Sirin, Qatadah, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Ad-Dahhak, Abu Malik, Zayd bin Aslam and Abu Sinan. The meaning above is: adding their property to your property is a grave sin and a major mistake, so avoid it.

4. The Prohibition of Marrying Female Orphans Without Giving a Dowry

Allah said,

[وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ فِى الْيَتَـمَى فَانكِحُواْ مَا طَابَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ النِّسَآءِ مَثْنَى]

(And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry (other) women of your choice, two) Allah commands, when one of you is the caretaker of a female orphan and he fears that he might not give her a dowry that is suitable for women of her status, he should marry other women, who are plenty as Allah has not restricted him. Al-Bukhari recorded that `A'ishah said, "A man was taking care of a female orphan and he married her, although he did not desire to marry her. That girl's money was mixed with his, and he was keeping her portion from her. Afterwards, this Ayah was revealed about his case;

[وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ]

(If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly)'' Al-Bukhari recorded that `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr said that he asked `A'ishah about the meaning of the statement of Allah,

[وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ فِى الْيَتَـمَى]

(If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls.) She said, "O my nephew! This is about the orphan girl who lives with her guardian and shares his property. Her wealth and beauty may tempt him to marry her without giving her an adequate dowry which might have been given by another suitor. So, such guardians were forbidden to marry such orphan girls unless they treated them justly and gave them the most suitable dowry; otherwise they were ordered to marry woman besides them.'' `A'ishah further said, "After that verse, the people again asked the Messenger of Allah (about marriage with orphan girls), so Allah revealed the Ayah,

[وَيَسْتَفْتُونَكَ فِى النِّسَآءِ]

(They ask your instruction concerning the women..) [4:127].'' She said, "Allah's statement in this Ayah,

[وَتَرْغَبُونَ أَن تَنكِحُوهُنَّ]

(yet whom you desire to marry) [4:127] refers to the guardian who does not desire to marry an orphan girl under his supervision because she is neither wealthy nor beautiful. The guardians were forbidden to marry their orphan girls possessing property and beauty without being just to them, as they generally refrain from marrying them (when they are neither beautiful nor wealthy).''

5. The Permission to Marry Four Women

Allah's statement,

[مَثْنَى وَثُلَـثَ وَرُبَاعَ]

(two or three, or four), means, marry as many women as you like, other than the orphan girls, two, three or four. We should mention that Allah's statement in another Ayah,

[جَاعِلِ الْمَلَـئِكَةِ رُسُلاً أُوْلِى أَجْنِحَةٍ مَّثْنَى وَثُلَـثَ وَرُبَـعَ]

(Who made the angels messengers with wings, - two or three or four) [35:1], does not mean that other angels do not have more than four wings, as there are proofs that some angels do have more wings. Yet, men are prohibited from marrying more than four wives, as the Ayah decrees, since the Ayah specifies what men are allowed of wives, as Ibn `Abbas and the majority of scholars stated. If it were allowed for them to have more than four wives, the Ayah would have mentioned it. Imam Ahmad recorded that Salim said that his father said that Ghilan bin Salamah Ath-Thaqafi had ten wives when he became Muslim, and the Prophet said to him, "Choose any four of them (and divorce the rest).'' During the reign of `Umar, Ghilan divorced his remaining wives and divided his money between his children. When `Umar heard news of this, he said to Ghilan, "I think that the devil has conveyed to your heart the news of your imminent death, from what the devil hears during his eavesdropping. It may as well be that you will not remain alive but for a little longer. By Allah! You will take back your wives and your money, or I will take possession of this all and will order that your grave be stoned as is the case with the grave of Abu Righal (from Thamud, who was saved from their fate because he was in the Sacred Area. But, when he left it, he was tormented like they were).'' Ash-Shafi`i, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ad-Daraqutni and Al-Bayhaqi collected this Hadith up to the Prophet's statement, "Choose any four of them.'' Only Ahmad collected the full version of this Hadith. Therefore, had it been allowed for men to marry more than four women at the same time, the Prophet would have allowed Ghilan to keep more than four of his wives since they all embraced Islam with him. When the Prophet commanded him to keep just four of them and divorce the rest, this indicated that men are not allowed to keep more than four wives at a time under any circumstances. If this is the case concerning those who already had more than four wives upon embracing Islam, then this ruling applies even more so to marrying more than four.

6. Marrying Only One Wife When One Fears He Might not Do Justice to His Wives

Allah's statement,

[فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ فَوَحِدَةً أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ]

(But if you fear that you will not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or what your right hands possess.) The Ayah commands, if you fear that you will not be able to do justice between your wives by marrying more than one, then marry only one wife, or satisfy yourself with only female captives, for it is not obligatory to treat them equally, rather it is recommended. So if one does so, that is good, and if not, there is no harm on him. In another Ayah, Allah said,

[وَلَن تَسْتَطِيعُواْ أَن تَعْدِلُواْ بَيْنَ النِّسَآءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ]

(You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire) [4:129]. Allah said,

[ذلِكَ أَدْنَى أَلاَّ تَعُولُواْ]

(That is nearer to prevent you from Ta`ulu), meaning, from doing injustice. Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Marduwyah and Abu Hatim Ibn Hibban, in his Sahih, recorded that `A'ishah said that, the Prophet said that the Ayah,

[ذلِكَ أَدْنَى أَلاَّ تَعُولُواْ]

(That is nearer to prevent you from Ta`ulu), means, from doing injustice. However, Ibn Abi Hatim said that his father said that this Hadith to the Prophet is a mistake, for it should be attributed to `A'ishah not the Prophet . Ibn Abi Hatim reported from Ibn `Abbas, `A'ishah, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Abu Malik, Abu Razin, An-Nakha`i, Ash-Sha`bi, Ad-Dahhak, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan that Ta`ulu means to deviate [from justice].

7. Giving the Dowry is Obligatory

`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported Ibn `Abbas saying, Nihlah, in Allah's statement,

[وَءَاتُواْ النِّسَآءَ صَدُقَـتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً]

(And give to the women (whom you marry) their Saduqat Nihlah) refers to the dowry. Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated from Az-Zuhri that `Urwah said that `A'ishah said that `Nihlah' means `obligatory'. Muqatil, Qatadah and Ibn Jurayj said, `Nihlah' means `obligatory' Ibn Jurayj added: `specified.' Ibn Zayd said, "In Arabic, Nihlah, refers to what is necessary. So Allah is commanding: Do not marry unless you give your wife something that is her right. No person after the Prophet is allowed to marry a woman except with the required dowry, nor by giving false promises about the dowry [intended].'' Therefore, the man is required to pay a dowry to his wife with a good heart, just as he gives a gift with a good heart. If the wife gives him part or all of that dowry with a good heart, her husband is allowed to take it, as it is lawful for him in this case. This is why Allah said afterwards,

[فَإِن طِبْنَ لَكُمْ عَن شَىْءٍ مِّنْهُ نَفْساً فَكُلُوهُ هَنِيئاً مَّرِيئاً]

(But if they, of their own pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm.)

[وَلاَ تُؤْتُواْ السُّفَهَآءَ أَمْوَلَكُمُ الَّتِى جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ قِيَـماً وَارْزُقُوهُمْ فِيهَا وَاكْسُوهُمْ وَقُولُواْ لَهُمْ قَوْلاً مَّعْرُوفاً - وَابْتَلُواْ الْيَتَـمَى حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغُواْ النِّكَاحَ فَإِنْ ءَانَسْتُمْ مِّنْهُمْ رُشْداً فَادْفَعُواْ إِلَيْهِمْ أَمْوَلَهُمْ وَلاَ تَأْكُلُوهَآ إِسْرَافاً وَبِدَاراً أَن يَكْبَرُواْ وَمَن كَانَ غَنِيّاً فَلْيَسْتَعْفِفْ وَمَن كَانَ فَقِيراً فَلْيَأْكُلْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ فَإِذَا دَفَعْتُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ أَمْوَلَهُمْ فَأَشْهِدُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ حَسِيباً ]

(5. And give not unto the unwise your wealth which Allah has made a means of support for you, but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.) (6. And test orphans until they reach the age of marriage; if then you find sound judgment in them, release their property to them, but consume it not wastefully and hastily, fearing that they should grow up. And whoever among guardians is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his work). And when you release their property to them, take a witness in their presence; and Allah is All-Sufficient in taking account.)

8. Holding the Property of the Unwise in Escrow

Allah prohibited giving the unwise the freedom to do as they wish with wealth, which Allah has made as a means of support for people. This ruling sometimes applies because of being young, as young people are incapable of making wise decisions. It also applies in cases of insanity, erratic behavior and having a weak intellect or religious practice. It applies in cases of bankruptcy, when the debtors ask that the property of a bankrupt person is put in escrow, when his debts cannot be paid off with his money. Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn `Abbas said that Allah's statement,

[وَلاَ تُؤْتُواْ السُّفَهَآءَ أَمْوَلَكُمُ]

(And give not unto the unwise your property) refers to children and women. Similar was also said by Ibn Mas`ud, Al-Hakam bin `Uyaynah, Al-Hasan and Ad-Dahhak: "Women and boys.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr said that `the unwise' refers to the orphans. Mujahid, `Ikrimah and Qatadah said; "They are women.''

9. Spending on the Unwise with Fairness

Allah said,

[وَارْزُقُوهُمْ فِيهَا وَاكْسُوهُمْ وَقُولُواْ لَهُمْ قَوْلاً مَّعْرُوفاً]

(but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas commented, "Do not give your wealth, what Allah has made you responsible for and made a means of sustenance to you, to your wife or children. Rather, hold on to your money, take care of it, and be the one who spends on them for clothes, food and provision.'' Mujahid said that the Ayah,

[وَقُولُواْ لَهُمْ قَوْلاً مَّعْرُوفاً]

(and speak to them words of kindness and justice.) refers to kindness and keeping good relations. This honorable Ayah commands kind treatment, in deed, with family and those under one's care. One should spend on them for clothes and provisions, and be good to them, such as saying good words to them.

10. Giving Back the Property of the Orphans When They Reach Adulthood

Allah said,

[وَابْتَلُواْ الْيَتَـمَى]

(And test orphans) meaning, test their intelligence, as Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan stated.

[حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغُواْ النِّكَاحَ]

(until they reach the age of marriage), the age of puberty, according to Mujahid. The age of puberty according to the majority of scholars comes when the child has a wet dream. In his Sunan, Abu Dawud recorded that `Ali said, "I memorized these words from the Messenger of Allah ,

لَا يُتْمَ بَعْدَ احْتِلَامٍ، وَلَا صُمَاتَ يَوْمٍ إِلَى اللَّيْل

(There is no orphan after the age of puberty nor vowing to be silent throughout the day to the night.) In another Hadith, `A'ishah and other Companions said that the Prophet said,

رُفِعَ الْقَلَمُ عَنْ ثَلَاثَةٍ، عَنِ الصَّبِيِّ حَتَّى يَحْتَلِمَ، وَعَنِ النَّائِمِ حَتَّى يَسْتَيْقِظَ، وَعَنِ الْمَجْنُونِ حَتَّى يُفِيق

s(The pen does not record the deeds of three persons: the child until the age of puberty, the sleeping person until waking up, and the senile until sane.) Or, the age of fifteen is considered the age of adolescence. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn `Umar said, "I was presented in front of the Prophet on the eve of the battle of Uhud, while I was fourteen years of age, and he did not allow me to take part in that battle. But I was presented in front of him on the eve of the battle of Al-Khandaq (The Trench) when I was fifteen years old, and he allowed me (to join that battle).'' `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz commented when this Hadith reached him, "This is the difference between a child and an adult.'' There is a difference of opinion over whether pubic hair is considered a sign of adulthood, and the correct opinion is that it is. The Sunnah supports this view, according to a Hadith collected by Imam Ahmad from `Atiyah Al-Qurazi who said, We were presented to the Prophet on the day of Qurizah, whoever had pubic hair was killed, whoever did not was left free to go, I was one of those who did not, so I was left free.'' The Four Sunan compilers also recorded similar to it. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.'' Allah's statement,

[فَإِنْ ءَانَسْتُمْ مِّنْهُمْ رُشْداً فَادْفَعُواْ إِلَيْهِمْ أَمْوَلَهُمْ]

(if then you find sound judgment in them, release their property to them,) Sa`id bin Jubayr said that this portion of the Ayah means, when you find them to be good in the religion and wise with their money. Similar was reported from Ibn `Abbas, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and others among the Imams. The scholars of Fiqh stated that when the child becomes good in the religion and wise concerning with money, then the money that his caretaker was keeping for him should be surrendered to him.

11. Poor Caretakers are Allowed to Wisely Spend from the Money of the Orphan Under Their Care, to Compensate for Their Work

Allah said,

[وَلاَ تَأْكُلُوهَآ إِسْرَافاً وَبِدَاراً أَن يَكْبَرُواْ]

(But consume it not wastefully and hastily, fearing that they should grow up.) Allah commands that the money of the orphan should not be spent unnecessarily,

[إِسْرَافاً وَبِدَاراً]

(Wastefully and hastily) for fear they might grow up. Allah also commands,

[وَمَن كَانَ غَنِيّاً فَلْيَسْتَعْفِفْ]

(And whoever among guardians is rich, he should take no wages,) Hence, the guardian who is rich and does not need the orphan's money, should not take any of it as wages.

[وَمَن كَانَ فَقِيراً فَلْيَأْكُلْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ]

(but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable.) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `A'ishah said, "This Ayah,

[وَمَن كَانَ غَنِيّاً فَلْيَسْتَعْفِفْ وَمَن كَانَ فَقِيراً فَلْيَأْكُلْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ]

(And whoever among guardians is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable.) was revealed about the guardian of the orphan and pertains to whatever work he does for the orphan's estate. '' Al-Bukhari also collected this Hadith. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Amr bin Shu`ayb said that his father said that his father told him that a man asked the Messenger of Allah , "I do not have money, but I have an orphan under my care.'' The Messenger said,

كُلْ مِنْ مَالِ يَتِيمِكَ غَيْرَ مُسْرِفٍ وَلَا مُبَذِّرٍ وَلَا مُتَأَثِّلٍ مَالًا، وَمِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ تَقِيَ مَالَكَ أَوْ قَالَ تَفْدِيَ مَالَكَ بِمَالِه

(Eat from your orphan's wealth without extravagance or wastefulness, or mixing it, and without saving your money by spending his.)'' Allah said,

[فَإِذَا دَفَعْتُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ أَمْوَلَهُمْ]

(And when you release their property to them.) after they become adults, and you see that they are wise, then,

[فَأَشْهِدُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ]

(take a witness in their presence;) Allah commands the guardians of orphans to surrender the property of the orphans who become consenting adults, in the presence of witnesses, so that none of them denies the fact that he received his money. Allah said next,

[وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ حَسِيباً]

(and Allah is All-Sufficient in taking account.) meaning, Allah is sufficient as Witness, Reckoner and Watcher over their work for orphans, and when they surrender their money to them, whether their property was complete and whole, or deficient and less. Indeed, Allah knows all of that. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

يَا أَبَا ذَرَ إِنِّي أَرَاكَ ضَعِيفًا، وَإِنِّي أُحِبُّ لَكَ مَا أُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِي، لَا تَأَمَّرَنَّ عَلَى اثْنَيْنِ، وَلَا تَلِيَنَّ مَالَ يَتِيم

(O Abu Dharr! Verily, you are weak, and I love for you what I love for myself. Do not become a leader of two nor assume guardianship of an orphan's property.)

[لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصيِبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَلِدَنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبُونَ وَلِلنِّسَآءِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَلِدَنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبُونَ مِمَّا قَلَّ مِنْهُ أَوْ كَثُرَ نَصِيباً مَّفْرُوضاً - وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ أُوْلُواْ الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَـمَى وَالْمَسَـكِينُ فَارْزُقُوهُمْ مِّنْهُ وَقُولُواْ لَهُمْ قَوْلاً مَّعْرُوفاً - وَلْيَخْشَ الَّذِينَ لَوْ تَرَكُواْ مِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّةً ضِعَـفاً خَافُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَلْيَتَّقُواّ اللَّهَ وَلْيَقُولُواْ قَوْلاً سَدِيداً - إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَلَ الْيَتَـمَى ظُلْماً إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِى بُطُونِهِمْ نَاراً وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيراً ]

(7. There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest in relation, whether the property be small or large -- a legal share.) (8. And when the relatives, and the orphans, and the poor are present at the time of division, give them from the property, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.) (9. And let those (executors and guardians) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own, if they had left weak offspring behind. So, let them have Taqwa of Allah and speak truthfully.) (10. Verily, those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, they eat up only a fire into their bellies, and they will be burnt in the blazing Fire!)

12. The Necessity of Surrendering the Inheritance According to the Portions that Allah Ordained

Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah said, "The idolators used to give adult men a share of inheritance and deprive women and children of it. Allah revealed;

[لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصيِبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَلِدَنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبُونَ]

(There is a share for men from what is left by parents and those nearest in relation).'' Therefore, everyone is equal in Allah's decision to inherit, even though their shares vary according to the degree of their relationship to the deceased, whether being a relative, spouse, etc. Ibn Marduwyah reported that Jabir said, "Umm Kujjah came to the Messenger of Allah and said to him, `O Messenger of Allah! I have two daughters whose father died, and they do not own anything.' So Allah revealed;

[لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصيِبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَلِدَنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبُونَ]

(There is a share for men from what is left by parents and those nearest in relation.)'' We will mention this Hadith when explaining the two Ayat about inheritance. Allah knows best. Allah said,

[وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ]

(are present at the time of division,) those who do not have a share in the inheritance,

[وَالْيَتَـمَى وَالْمَسَـكِينُ]

(and the orphans and the poor), are also present upon dividing the inheritance, give them a share of the inheritance. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Ayah,

[وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ أُوْلُواْ الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَـمَى وَالْمَسَـكِينُ]

(And when the relatives and the orphans and the poor are present at the time of division), was not abrogated. Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that this Ayah still applies and should be implemented. Ath-Thawri said that Ibn Abi Najih narrated from Mujahid that implementing this Ayah, "Is required from those who have anything to inherit, paid from whatever portions their hearts are satisfied with giving away.'' Similar explanation was reported from Ibn Mas`ud, Abu Musa, `Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakr, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ash-Sha`bi and Al-Hasan. Ibn Sirin, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Makhul, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, `Ata' bin Abi Rabah, Az-Zuhri and Yahya bin Ya`mar said this payment is obligatory. Others say that this refers to the bequeathal at the time of death. And others say that it was abrogated. Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said that this Ayah,

[وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ]

(And when are present at the time of division), refers to divisions of inheritance. So, when poor relatives, who are ineligible for inheritance, orphans, and the poor attend the division of the inheritance, which is sometimes substantial, their hearts will feel eager to have a share, seeing each eligible person assuming his share; while they are desperate, yet are not given anything. Allah the Most Kind, Most Compassionate, commands that they should have a share in the inheritance as an act of kindness, charity, compassion and mercy for them.

13. Observing Fairness in the Will

Allah said,

[وَلْيَخْشَ الَّذِينَ لَوْ تَرَكُواْ مِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ]

(And let those have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own, if they had left behind...) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said that this part of the Ayah, "Refers to a man who is near death and he dictates a will and testament that harms some of the rightful inheritors. Allah commands whoever hears such will to fear Allah, and direct the dying man to do what is right and to be fair, being as eager to protect the inheritors of the dying man as he would be with his own.'' Similar was reported from Mujahid and several others. The Two Sahihs record that when the Messenger of Allah visited Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas during an illness he suffered from, Sa`d said to the Messenger, "O Messenger of Allah! I am wealthy and have no inheritors except a daughter. Should I give two-thirds of my property in charity'' He said, "No.'' Sa`d asked, "Half'' He said, "No.'' Sa`d said, "One-third'' The Prophet said;

الثُّلُثُ، وَالثُّلُثُ كَثِير

(One-third, and even one-third is too much.) The Messenger of Allah then said,

إِنَّكَ أَنْ تَذَرَ وَرَثَتَكَ أَغْنِيَاءَ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَنْ تَذَرَهُمْ عَالَةً يَتَكَفَّفُونَ النَّاس

(You'd better leave your inheritors wealthy rather than leaving them poor, begging from others.)

14. A Stern Warning Against Those Who Use Up the Orphan's Wealth

It was also said that the Ayah

[وَلاَ تَأْكُلُوهَآ إِسْرَافاً وَبِدَاراً أَن يَكْبَرُواْ]

(consume it not wastefully and hastily, fearing that they should grow up,) means, let them have Taqwa of Allah when taking care of the orphan's wealth, as Ibn Jarir recorded from Al-`Awfi who reported this explanation from Ibn `Abbas. This is a sound opinion that is supported by the warning that follows against consuming the orphan's wealth unjustly. In this case, the meaning becomes: Just as you would want your offspring to be treated fairly after you, then treat other people's offspring fairly when you are given the responsibility of caring for them. Allah proclaims that those who unjustly consume the wealth of orphans, will be eating fire into their stomach, this is why Allah said,

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَلَ الْيَتَـمَى ظُلْماً إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِى بُطُونِهِمْ نَاراً وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيراً ]

(Verily, those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, they eat up only a fire into their bellies, and they will be burnt in the blazing Fire!) meaning, when you consume the orphan's wealth without a right, then you are only consuming fire, which will kindle in your stomach on the Day of Resurrection. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

اجْتَنِبُوا السَّبْعَ الْمُوبِقَات

(Avoid the seven great destructive sins. ) The people asked, "O Allah's Messenger! What are they'' He said,

الشِّرْكُ بِاللهِ، وَالسِّحْرُ، وَقَتْلُ النَّفْسِ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ، وَأَكْلُ الرِّبَا، وَأَكْلُ مَالِ الْيَتِيمِ، وَالتَّوَلِّي يَوْمَ الزَّحْفِ، وَقَذْفُ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ الْغَافِلَات

(To join others in worship along with Allah, magic, to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause, to consume interest, to consume an orphan's property, to turn your back to the enemy and flee from the battlefield at the time of fighting, and to accuse chaste women who never even think of anything harmful to their chastity being good believers.)

[يُوصِيكُمُ اللَّهُ فِى أَوْلَـدِكُمْ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الاٍّنْثَيَيْنِ فَإِن كُنَّ نِسَآءً فَوْقَ اثْنَتَيْنِ فَلَهُنَّ ثُلُثَا مَا تَرَكَ وَإِن كَانَتْ وَحِدَةً فَلَهَا النِّصْفُ وَلاًّبَوَيْهِ لِكُلِّ وَحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ مِمَّا تَرَكَ إِن كَانَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ فَإِن لَّمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُ وَلَدٌ وَوَرِثَهُ أَبَوَاهُ فَلاٌّمِّهِ الثُّلُثُ فَإِن كَانَ لَهُ إِخْوَةٌ فَلاٌّمِّهِ السُّدُسُ مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصِى بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ ءَابَآؤُكُمْ وَأَبناؤُكُمْ لاَ تَدْرُونَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ لَكُمْ نَفْعاً فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً ]

(11. Allah commands you for your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two - females; if only daughters, two or more, their share is two thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is half. For parents, a sixth share of inheritance to each if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased left brothers or (sisters), the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts. You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are nearest to you in benefit, (these fixed shares) are ordained by Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.)

15. Learning the Various Shares of the Inheritance is Encouraged

This, the following, and the last honorable Ayah in this Surah contain the knowledge of Al-Fara'id, inheritance. The knowledge of Al-Fara'id is derived from these three Ayat and from the Hadiths on this subject which explain them. Learning this knowledge is encouraged, especially the specific things mentioned in the Ayat. Ibn `Uyaynah said; "Knowledge of Al-Fara'id was called half of knowledge, because it effects all people.''

16. The Reason Behind Revealing Ayah 4:11

Explaining this Ayah, Al-Bukhari recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said, "Allah's Messenger came visiting me on foot with Abu Bakr at Banu Salamah's (dwellings), and the Prophet found me unconscious. He asked for some water, performed ablution with it, then poured it on me, and I regained consciousness. I said, `What do you command me to do with my money, O Allah's Messenger' this Ayah was later revealed,

[يُوصِيكُمُ اللَّهُ فِى أَوْلَـدِكُمْ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الاٍّنْثَيَيْنِ]

(Allah commands you for your children's (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females)." This is how it was recorded by Muslim and An-Nasa'i. The remainder of the Six compilers also collected this Hadith. Another Hadith from Jabir concerning the reason behind revealing Ayah 4:11 Ahmad recorded from Jabir that he said, "The wife of Sa`d bin Ar-Rabi` came to Allah's Messenger and said to him, `O Allah's Messenger! These are the two daughters of Sa`d bin Ar-Rabi`, who was killed as a martyr at Uhud. Their uncle took their money and did not leave anything for them. They will not be married unless they have money.' The Messenger said, `Allah will decide on this matter.' The Ayah about the inheritance was later revealed and the Messenger of Allah sent word to their uncle commanding him,

أَعْطِ ابْنَتَيْ سَعْدٍ الثُّلُثَيْنِ، وَأُمَّهُمَا الثُّمُنَ، وَمَا بقِيَ فَهُوَ لَك

(Give two-thirds (of Sa`d's money) to Sa`d's two daughters and one eighth for their mother, and whatever is left is yours.)'' Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith. It is apparent, however, that the first Hadith from Jabir was about the case of the last Ayah in the Surah [4:176, rather than 4:11], for at the time this incident occurred, Jabir had sisters and did not have daughters, parents or offspring to inherit from him. Yet, we mentioned the Hadith here just as Al-Bukhari did.

17. Males Get Two Times the Share of Females for Inheritance

Allah said,

[يُوصِيكُمُ اللَّهُ فِى أَوْلَـدِكُمْ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الاٍّنْثَيَيْنِ]

(Allah commands you for your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females;) Allah commands: observe justice with your children. The people of Jahiliyyah used to give the males, but not the females, a share in the inheritance. Therefore, Allah commands that both males and females take a share in the inheritance, although the portion of the males is twice as much as that of the females. There is a distinction because men need money to spend on their dependants, commercial transactions, work and fulfillling their obligations. Consequently, men get twice the portion of the inheritance that females get. Allah's statement,

[يُوصِيكُمُ اللَّهُ فِى أَوْلَـدِكُمْ لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الاٍّنْثَيَيْنِ]

(Allah commands you for your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females;) testifies to the fact that Allah is more merciful with children than their own parents are with them, since He commands the parents to be just and fair with their own children. An authentic Hadith stated that a captured woman was looking for her child and when she found him, she held him, gave him her breast and nursed him. The Messenger of Allah said to his Companions,

أَتُرَوْنَ هذِهِ طَارِحَةً وَلَدَهَا فِي النَّارِ وَهِيَ تَقْدِرُ عَلى ذَلِك

؟ (Do you think that this woman would willingly throw her child in the fire) They said, "No, O Messenger of Allah.'' He said,

فَوَاللهِ للهُ أَرْحَمُ بِعِبَادِهِ مِنْ هذِهِ بِوَلَدِهَا

(By Allah! Allah is more merciful with His servants than this woman is with her own child.) Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "The custom (in old days) was that the property of the deceased would be inherited by his offspring; as for the parents (of the deceased), they would inherit by the will of the deceased. Then Allah cancelled whatever He willed from that custom and ordained that the male get twice the amount inherited by the female, and for each parent a sixth (of the whole legacy), for the wife an eighth or a fourth, and for the husband a half or a fourth.''

18. The Share of the Females When They Are the Only Eligible Heirs

Allah said,

[فَإِن كُنَّ نِسَآءً فَوْقَ اثْنَتَيْنِ فَلَهُنَّ ثُلُثَا مَا تَرَكَ]

(if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance;) We should mention here that some people said the Ayah only means two daughters, and that `more' is redundant, which is not true. Nothing in the Qur'an is useless or redundant. Had the Ayah been talking about only two women, it would have said, "The share of both of them is two-thirds.'' As for the daughters, two or more, the ruling that they get two-thirds was derived from this Ayah, stating that the two sisters get two-thirds. We also mentioned the Hadith in which the Prophet commanded that two-thirds be the share of the two daughters of Sa`d bin Ar-Rabi`. So this is proven in the Book and the Sunnah.

[وَإِن كَانَتْ وَحِدَةً فَلَهَا النِّصْفُ]

(if only one, her share is half.) If there are two daughters, then there are texts to prove they share a half. Therefore, two-thirds is the share of the two daughters or sisters, and Allah knows best.

19. Share of the Parents in the Inheritance

Allah said,

[وَلاًّبَوَيْهِ لِكُلِّ وَحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ]

(For parents, a sixth share of inheritance to each) There are several forms of the share that the parents get in the inheritance. 1. If the deceased left behind children, the parents get a sixth each. When the deceased had only one daughter, she gets half of the inheritance and the parents each one sixth, and another sixth is given to the father. 2. When the parents are the only inheritors, the mother gets one-third while the father gets the remaining two-thirds. In this case, the father's share will be twice the mother's share. If the deceased had a surviving spouse, the spouse gets half, in the case of a husband, or a fourth in the case of a surviving wife. In both cases, the mother of the deceased gets one-third of the remaining inheritance. This is because the remaining portion of the inheritance is treated just as the entire legacy in regard to the parents' share. Allah has given the mother one-half of what the father gets. Therefore, the mother gets a third of the remaining inheritance while the father gets two-thirds. 3. If the deceased left behind surviving brothers and sisters, whether half brothers, half sisters or from the same father and mother, their presence does not cause reduction in the father's share. Yet, their presence reduces the share of the mother to one-sixth instead of one-third, and the father gets the rest, when there are no other heirs. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Qatadah commented on the Ayah,

[فَإِن كَانَ لَهُ إِخْوَةٌ فَلاٌّمِّهِ السُّدُسُ]

(If the deceased left brothers or (sisters), the mother has a sixth.) "Their presence will reduce the share of the mother, but they will not inherit. If there is only one surviving brother, the mother's share will remain one-third, but her share will be reduced if there is more than one surviving brother. The people of knowledge attribute this reduction in the mother's share from one-third (to one-sixth) to the fact that the father is the one who helps the brothers (and sisters) of the deceased get married, spending from his own money for this purpose. The mother does not spend from her money for this purpose.'' This is a sound opinion.

20. First the Debts are Paid Off, then the Will, then the Fixed Inheritance

Allah said,

[مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصَى بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ]

((The distribution in all cases is) after the payment of legacies he may have bequeathed or debts.) The scholars of the Salaf and the Khalaf agree that paying debts comes before fulfilling the will, and this is apparent to those who read the Ayah carefully. Allah said next,

[ءَابَآؤُكُمْ وَأَبناؤُكُمْ لاَ تَدْرُونَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ لَكُمْ نَفْعاً]

(You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are nearest to you in benefit.) This Ayah means: We have appointed a share to the parents and children, contrary to the practice of Jahiliyyah and the early Islamic era, when the inheritance would go to the children, and parents get a share only if they were named in the will, as Ibn `Abbas stated. Allah abrogated this practice and appointed a fixed share for the children and for the parents. One may derive benefit in this life or for the Hereafter from his parents, the likes of which he could not get from his children. The opposite of this could also be true. Allah said,

[ءَابَآؤُكُمْ وَأَبناؤُكُمْ لاَ تَدْرُونَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ لَكُمْ نَفْعاً]

(You know not which of them, whether your parents or your children, are nearest to you in benefit,): since benefit could come from one or the other of these relatives, We appointed a fixed share of inheritance for each. Allah knows best. Allah said,

[فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللَّهِ]

(ordained by Allah), meaning: These appointed shares of inheritance that We mentioned and which give some inheritors a bigger share than others, is a commandment from Allah that He has decided and ordained,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً]

(And Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.), Who places everything in its rightful place and gives each his rightful share.

[وَلَكُمْ نِصْفُ مَا تَرَكَ أَزْوَجُكُمْ إِنْ لَّمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُنَّ وَلَدٌ فَإِن كَانَ لَهُنَّ وَلَدٌ فَلَكُمُ الرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْنَ مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصِينَ بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ وَلَهُنَّ الرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُمْ إِن لَّمْ يَكُنْ لَّكُمْ وَلَدٌ فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمْ وَلَدٌ فَلَهُنَّ الثُّمُنُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُم مِّن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ تُوصُونَ بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ وَإِن كَانَ رَجُلٌ يُورَثُ كَلَـلَةً أَو امْرَأَةٌ وَلَهُ أَخٌ أَوْ أُخْتٌ فَلِكُلِّ وَحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ فَإِن كَانُواْ أَكْثَرَ مِن ذلِكَ فَهُمْ شُرَكَآءُ فِى الثُّلُثِ مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصَى بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ غَيْرَ مُضَآرٍّ وَصِيَّةً مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَلِيمٌ ]

(12. In that which your wives leave, your share is half if they have no child; but if they leave a child, you get a fourth of that which they leave after payment of legacies that they may have bequeathed or debts. In that which you leave, their (your wives) share is a fourth if you leave no child; but if you leave a child, they get an eighth of that which you leave after payment of legacies that you may have bequeathed or debts. If the man or woman whose inheritance is in Kalalah has left neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third; after payment of legacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused (to anyone). This is a Commandment from Allah; and Allah is Ever All-Knowing, Most Forbearing.)

21. Share of the Spouses in the Inheritance

Allah says to the husband, you get half of what your wife leaves behind if she dies and did not have a child. If she had a child, you get one-fourth of what she leaves behind, after payment of legacies that she may have bequeathed, or her debts. We mentioned before that payment of debts comes before fulfilling the will, and then comes the will, then the inheritance, and there is a consensus on this matter among the scholars. And the rule applies to the grandchildren as well as the children, even if they are great-grandchildren (or even further in generation) Allah then said,

[وَلَهُنَّ الرُّبُعُ مِمَّا تَرَكْتُمْ]

(In that which you leave, their (your wives) share is a fourth) and if there is more than one wife, they all share in the fourth, or one-eighth that the wife gets. Earlier, we explained Allah's statement,

[مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ]

(After payment of legacies)

22. The Meaning of Kalalah

Allah said,

[وَإِن كَانَ رَجُلٌ يُورَثُ كَلَـلَةً]

(If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question was left in Kalalah.) Kalalah is a derivative of Iklil; the crown that surrounds the head. The meaning of Kalalah in this Ayah is that the person's heirs come from other than the first degree of relative. Ash-Sha`bi reported that when Abu Bakr As-Siddiq was asked about the meaning of Kalalah, he said, "I will say my own opinion about it, and if it is correct, then this correctness is from Allah. However, if my opinion is wrong, it will be my error and because of the evil efforts of Shaytan, and Allah and His Messenger have nothing to do with it. Kalalah refers to the man who has neither descendants nor ascendants.'' When `Umar became the Khalifah, he said, "I hesitate to contradict an opinion of Abu Bakr.'' This was recorded by Ibn Jarir and others. In his Tafsir, Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "I was among the last persons to see `Umar bin Al-Khattab, and he said to me, `What you said was the correct opinion.' I asked, `What did I say' He said, `That Kalalah refers to the person who has no child or parents.''' This is also the opinion of `Ali bin Abi Talib, Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn `Abbas, Zayd bin Thabit, Ash-Sha`bi, An-Nakha`i, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah, Jabir bin Zayd and Al-Hakam . This is also the view of the people of Al-Madinah, Kufah, Basrah, the Seven Fuqaha', the Four Imams and the majority of scholars of the past and present, causing some scholars to declare that there is a consensus on this opinion.

23. The Ruling Concerning Children of the Mother From Other Than the Deceased's Father

Allah said,

[وَلَهُ أَخٌ أَوْ أُخْتٌ]

(But has left a brother or a sister), meaning, from his mother's side, as some of the Salaf stated, including Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas. Qatadah reported that this is the view of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq.

[فَلِكُلِّ وَحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا السُّدُسُ فَإِن كَانُواْ أَكْثَرَ مِن ذلِكَ فَهُمْ شُرَكَآءُ فِى الثُّلُثِ]

(Each one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third.) There is a difference between the half brothers from the mother's side and the rest of the heirs. First, they get a share in the inheritance on account of their mother. Second, the males and females among them get the same share. Third, they only have a share in the inheritance when the deceased's estate is inherited in Kalalah, for they do not have a share if the deceased has a surviving father, grandfather, child or grandchild. Fourth, they do not have more than a third, no matter how numerous they were. aAllah's statement,

[مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصَى بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ غَيْرَ مُضَآرٍّ]

(After payment of legacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused (to anyone).) means, let the will and testament be fair and free of any type of harm, without depriving some rightful heirs from all, or part of their share, or adding to the fixed portion that Allah or dained for some heirs. Indeed, whoever does this, will have disputed with Allah concerning His decision and division. An authentic Hadith states,

إِنَّ اللهَ قَدْ أَعْطَى كُلَّ ذِي حَقَ حَقَّهُ فَلَا وَصِيَّةَ لِوَارِث

(Allah has given each his fixed due right. Therefore, there is no will for a rightful inheritor.)

[تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا وَذلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ - وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَاراً خَـلِداً فِيهَا وَلَهُ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ ]

(13. These are the limits (set by) Allah, and whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide therein, and is the great success.) (14. And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, and transgresses His (set) limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall suffer a disgraceful torment.)

24. Warning Against Transgressing the Limits for Inheritance

Meaning, the Fara'id are Allah's set limits. This includes what Allah has alloted for the heirs, according to the degree of relation they have to the deceased, and their degree of dependency on him. Therefore, do not transgress or violate them. So Allah said;

[وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ]

(And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger,) regarding the inheritance, and does not add or decrease any of these fixed shares by use of tricks and plots. Rather, he gives each his appointed share as Allah commanded, ordained and decided,

[تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا وَذلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ - وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَاراً خَـلِداً فِيهَا وَلَهُ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ ]

(Will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), to abide therein, and is the great success. And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, and transgresses His (set) limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment.) This is because he changed what Allah has ordained and disputed with His judgment. Indeed, this is the behavior of those who do not agree with what Allah has decided and divided, and this is why Allah punishes them with humiliation in the eternal, painful torment. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that, the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْخَيْرِ سَبْعِينَ سَنَةً، فَإِذَا أَوْصَى حَافَ فِي وَصِيَّتِهِ، فَيُخْتَمُ لَهُ بِشَرِّ عَمَلِهِ، فَيَدْخُلُ النَّارَ، وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الشَّرِّ سَبْعِينَ سَنَةً، فَيَعْدِلُ فِي وَصِيَّتِهِ فَيُخْتَمُ لَهُ بِخَيْرِ عَمَلِهِ فَيَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّة

(A man might perform the actions of righteous people for seventy years, but when it is time to compile his will, he commits injustice. So his final work will be his worst, and he thus enters the Fire. A man might perform the deeds of evil people for seventy years, yet he is fair in his will. So his final work will be his best, and he thus enters Paradise.) Abu Hurayrah said, "Read, if you will,

[تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ]

(These are the limits (set by) Allah) until,

[عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ]

(a disgraceful torment.).'' In the chapter on injustice in the will, Abu Dawud recorded in his Sunan that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ أَوِ الْمَرْأَةَ بِطَاعَةِ اللهِ سِتِّينَ سَنَةً، ثُمَّ يَحْضُرُهُمَا الْمَوْتُ، فَيُضَارَّانِ فِي الْوَصِيَّـةِ، فَتَجِبُ لَهُمَا النَّار

(A man or a woman might perform actions in obedience to Allah for sixty years. Yet, when they are near death, they leave an unfair will and thus acquire the Fire.) Abu Hurayrah then recited the Ayah,

[مِن بَعْدِ وَصِيَّةٍ يُوصَى بِهَآ أَوْ دَيْنٍ غَيْرَ مُضَآرٍّ]

(After payment of legacies he (or she) may have bequeathed or debts, so that no loss is caused), until,

[وَذلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ]

(and that is the great success.) This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib''.

[وَاللَـتِى يَأْتِينَ الْفَـحِشَةَ مِن نِّسَآئِكُمْ فَاسْتَشْهِدُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ أَرْبَعةً مِّنْكُمْ فَإِن شَهِدُواْ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ فِى الْبُيُوتِ حَتَّى يَتَوَفَّاهُنَّ الْمَوْتُ أَوْ يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلاً - وَاللَّذَانَ يَأْتِيَـنِهَا مِنكُمْ فَـَاذُوهُمَا فَإِن تَابَا وَأَصْلَحَا فَأَعْرِضُواْ عَنْهُمَآ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ تَوَّاباً رَّحِيماً ]

(15. And those of your women who commit illegal sexual intercourse, take the evidence of four witnesses from among you against them; and if they testify, confine them (i.e. women) to houses until death comes to them or Allah ordains for them some (other) way.) (16. And the two persons among you who commit illegal sexual intercourse, punish them both. And if they repent and do righteous good deeds, leave them alone. Surely, Allah is Ever the One Who accepts repentance, (and He is) Most Merciful.)

25. The Adulteress is Confined in her House; A Command Later Abrogated

At the begining of Islam, the ruling was that if a woman commits adultery as stipulated by sufficient proof, she was confined to her home, without leave, until she died. Allah said,

[وَاللَـتِى يَأْتِينَ الْفَـحِشَةَ]

يعني الزنا

[مِن نِّسَآئِكُمْ فَاسْتَشْهِدُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ أَرْبَعةً مِّنْكُمْ فَإِن شَهِدُواْ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ فِى الْبُيُوتِ حَتَّى يَتَوَفَّاهُنَّ الْمَوْتُ أَوْ يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلاً]

(And those of your women who commit illegal sexual intercourse, take the evidence of four witnesses from among you against them; and if they testify, confine them (i.e. women) to houses until death comes to them or Allah ordains for them some (other) way.) `Some other way' mentioned here is the abrogation of this ruling that came later. Ibn `Abbas said, "The early ruling was confinement, until Allah sent down Surat An-Nur (chapter 24) which abrogated that ruling with the ruling of flogging (for fornication) or stoning to death (for adultery).'' Similar was reported from `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, Abu Salih, Qatadah, Zayd bin Aslam and Ad-Dahhak, and this is a matter that is agreed upon. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ubadah bin As-Samit said, "When the revelation descended upon the Messenger of Allah , it would affect him and his face would show signs of strain. One day, Allah sent down a revelation to him, and when the Messenger was relieved of its strain, he said,

خُذُوا عَنِّي، قَدْ جَعَلَ اللهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلًا، الثَّيِّبُ بِالثَّيِّبِ، وَالْبِكْرُ بِالْبِكْرِ، الثَّــيِّبُ جَلْدُ مِائَةٍ، وَرَجْمٌ بِالْحِجَارَةِ، وَالْبِكْرُ جَلْدُ مِائَةٍ ثُمَّ نَفْيُ سَنَة

(Take from me: Allah has made some other way for them. The married with the married, the unmarried with the unmarried. The married gets a hundred lashes and stoning to death, while the unmarried gets a hundred lashes then banishment for a year.)'' Muslim and the collectors of the Sunan recorded that `Ubadah bin As-Samit said that the Prophet said,

خُذُوا عَنِّي خُذُوا عَنِّي، قَدْ جَعَلَ اللهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلًا، الْبِكْرُ بِالْبِكْرِ جَلْدُ مِائَةٍ وَتَغْرِيبُ عَامٍ، وَالثَّيِّبُ بِالثَّيِّبِ جَلْدُ مِائَةٍ وَالرَّجْم

(Take from me, take from me. Allah has made some other way for them: the (unmarried) gets a hundred lashes and banishment for one year, while the (married) gets a hundred lashes and stoning to death.) At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih''. Allah said,

[وَاللَّذَانَ يَأْتِيَـنِهَا مِنكُمْ فَـَاذُوهُمَا]

(And the two persons among you who commit illegal sexual intercourse, punish them both.) Ibn `Abbas and Sa`id bin Jubayr said that this punishment includes cursing, shaming them and beating them with sandals. This was the ruling until Allah abrogated it with flogging or stoning, as we stated. Mujahid said, "It was revealed about the case of two men who do it.'' As if he was referring to the actions of the people of Lut, and Allah knows best. The collectors of Sunan recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ رَأَيْتُمُوهُ يَعْمَلُ عَمَلَ قَوْمِ لُوطٍ، فَاقْتُلُوا الْفَاعِلَ وَالْمَفْعُولَ بِه

(Whoever you catch committing the act of the people of Lut (homosexuality), then kill both parties to the act.) Allah said,

[فَإِن تَابَا وَأَصْلَحَا]

(And if they repent and do righteous good deeds), by refraining from that evil act, and thereafter their actions become righteous,

[فَأَعْرِضُواْ عَنْهُمَآ]

(leave them alone), do not verbally abuse them after that, since he who truly repents is just like he who has no sin,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ تَوَّاباً رَّحِيماً]

(Surely, Allah is Ever the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.) The following is recorded in the Two Sahihs:

إِذَا زَنَتْ أَمَةُ أَحَدِكُمْ، فَلْيَجْلِدْهَا الْحَدَّ، وَلَا يُثَرِّبْ عَلَيْهَا

(When the slave-girl of one of you commits illegal sexual intercouse, let him flog her and not chastise her afterwards. ) because the lashes she receives erase the sin that she has committed.

[إِنَّمَا التَّوْبَةُ عَلَى اللَّهِ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السُّوءَ بِجَهَـلَةٍ ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ يَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً - وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَـتِ حَتَّى إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّى تُبْتُ الاٌّنَ وَلاَ الَّذِينَ يَمُوتُونَ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ أُوْلَـئِكَ أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً ]

(17. Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon [afterwards]; it is they to whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.) (18. And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: "Now I repent;'' nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them, We have prepared a painful torment.)

26. Repentance is Accepted Until one Faces death

Allah states that He accepts repentance of the servant who commits an error in ignorance and then repents, even just before he sees the angel who captures the soul, before his soul reaches his throat. Mujahid and others said, "Every person who disobeys Allah by mistake, or intentionally is ignorant, until he refrains from the sin.'' Qatadah said that Abu Al-`Aliyah narrated that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah used to say, "Every sin that the servant commits, he commits out of ignorance.'' `Abdur-Razzaq narrated that, Ma`mar said that Qatadah said that, the Companions of the Messenger of Allah agreed that every sin that is committed by intention or otherwise, is committed in ignorance.'' Ibn Jurayj said, "Abdullah bin Kathir narrated to me that Mujahid said, `Every person who disobeys Allah (even willfully), is ignorant while committing the act of disobedience.''' Ibn Jurayj said, "`Ata' bin Abi Rabah told me something similar.'' Abu Salih said that Ibn `Abbas commented, "It is because of one's ignorance that he commits the error.'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said about the Ayah,

[ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ]

(and repent soon (afterwards)), "Until just before he (or she) looks at the angel of death.'' Ad-Dahhak said, "Every thing before death is `soon [afterwards].''' Al-Hasan Al-Basri said about the Ayah,

[ثُمَّ يَتُوبُونَ مِن قَرِيبٍ]

(and repent soon afterwards), "Just before his last breath leaves his throat.'' `Ikrimah said, "All of this life is `soon [afterwards].''' Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger said,

إِنَّ اللهَ يَقْبَلُ تَوْبَةَ الْعَبْدِمَالَمْ يُغَرْغِر

(Allah accepts the repentance of the servant as long as the soul does not reach the throat.) This Hadith was also collected by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib''. By mistake, Ibn Majah mentioned that this Hadith was narrated through `Abdullah bin `Amr. However, what is correct is that `Abdullah bin `Umar bin Al-Khattab was the narrator. Allah said,

[فَأُوْلَـئِكَ يَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً]

(It is they to whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.) Surely, when hope in continued living diminishes, the angel of death comes forth and the soul reaches the throat, approaches the chest and arrives at the state where it is being gradually pulled out, then there is no accepted repentance, nor a way out of that certain end. Hence Allah's statements,

[وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَـتِ حَتَّى إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ إِنِّى تُبْتُ الاٌّنَ]

(And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: "Now I repent,'') and,

[فَلَمَّا رَأَوْاْ بَأْسَنَا قَالُواْ ءَامَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ]

(So when they saw Our punishment, they said: "We believe in Allah Alone...'') [40:84] Allah decided that repentance shall not be accepted from the people of the earth when the sun rises from the west, as Allah said,

[يَوْمَ يَأْتِى بَعْضُ ءَايَـتِ رَبِّكَ لاَ يَنفَعُ نَفْسًا إِيمَانُهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ ءَامَنَتْ مِن قَبْلُ أَوْ كَسَبَتْ فِى إِيمَـنِهَا خَيْرًا]

(The day that some of the signs of your Lord do come, no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before, nor earned good through his faith.) [6:158]. oAllah said,

[وَلاَ الَّذِينَ يَمُوتُونَ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ]

(nor of those who die while they are disbelievers.) Consequently, when the disbeliever dies while still a disbeliever and polytheist, his sorrow and repentance shall not avail him. If he were to ransom himself, even with the earth's fill of gold, it will not be accepted from him. Ibn `Abbas, Abu Al-`Aliyah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that the Ayah:

[وَلاَ الَّذِينَ يَمُوتُونَ وَهُمْ كُفَّارٌ]

(nor of those who die while they are disbelievers), was revealed about the people of Shirk. Imam Ahmad recorded that Usamah bin Salman said that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ اللهَ يَقْبَلُ تَوْبَةَ عَبْدِهِ أَوْ يَغْفِرُ لِعَبْدِهِ مَالَمْ يَقَعِ الْحِجَاب

(Allah accepts the repentance of His servant, or forgives His servant, as long as the veil does not drop.) They asked, "And what does the drop of the veil mean '' He said,

أَنْ تَخْرُجَ النَّفْسُ وَهِيَ مُشْرِكَة

(When the soul is removed while one is a polythiest.) Allah then said,

[أُوْلَـئِكَ أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً]

(For them We have prepared a painful torment), torment that is severe, eternal and enormous.

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَرِثُواْ النِّسَآءَ كَرْهاً وَلاَ تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ لِتَذْهَبُواْ بِبَعْضِ مَآ ءَاتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ إِلاَّ أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ فَإِن كَرِهْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئاً وَيَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ فِيهِ خَيْراً كَثِيراً - وَإِنْ أَرَدْتُّمُ اسْتِبْدَالَ زَوْجٍ مَّكَانَ زَوْجٍ وَءَاتَيْتُمْ إِحْدَاهُنَّ قِنْطَاراً فَلاَ تَأْخُذُواْ مِنْهُ شَيْئاً أَتَأْخُذُونَهُ بُهْتَـناً وَإِثْماً مُّبِيناً - وَكَيْفَ تَأْخُذُونَهُ وَقَدْ أَفْضَى بَعْضُكُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ وَأَخَذْنَ مِنكُم مِّيثَـقاً غَلِيظاً - وَلاَ تَنكِحُواْ مَا نَكَحَ ءَابَاؤُكُمْ مِّنَ النِّسَآءِ إِلاَّ مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَـحِشَةً وَمَقْتاً وَسَآءَ سَبِيلاً ]

(19. O you who believe! You are not permitted to inherit women against their will, nor to prevent them from marriage in order to get part of (the dowry) what you have given them, unless they commit open Fahishah. And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.) (20. But if you intend to replace a wife by another and you have given one of them a Qintar, take not the least bit of it back; would you take it wrongfully without a right and (with) a manifest sin) (21. And how could you take it (back) while you have gone in unto each other, and they have taken from you a firm and strong covenant) (22. And marry not women whom your fathers married, except what has already passed; indeed it was shameful and Maqtan, and an evil way.)

27. Meaning of `Inheriting Women Against Their Will

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said about the Ayah,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَرِثُواْ النِّسَآءَ كَرْهاً]

(O you who believe! You are not permitted to inherit women against their will,) "Before, the practice was that when a man dies, his male relatives used to have the right to do whatever they wanted with his wife. If one of them wants, he would marry her, give her in marriage, or prevent her from marriage, for they had more right to her than her own family. Thereafter, this Ayah was revealed about this practice,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَرِثُواْ النِّسَآءَ كَرْهاً]

(O you who believe! You are not permitted to inherit women against their will).''

28. Women Should not Be Treated with Harshness

Allah said,

[وَلاَ تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ لِتَذْهَبُواْ بِبَعْضِ مَآ ءَاتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ]

(nor to prevent them from marriage, in order to take part of what you have given them,) Allah commands: Do not treat the woman harshly so that she gives back all or part of the dowry that she was given, or forfeits one of her rights by means of coercion and oppression. Allah's statement,

[إِلاَّ أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ]

(unless they commit open Fahishah.) Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Ash-Sha`bi, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Muhammad bin Sirin, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, Ad-Dahhak, Abu Qilabah, Abu Salih, As-Suddi, Zayd bin Aslam and Sa`id bin Abi Hilal said that this refers to illicit sex. Meaning that if the wife commits adultery, you are allowed to take back the dowry you gave her. You are also allowed to annoy her, until she gives back the dowry in return for a Khula`.'' In Surat Al-Baqarah, Allah said,

[وَلاَ يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَأْخُذُواْ مِمَّآ ءَاتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ شَيْئًا إِلاَّ أَن يَخَافَآ أَلاَّ يُقِيمَا حُدُودَ اللَّهِ]

(And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of what you have given them, except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah) [2:229]. Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah and Ad-Dahhak said that Fahishah refers to disobedience and defiance. Ibn Jarir chose the view that it is general, encompasses all these meanings, adultery, disobedience, defiance, rudeness, and so forth. Meaning that he is allowed to annoy his wife when she does any of these acts until she forfeits all or part of her rights and he then separates from her, and this [view] is good, and Allah knows best.

29. Live With Women Honorably

Allah said,

[وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ]

(And live with them honorably), by saying kind words to them, treating them kindly and making your appearance appealing for them, as much as you can, just as you like the same from them. Allah said in another Ayah,

[وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِى عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ]

(And they have rights similar over them to what is reasonable) [2:228]. The Messenger of Allah said,

خَيْرُكُمْ خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِهِ، وَأَنَا خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِي

(The best among you is he who is the best with his family. Verily, I am the best one among you with my family.) It was the practice of the Messenger of Allah to be kind, cheerful, playful with his wives, compassionate, spending on them and laughing with them. The Messenger used to race with `A'ishah, the Mother of the Faithful, as a means of kindness to her. `A'ishah said, "The Messenger of Allah raced with me and I won the race. This occurred before I gained weight, and afterwards I raced with him again, and he won that race. He said,

هذِهِ بِتِلْك

(This [victory ] is for that [victory].)'' When the Prophet was at the home of one of his wives, sometimes all of his wives would meet there and eat together, and they would then go back to their homes. He and his wife would sleep in the same bed, he would remove his upper garment, sleeping in only his lower garment. The Prophet used to talk to the wife whose night it was, after praying `Isha' and before he went to sleep. Allah said,

[لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ]

(Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow) [33:21]. Allah said,

[فَإِن كَرِهْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئاً وَيَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ فِيهِ خَيْراً كَثِيراً]

(If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.) Allah says that your patience, which is demonstrated by keeping wives whom you dislike, carries good rewards for you in this life and the Hereafter. Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah, "That the husband may feel compassion towards his wife and Allah gives him a child with her, and this child carries tremendous goodness.'' An authentic Hadith states,

لَا يَفْرَكْ مُؤْمِنٌ مُؤْمِنَةً، إِنْ سَخِطَ مِنْهَا خُلُقًا، رَضِيَ مِنْهَا آخَر

(No believing man should hate his believing wife. If he dislikes a part of her conduct, he would surely like another.)

30. The Prohibition of Taking Back the Dowry

Allah said,

[وَإِنْ أَرَدْتُّمُ اسْتِبْدَالَ زَوْجٍ مَّكَانَ زَوْجٍ وَءَاتَيْتُمْ إِحْدَاهُنَّ قِنْطَاراً فَلاَ تَأْخُذُواْ مِنْهُ شَيْئاً أَتَأْخُذُونَهُ بُهْتَـناً وَإِثْماً مُّبِيناً ]

(But if you intend to replace a wife by another and you have given one of them a Qintar, take not the least bit of it back; would you take it wrongfully without a right and (with) a manifest sin) The Ayah commands: When one of you wants to divorce a wife and marry another one, he must not take any portion of the dowry he gave to the first wife, even if it were a Qintar of money. We mentioned the meaning of Qintar in the Tafsir of Surah Al `Imran. This Ayah is clear in its indication that the dowry could be substantial. `Umar bin Al-Khattab used to discourage giving a large dowry, but later on changed his view. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Al-`Ajfa' As-Sulami said that he heard `Umar bin Al-Khattab saying, "Do not exaggerate with the dowry of women, had this practice been an honor in this world or a part of Taqwa, then the Prophet would have had more right to practice it than you. The Messenger of Allah never gave any of his wives, nor did any of his daughters receive a dowry more than twelve Uwqiyah. A man used to pay a substantial dowry and thus conceal enmity towards his wife!'' Ahmad and the collectors of Sunan collected this Hadith through various chains of narration, and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih''. Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la recorded that Masruq said, "`Umar bin Al-Khattab stood up on the Minbar of the Messenger of Allah and said, `O people! Why do you exaggerate concerning the dowry given to women The Messenger of Allah and his Companions used to pay up to four hundred Dirhams for a dowry, or less than that. Had paying more for a dowry been a part of Taqwa or an honor, you would not have led them in this practice. Therefore, I do not want to hear about a man who pays more than four hundred Dirhams for a dowry.' He then went down the Minbar, but a woman from Quraysh said to him, `O Leader of the Faithful! You prohibited people from paying more than four hundred Dirhams in a dowry for women' He said, `Yes.' She said, `Have you not heard what Allah sent down in the Qur'an' He said, `Which part of it' She said, `Have you not heard Allah's statement,

[وَءَاتَيْتُمْ إِحْدَاهُنَّ قِنْطَاراً]

(And you have given one of them a Qintar)' He said, `O Allah! Forgive me...' He then went back and stood up on the Minbar saying, `I had prohibited you from paying more than four hundred Dirhams in a dowry for women. So, let everyone pay what he likes from his money.''' The chain of narration for this Hadith is strong.

[وَكَيْفَ تَأْخُذُونَهُ وَقَدْ أَفْضَى بَعْضُكُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ]

(And how could you take it (back) while you have gone in unto each other) how can you take back the dowry from the woman with whom you had sexual relations and she had sexual relations with you Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, As-Suddi and several others said that this means sexual intercourse. The Two Sahihs record that the Messenger of Allah said three times to the spouses who said the Mula`anah;

اللهُ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّ أَحَدَكُمَا كَاذِبٌ، فَهَلْ مِنْكُمَا تَائِبٌ؟

(Allah knows that one of you is a liar, so would any of you repent ) The man said, "O Messenger of Allah! My money,'' referring to the dowry that he gave his wife. The Messenger said,

لَا مَالَ لَكَ، إِنْ كُنْتَ صَدَقْتَ عَلَيْهَا فَهُوَ بِمَا اسْتَحْلَلْتَ مِنْ فَرْجِهَا، وَإِنْ كُنْتَ كَذَبْتَ عَلَيْهَا فَهُوَ أَبْعَدُ لَكَ مِنْهَا

(You have no money. If you are the one who said the truth, the dowry is in return for the right to have sexual intercourse with her. If you are the one who uttered the lie, then this money is even farther from your reach.) Similarly Allah said;

[وَكَيْفَ تَأْخُذُونَهُ وَقَدْ أَفْضَى بَعْضُكُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ وَأَخَذْنَ مِنكُم مِّيثَـقاً غَلِيظاً ]

(And how could you take it (back) while you have gone in unto each other and they have taken from you a firm and strong covenant) (Be kind with women, for you have taken them by Allah's covenant and earned the right to have sexual relations with them by Allah's Word.)

31. Marrying the Wife of the Father is Prohibited

Allah said,

[وَلاَ تَنكِحُواْ مَا نَكَحَ ءَابَاؤُكُمْ مِّنَ النِّسَآءِ]

(And marry not women whom your fathers married,) Allah prohibits marrying the women whom the father married, in honor and respect to the fathers, not allowing their children to have sexual relations with their wives after they die. A woman becomes ineligible for the son of her husband as soon as the marriage contract is conducted, and there is a consensus on this ruling. Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "During the time of Jahiliyyah, the people used to prohibit what Allah prohibits (concerning marriage), except marrying the stepmother and taking two sisters as rival wives. Allah sent down,

[وَلاَ تَنكِحُواْ مَا نَكَحَ ءَابَاؤُكُمْ مِّنَ النِّسَآءِ]

(And marry not women whom your fathers married,) and,

[وَأَن تَجْمَعُواْ بَيْنَ الاٍّخْتَيْنِ]

(and two sisters in wedlock at the same time) [4:23].'' Similar was reported from `Ata' and Qatadah. Therefore, the practice that the Ayah mentions is prohibited for this Ummah, being disgraced as an awful sin, r

[إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَـحِشَةً وَمَقْتاً وَسَآءَ سَبِيلاً]

(Indeed it was shameful and Maqtan, and an evil way.) Allah said in other Ayat,

[وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الْفَوَحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ]

(Come not near to Al-Fawahish (shameful acts) whether committed openly or secretly) [6:151], and,

[وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَآءَ سَبِيلاً ]

(And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Fahishah and an evil way.) [17:32] In this Ayah (4:22), Allah added,

[وَمَقْتاً]

(and Maqtan), meaning, offensive. It is a sin itself and causes the son to hate his father after he marries his wife. It is usual that whoever marries a woman dislikes those who married her before him. This is one reason why the Mothers of the Faithful were not allowed for anyone in marriage after the Messenger . They are indeed the Mothers of the Faithful since they married the Messenger , who is like the father to the believers. Rather, the Prophet's right is far greater than the right of a father, and his love comes before each person loving himself, may Allah's peace and blessings be on him. `Ata' bin Abi Rabah said that the Ayah,

[وَمَقْتاً]

(and Maqtan), means, Allah will hate him,

[وَسَآءَ سَبِيلاً]

(and an evil way), for those who take this way. Therefore, those who commit this practice will have committed an act of reversion from the religion and deserve capital punishment and confiscation of their property, which will be given to the Muslim Treasury. Imam Ahmad and the collectors of Sunan recorded that Al-Bara' bin `Azib said that his uncle Abu Burdah was sent by the Messenger of Allah to a man who married his stepmother to execute him and confiscate his money.

[حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَـتُكُمْ وَبَنَـتُكُمْ وَأَخَوَتُكُمْ وَعَمَّـتُكُمْ وَخَـلَـتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُ الاٌّخِ وَبَنَاتُ الاٍّخْتِ وَأُمَّهَـتُكُمُ الْلاَّتِى أَرْضَعْنَكُمْ وَأَخَوَتُكُم مِّنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ وَأُمَّهَـتُ نِسَآئِكُمْ وَرَبَائِبُكُمُ اللَّـتِى فِى حُجُورِكُمْ مِّن نِّسَآئِكُمُ اللَّـتِى دَخَلْتُمْ بِهِنَّ فَإِن لَّمْ تَكُونُواْ دَخَلْتُمْ بِهِنَّ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَحَلَـئِلُ أَبْنَآئِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلَـبِكُمْ وَأَن تَجْمَعُواْ بَيْنَ الاٍّخْتَيْنِ إَلاَّ مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً ]

(23. Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father's sisters, your mother's sisters, your brother's daughters, your sister's daughters, your foster mothers who suckled you, your foster milk suckling sisters, your wives' mothers, your stepdaughters under your guardianship, born of your wives unto whom you have gone in -- but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in unto them (to marry their daughters), -- the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins, and two sisters in wedlock at the same time, except for what has already passed; verily, Allah is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

32. Degrees of Women Never Eligible for One to Marry

This honorable Ayah is the Ayah that establishes the degrees of women relatives who are never eligible for one to marry, because of blood relations, relations established by suckling or marriage. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "(Allah said) I have prohibited for you seven types of relatives by blood and seven by marriage.'' Ibn `Abbas then recited the Ayah,

[حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَـتُكُمْ وَبَنَـتُكُمْ وَأَخَوَتُكُمْ]

(Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters, your sisters...) At-Tabari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Seven degrees of blood relation and seven degrees of marriage relation are prohibited (for marriage).'' He then recited the Ayah,

[حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ أُمَّهَـتُكُمْ وَبَنَـتُكُمْ وَأَخَوَتُكُمْ وَعَمَّـتُكُمْ وَخَـلَـتُكُمْ وَبَنَاتُ الاٌّخِ وَبَنَاتُ الاٍّخْتِ]

(Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father's sisters, your mother's sisters, your brother's daughters, your sister's daughters) and these are the types prohibited by blood relation.'' Allah's statement,

[وَأُمَّهَـتُكُمُ الْلاَّتِى أَرْضَعْنَكُمْ وَأَخَوَتُكُم مِّنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ]

(Your foster mothers who suckled you, your foster milk suckling sisters) means, just as your mother who bore you is prohibited for you in marriage, so is your mother from suckling prohibited for you. Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that `A'ishah, the Mother of the Faithful, said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ الرَّضَاعَةَ تُحَرِّمُ مَا تُحَرِّمُ الْوِلَادَة

(Suckling prohibits what birth prohibits.) In another narration reported by Muslim,

يَحْرُمُ مِنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ مَا يَحْرُمُ مِنَ النَّسَب

(Suckling establishes prohibited degrees just as blood does.)

33. `Suckling' that Establishes Prohibition for Marriage

Less than five incidents of suckling will not establish prohibition for marriage. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that `A'ishah said, "Among the parts of the Qur'an that were revealed, is the statement, `Ten incidents of suckling establishes the prohibition (concerning marriage).' It was later abrogated with five, and the Messenger of Allah died while this statement was still recited as part of the Qur'an.''' A Hadith that Sahlah bint Suhayl narrated states that the Messenger of Allah ordered her to suckle Salim the freed slave of Abu Hudhayfah with five.'' We should assert that the suckling mentioned here must occur before the age of two, as we stated when we explained the Ayah in Surat Al-Baqarah,

[يُرْضِعْنَ أَوْلَـدَهُنَّ حَوْلَيْنِ كَامِلَيْنِ لِمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يُتِمَّ الرَّضَاعَةَ]

((The mothers) should suckle their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling) [2:233]. The Mother-in-Law and Stepdaughter are Prohibited in Marriage Allah said next,

[وَأُمَّهَـتُ نِسَآئِكُمْ وَرَبَائِبُكُمُ اللَّـتِى فِى حُجُورِكُمْ مِّن نِّسَآئِكُمُ اللَّـتِى دَخَلْتُمْ بِهِنَّ فَإِن لَّمْ تَكُونُواْ دَخَلْتُمْ بِهِنَّ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ]

(Your wives' mothers, your stepdaughters under your guardianship, born of your wives unto whom you have gone in - but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in unto them,) As for the mother of the wife, she becomes prohibited for marriage for her son-in-law when the marriage is conducted, whether the son-in-law has sexual relations with her daughter or not. As for the wife's daughter, she becomes prohibited for her stepfather when he has sexual relations with her mother, after the marriage contract is ratified. If the man divorces the mother before having sexual relations with her, he is allowed to marry her daughter. So Allah said;

[وَرَبَائِبُكُمُ اللَّـتِى فِى حُجُورِكُمْ مِّن نِّسَآئِكُمُ اللَّـتِى دَخَلْتُمْ بِهِنَّ فَإِن لَّمْ تَكُونُواْ دَخَلْتُمْ بِهِنَّ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ]

(Your stepdaughters under your guardianship, born of your wives unto whom you have gone in -- but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in unto them,) to marry the stepdaughter.

34. The Stepdaughter is Prohibited in Marriage Even if She Was Not Under the Guardianship of Her Stepfather

Allah said,

[وَرَبَائِبُكُمُ اللَّـتِى فِى حُجُورِكُمْ]

(...your stepdaughters under your guardianship,) The majority of scholars state that the stepdaughter is prohibited in marriage for her stepfather [who consummated his marriage to her mother] whether she was under his guardianship or not. The Two Sahih recorded that Umm Habibah said, "O Messenger of Allah! Marry my sister, the daughter of Abu Sufyan (and in one narration `Azzah bint Abu Sufyan).'' He said,

أَوَ تُحِبِّينَ ذلِك

؟ قالت: نعم. لست لك بمخلية، وأحب من شاركني في خيرٍ أختي، قال:

فَإِنَّ ذلِكِ لَا يَحِلُّ لِي

. قالت: فإنا نتحدث أنك تريد أن تنكح بنت أبي سلمة، قال:

بِنْتَ أُمِّ سَلَمَة

؟ قالت: نعم. قال:

إِنَّهَا لَوْ لَمْ تَكُنْ رَبِيبَتِي فِي حِجْرِي مَا حَلَّتْ لِي، إِنَّهَا لَبِنْتُ أَخِي مِنَ الرَّضَاعَةِ، أَرْضَعَتْنِي وَأَبَا سَلَمَةَ ثُوَيْبَةُ، فَلَا تَعْرِضْنَ عَلَيَّ بَنَاتِكُنَّ وَلَا أَخَوَاتِكُن

("Do you like that I do that'' She said, "I would not give you up for anything, but the best of whom I like to share with me in that which is righteously good, is my sister.'' He said, "That is not allowed for me.'' She said, "We were told that you want to marry the daughter of Abu Salamah.'' He asked, "The daughter of Umm Salamah'' She said, "Yes.'' He said, "Even if she was not my stepdaughter and under my guardianship, she is still not allowed for me because she is my niece from suckling, for Thuwaybah suckled me and Abu Salamah. Therefore, do not offer me to marry your daughters or sisters. '') In another narration from Al-Bukhari,

إِنِّي لَوْ لَمْ أَتَزَوَّجْ أُمَّ سَلَمَةَ مَا حَلَّتْ لِي

(Had I not married Umm Salamah, her daughter would not have been allowed for me anyway.) Consequently, the Messenger stated that his marriage to Umm Salamah was the real reason behind that prohibition.

35. Meaning of `gone in unto them

The Ayah continues,

[اللَّـتِى دَخَلْتُمْ بِهِنَّ]

(Your wives unto whom you have gone in), meaning, had sexual relations with them, according to Ibn `Abbas and several others.

36. Prohibiting the Daughter-in-Law for Marriage

Allah said,

[وَحَلَـئِلُ أَبْنَآئِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلَـبِكُمْ]

(The wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins,) Therefore, you are prohibited to marry the wives of your own sons, but not the wives of your adopted sons, as adoption was common practice in Jahiliyyah. Allah said,

[فَلَمَّا قَضَى زَيْدٌ مِّنْهَا وَطَراً زَوَّجْنَـكَهَا لِكَىْ لاَ يَكُونَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ حَرَجٌ فِى أَزْوَاجِ أَدْعِيَآئِهِمْ]

(So when Zayd had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage, so that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them (i.e. they had divorced them).) [33:37] Ibn Jurayj said, "I asked `Ata' about Allah's statement,

[وَحَلَـئِلُ أَبْنَآئِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلَـبِكُمْ]

(The wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins,) He said, `We were told that when the Prophet married the ex-wife of Zayd (who was the Prophet's adopted son before Islam prohibited this practice), the idolators in Makkah criticized him. Allah sent down the Ayat:

[وَحَلَـئِلُ أَبْنَآئِكُمُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ أَصْلَـبِكُمْ]

(The wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins),

[وَمَا جَعَلَ أَدْعِيَآءَكُمْ أَبْنَآءَكُمْ]

(nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons.) [33:4], and,

[مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَآ أَحَدٍ مّن رِّجَالِكُمْ]

(Muhammad is not the father of any of your men) [33:40].''' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Al-Hasan bin Muhammad said, "These Ayat are encompassing,

[وَحَلَـئِلُ أَبْنَآئِكُمُ]

(the wives of your sons), and,

[وَأُمَّهَـتُ نِسَآئِكُمْ]

(your wives' mothers). This is also the explanation of Tawus, Ibrahim, Az-Zuhri and Makhul. It means that these two Ayat encompass these types of women, whether the marriage was consummated or not, and there is a consensus on this ruling.

37. A Doubt and Rebuttal

Why is the wife of one's son from suckling prohibited for him for marriage - that is, if she is no longer married to his son from suckling - as the majority of scholars state, although they are not related by blood The answer is the Prophet's statement,

يَحْرُمُ مِنَ الرَّضَاعِ مَا يَحْرُمُ مِنَ النَّسَب

(Suckling prohibits what blood relations prohibit.)

38. The Prohibition of Taking Two Sisters as Rival Wives

Allah said,

[وَأَن تَجْمَعُواْ بَيْنَ الاٍّخْتَيْنِ إَلاَّ مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ]

(...and two sisters in wedlock at the same time, except for what has already passed;) The Ayah commands: you are prohibited to take two sisters as rival wives, or rival female-servants, except for what had happened to you during the time of Jahiliyyah, which We have forgiven and erased. Therefore, no one is allowed to take or keep two sisters as rival wives, according to the consensus of the scholars of the Companions, their followers, and the Imams of old and present. They all stated that taking two sisters as rival wives is prohibited, and that whoever embraces Islam while married to two sisters at the same time is given the choice to keep one of them and divorce the other. Imam Ahmad recorded that Ad-Dahhak bin Fayruz said that his father said, "I embraced Islam while married to two sisters at the same time and the Prophet commanded me to divorce one of them.''

[وَالْمُحْصَنَـتُ مِنَ النِّسَآءِ إِلاَّ مَا مَلَكْتَ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ كِتَـبَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأُحِلَّ لَكُمْ مَّا وَرَاءَ ذَلِكُمْ أَن تَبْتَغُواْ بِأَمْوَلِكُمْ مُّحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَـفِحِينَ فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَـَاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً وَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا تَرَاضَيْتُمْ بِهِ مِن بَعْدِ الْفَرِيضَةِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً ]

(24. Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Thus has Allah ordained for you. All others are lawful, provided you seek them (with a dowry) from your property, desiring chastity, not fornication. So with those among them whom you have enjoyed, give them their required due, but if you agree mutually (to give more) after the requirement (has been determined), there is no sin on you. Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.)

39. Forbidding Women Already Married, Except for Female Slaves

Allah said,

[وَالْمُحْصَنَـتُ مِنَ النِّسَآءِ إِلاَّ مَا مَلَكْتَ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ]

(Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess.) The Ayah means, you are prohibited from marrying women who are already married,

[إِلاَّ مَا مَلَكْتَ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ]

(except those whom your right hands possess) except those whom you acquire through war, for you are allowed such women after making sure they are not pregnant. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said, "We captured some women from the area of Awtas who were already married, and we disliked having sexual relations with them because they already had husbands. So, we asked the Prophet about this matter, and this Ayah was revealed, e

[وَالْمُحْصَنَـتُ مِنَ النِّسَآءِ إِلاَّ مَا مَلَكْتَ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ]

(Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess). Consequently, we had sexual relations with these women.'' This is the wording collected by At-Tirmidhi An-Nasa'i, Ibn Jarir and Muslim in his Sahih. Allah's statement,

[كِتَـبَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ]

(Thus has Allah ordained for you) means, this prohibition was ordained for you by Allah. Therefore, adhere to Allah's Book, do not transgress His set limits, and adhere to His legislation and decrees.

40 The Permission to Marry All Other Women

Allah said,

[وَأُحِلَّ لَكُمْ مَّا وَرَاءَ ذَلِكُمْ]

(All others are lawful) meaning, you are allowed to marry women other than the prohibited types mentioned here, as `Ata' and others have stated. Allah's statement,

[أَن تَبْتَغُواْ بِأَمْوَلِكُمْ مُّحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَـفِحِينَ]

(provided you seek them (with a dowry) from your property, desiring chastity, not fornication,) meaning, you are allowed to use your money to marry up to four wives and for (the purchase of) as many female slaves as you like, all through legal means,

[مُّحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَـفِحِينَ]

((desiring) chastity, not fornication.) Allah's statement,

[فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَـَاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً]

(So with those among them whom you have enjoyed, give them their required due,) means, to enjoy them sexually, surrender to them their rightful dowry as compensation. In other Ayat, Allah said,

[وَكَيْفَ تَأْخُذُونَهُ وَقَدْ أَفْضَى بَعْضُكُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ]

(And how could you take it (back) while you have gone in unto each other),

[وَءَاتُواْ النِّسَآءَ صَدُقَـتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً]

(And give to the women (whom you marry) their dowry with a good heart), and,

[وَلاَ يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَأْخُذُواْ مِمَّآ ءَاتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ شَيْئًا]

(And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of what (dowry) you gave them)

41. Prohibiting the Mut`ah of Marriage

Mujahid stated that,

[فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَـَاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً]

(So with those among them whom you have enjoyed, give them their required due,) was revealed about the Mut`ah marriage. A Mut`ah marriage is a marriage that ends upon a predeterminied date. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Leader of the Faithful `Ali bin Abi Talib said, "The Messenger of Allah prohibited Mut`ah marriage and eating the meat of domesticated donkeys on the day of Khaybar (battle).'' In addition, in his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Ar-Rabi` bin Sabrah bin Ma`bad Al-Juhani said that his father said that he accompanied the Messenger of Allah during the conquest of Makkah, and that the Prophet said,

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي كُنْتُ أَذِنْتُ لَكُمْ فِي الاسْتِمْتَاعِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ، وَإنَّ اللهَ قَدْ حَرَّمَ ذَلِكَ إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ، فَمَنْ كَانَ عِنَدَهُ مِنْهُنَّ شَيْءٌ فَلْيُخَلِّ سَبِيلَهُ، وَلَا تَأْخُذُوا مِمَّا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ شيئًا

(O people! I allowed you the Mut`ah marriage with women before. Now, Allah has prohibited it until the Day of Resurrection. Therefore, anyone who has any women in Mut`ah, let him let them go, and do not take anything from what you have given them.) Allah's statement,

[وَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِيمَا تَرَاضَيْتُمْ بِهِ مِن بَعْدِ الْفَرِيضَةِ]

(but if you agree mutually (to give more) after the requirement (has been determined), there is no sin on you.) is similar to His other statement,

[وَءَاتُواْ النِّسَآءَ صَدُقَـتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً]

(And give to the women their dowry with a good heart). The meaning of these Ayat is: If you have stipulated a dowry for her, and she later forfeits it, either totally or partially, then this bears no harm on you or her in this case. Ibn Jarir said, "Al-Hadrami said that some men would designate a certain dowry, but then fall into financial difficulties. Therefore, Allah said that there is no harm on you, O people, concerning your mutual agreement after the requirement (has been determined).'' meaning, if she gives up part of the dowry, then you men are allowed to accept that. Allah's statement,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً]

(Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.) is suitable here, after Allah mentioned these prohibitions.

[وَمَن لَّمْ يَسْتَطِعْ مِنكُمْ طَوْلاً أَن يَنكِحَ الْمُحْصَنَـتِ الْمُؤْمِنَـتِ فَمِنْ مَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُم مِّن فَتَيَـتِكُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَـتِ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِإِيمَـنِكُمْ بَعْضُكُمْ مِّن بَعْضٍ فَانكِحُوهُنَّ بِإِذْنِ أَهْلِهِنَّ وَءَاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ مُحْصَنَـت غَيْرَ مُسَـفِحَـتٍ وَلاَ مُتَّخِذَاتِ أَخْدَانٍ فَإِذَآ أُحْصِنَّ فَإِنْ أَتَيْنَ بِفَـحِشَةٍ فَعَلَيْهِنَّ نِصْفُ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْصَنَـتِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ خَشِىَ الْعَنَتَ مِنْكُمْ وَأَن تَصْبِرُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ]

(25. And whoever of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess, and Allah has full knowledge about your faith, you are one from another. Wed them with the permission of their own folk (guardians) and give them their due in a good manner; they should be chaste, not fornicators, nor promiscuous. And after they have been taken in wedlock, if they commit Fahishah, their punishment is half that for free (unmarried) women. This is for him among you who is afraid of being harmed in his religion or in his body; but it is better for you that you practice self-restraint, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

42. Marrying a Female Slave, if One Cannot Marry a Free Woman

Allah said, those who do not have,

[مِنكُمْ طَوْلاً]

(the means), financial capability,

[أَن يَنكِحَ الْمُحْصَنَـتِ الْمُؤْمِنَـتِ]

(Wherewith to wed free believing women) meaning, free faithful, chaste women.

[فَمِنْ مَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُم مِّن فَتَيَـتِكُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَـتِ]

(They may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess,) meaning, they are allowed to wed believing slave girls owned by the believers.

[وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِإِيمَـنِكُمْ بَعْضُكُمْ مِّن بَعْضٍ]

(and Allah has full knowledge about your faith; you are one from another.) Allah knows the true reality and secrets of all things, but you people know only the apparent things. Allah then said,

[فَانكِحُوهُنَّ بِإِذْنِ أَهْلِهِنَّ]

(Wed them with the permission of their own folk) indicating that the owner is responsible for the slave girl, and consequently, she cannot marry without his permission. The owner is also responsible for his male slave and they cannot wed without his permission. A Hadith states,

أَيُّمَا عَبْدٍتَزَوَّجَ بِغَيْرِ إِذْنِ مَوَالِيهِ،فَهُوَ عَاهِر

(Any male slave who marries without permission from his master, is a fornicator.) When the owner of the female slave is a female, those who are allowed to give away the free woman in marriage, with her permission, become responsible for giving away her female slave in marriage, as well. A Hadith states that

لَا تُزَوِّجِ الْمَرْأَةُ الْمَرْأَةَ، وَلَا الْمَرْأَةُ نَفْسَهَا، فَإِنَّ الزَّانِيَةَ هِيَ الَّتِي تُزَوِّجُ نَفْسَهَا

(The woman does not give away another woman, or herself in marriage, for only the adulteress gives herself away in marriage.) Allah's statement,

[وَءَاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ]

(And give them their due in a good manner;) meaning, pay them their dowry with a good heart, and do not keep any of it, belittling the matter due to the fact that they are owned slaves. Allah's statement,

[مُحْصَنَـت]

(they should be chaste) means, they are honorable women who do not commit adultery, and this is why Allah said,

[غَيْرَ مُسَـفِحَـتٍ]

(not fornicators) referring to dishonorable women, who do not refrain from illicit sexual relations with those who ask. Ibn `Abbas said that the fornicating women are the whores, who do not object to having relations with whomever seeks it, while,

[وَلاَ مُتَّخِذَاتِ أَخْدَانٍ]

(nor promiscuous. ) refers to taking boyfriends. Similar was said by Abu Hurayrah, Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, Ad-Dahhak, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, Yahya bin Abi Kathir, Muqatil bin Hayyan and As-Suddi.

43. The Slave Girl's Punishment for Adultery is Half that of a Free Unmarried Woman

Allah said,

[فَإِذَآ أُحْصِنَّ فَإِنْ أَتَيْنَ بِفَـحِشَةٍ فَعَلَيْهِنَّ نِصْفُ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْصَنَـتِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ]

(And after they have been taken in wedlock, if they commit Fahishah, their punishment is half of that for free (unmarried) women.) this is about the slave women who got married, as indicated by the Ayah;

[وَمَن لَّمْ يَسْتَطِعْ مِنكُمْ طَوْلاً أَن يَنكِحَ الْمُحْصَنَـتِ الْمُؤْمِنَـتِ فَمِنْ مَّا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُم مِّن فَتَيَـتِكُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَـتِ]

(And whoever of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those whom your right hands possess,) Therefore, since the honorable Ayah is about believing slave girls, then,

[فَإِذَآ أُحْصِنَّ]

(And after they have been taken in wedlock,) refers to when they (believing slave girls) get married, as Ibn `Abbas and others have said. Allah's statement,

[نِصْفُ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْصَنَـتِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ]

(their punishment is half of that for free (unmarried) women.) indicates that the type of punishment prescribed here is the one that can be reduced to half, lashes in this case, not stoning to death, and Allah knows best. Allah's statement,

[ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ خَشِىَ الْعَنَتَ مِنْكُمْ]

(This is for him among you who is afraid of being harmed in his religion or in his body;) indicates that marrying slave girls, providing one satisfies the required conditions, is for those who fear for their chastity and find it hard to be patient and refrain from sex. In this difficult circumstance, one is allowed to marry a slave girl. However, it is better to refrain from marrying slave girls and to observe patience, for otherwise, the offspring will become slaves to the girl's master. Allah said,

[وَأَن تَصْبِرُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ]

(but it is better for you that you practice self-restraint, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

[يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَكُمْ وَيَهْدِيَكُمْ سُنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَيَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ - وَاللَّهُ يُرِيدُ أَن يَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَيُرِيدُ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الشَّهَوَتِ أَن تَمِيلُواْ مَيْلاً عَظِيماً - يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنْكُمْ وَخُلِقَ الإِنسَـنُ ضَعِيفاً ]

(26. Allah wishes to make clear (what is lawful and what is unlawful) to you, and to show you the ways of those before you, and accept your repentance, and Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.) (27. Allah wishes to accept your repentance, but those who follow their lusts, wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away (from the right path)) (28. Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak. ) Allah explains to the believers what He has allowed and prohibited for them in this and other Surahs,

[وَيَهْدِيَكُمْ سُنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ]

(And to show you the ways of those before you,) meaning their righteous ways and how to adhere to the commandments that He likes and is pleased with.

[وَيَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ]

(and accept your repentance) from sin and error,

[وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ]

(and Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.) in His commands, decrees, actions and statements. Allah's statement,

[وَيُرِيدُ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الشَّهَوَتِ أَن تَمِيلُواْ مَيْلاً عَظِيماً]

(but those who follow their lusts, wish that you (believers) should deviate tremendously away from the right path)) indicates that the followers of Shaytan among the Jews, Christians and the adulterous, wish that you would take the horrendous path of falsehood instead of the truth.

[يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنْكُمْ]

(Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you'') His legislation, orders, what He prohibits and what He decrees for you. This is why Allah has allowed free men to marry slave girls under certain conditions, as Mujahid and others have stated.

[وَخُلِقَ الإِنسَـنُ ضَعِيفاً]

(and man was created weak.) and this is why it is suitable in his case that the commands are made easy for him, because of his weakness and feebleness. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Tawus said that,

[وَخُلِقَ الإِنسَـنُ ضَعِيفاً]

(and man was created weak), "Concerning women''. Waki` said, "Man's mind leaves when women are involved.''

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَـطِلِ إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَ تِجَـرَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنْكُمْ وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيماً - وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذلِكَ عُدْوَناً وَظُلْماً فَسَوْفَ نُصْلِيهِ نَاراً وَكَانَ ذلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيراً - إِن تَجْتَنِبُواْ كَبَآئِرَ مَا تُنهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنْكُمْ سَيِّئَـتِكُمْ وَنُدْخِلْكُمْ مُّدْخَلاً كَرِيماً ]

(29. O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.) (30. And whoever commits that through aggression and injustice, We shall cast him into the Fire, and that is easy for Allah.) (31. If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise).)

44. Prohibiting Unlawfully Earned Money

Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, prohibits His believing servants from illegally acquiring each other's property using various dishonest methods such as Riba, gambling and other wicked methods that appear to be legal, but Allah knows that, in reality, those involved seek to deal in interest. Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn `Abbas commented on a man who buys a garment, saying that if he likes it he will keep it, or he will return it along with an extra Dirham, "This is what Allah meant, when He said, o

[وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَكُمْ بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ]

(Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly.'') `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "When Allah sent down,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَـطِلِ]

(O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly) some Muslims said, `Allah has forbidden us from eating up each other's property unjustly, and food is our best property. Therefore, none among us is allowed to eat from anyone else's food.' After that Allah sent down,

[لَّيْسَ عَلَى الاٌّعْمَى حَرَجٌ]

(There is no restriction on the blind) (until the end of the Ayah). [24:61].''' Qatadah said similarly. Allah's statement,

[إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَ تِجَـرَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنْكُمْ]

(except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent.) means, do not revert to illegal ways and means to acquire money. However, there is no harm in commercial transactions that transpire between the buyer and the seller with mutual consent, so that money is legally earned from these transactions. Mujahid said that,

[إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَ تِجَـرَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنْكُمْ]

(except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent.) means, "By selling and buying, or giving someone a gift.'' Ibn Jarir recorded this statement.

45. The Option to Buy or Sell Before Parting, is Part of `Mutual Consent' in Trading

Mutual agreement in various transactions is attained when both parties have the right to uphold or dissolve the agreement before they part. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

الْبَيِّعَانِ بِالْخِيَارِ مَالَمْ يَتَفَرَّقَا

(The seller and the buyer retain the (right to change their mind) as long as they have not parted.) Al-Bukhari's wording for this Hadith reads,

إِذَا تَبَايَعَ الرَّجُلانِ فَكُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا بِالْخِيَارِ، مَالَمْ يَتَفَرَّقَا

(When two men conduct a transaction, they retain their (right to change their mind) as long as they have not parted.)

46. Forbidding Murder and Suicide

Allah said,

[وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ]

(And do not kill yourselves.) by committing Allah's prohibitions, falling into sin and eating up each other's property unjustly,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيماً]

(Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.) in what He commanded you and prohibited you from. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Amr bin Al-`As said that when the Prophet sent him for the battle of Dhat As-Salasil, "I had a wet dream during a very cold night and feared that if I bathed, I would die. So I performed Tayammum (with pure earth) and led my company in the Dawn prayer. When I went back to the Messenger of Allah , I mentioned what had happened to me and he said,

يَا عَمْرُو صَلَّيْتَ بِأَصْحَابِكَ وَأَنْتَ جُنُب

(O `Amr! Have you led your people in prayer while you were in a state of sexual impurity) I said, 'O Messenger of Allah! I had a wet dream on a very cold night and feared that if I bathed I would perish, and I remembered Allah's statement,

[وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيماً]

(And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you). So I performed Tayammum and prayed.' The Messenger of Allah smiled and did not say anything.'' This is the narration reported by Abu Dawud. Ibn Marduwyah mentioned this honorable Ayah and then reported that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ بَحَدِيدَةٍ، فَحَدِيدَتُهُ فِي يَدِهِ، يَجَأُ بِهَا بطْنَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ، خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا، ومَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ بِسُمَ فَسُمُّهُ فِي يَدِهِ، يَتَحَسَّاهُ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ، خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا، وَمَنْ تَرَدَّى مِنْ جَبَلٍ فَقَتلَ نَفْسَهُ، فَهُوَ مُتَرَدَ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ، خَالِدًا مُخَلَّدًا فِيهَا أَبَدًا

(Whoever kills himself with an iron tool, then his tool will be in his hand and he will keep stabbing himself with it in the Fire of Jahannam, forever and ever. Whoever kills himself with poison, then his poison will be in his hand and he will keep taking it in the Fire of Jahannam forever and ever. Whoever kills himself by throwing himself from a mountain, will keep falling in the Fire of Jahannam forever and ever.) This Hadith was also collected in the Two Sahihs. Abu Qilabah said that Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسَهُ بِشَيْءٍ، عُذِّبَ بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة

(Whoever kills himself with an instrument, will be punished with it on the Day of Resurrection.) This Hadith was collected by the Group. This is why Allah said,

[وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذلِكَ عُدْوَناً وَظُلْماً]

(And whoever commits that through aggression and injustice, ) meaning, whoever commits what Allah has forbidden for him transgression and injustice - while knowing that it is forbidden for him, yet he still dares to commit it,

[فَسَوْفَ نُصْلِيهِ نَاراً]

(We shall cast him into the Fire,). This Ayah carries a stern warning and a truthful promise. Therefore, every sane person should beware of it, those who hear the speech with full comprehension.

47. Minor Sins Will be Pardoned if One Refrains from Major Sins

Allah said,

[إِن تَجْتَنِبُواْ كَبَآئِرَ مَا تُنهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنْكُمْ سَيِّئَـتِكُمْ]

(If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall remit from you your (small) sins,) meaning, if you avoid the major evil deeds that you were prohibited We will forgive you the minor evil deeds and will admit you into Paradise. This is why Allah said,

[وَنُدْخِلْكُمْ مُّدْخَلاً كَرِيماً]

(and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise).) There are several Hadiths on the subject of this honorable Ayah. Imam Ahmad recorded that Salman Al-Farisi said, "The Prophet said to me, `Do you know what the day of Al-Jumu`ah is' I said, `It is the day during which Allah brought together the creation of your father (Adam).' He said,

لكِنْ أَدْرِي مَا يَوْمُ الْجُمُعَةِ، لَا يَتَطَهَّرُ الرَّجُلُ فَيُحْسِنُ طُهُورَهُ، ثُمَّ يَأْتِي الْجُمُعَةَ فَيُنْصِتُ حَتَّى يَقْضِيَ الْإمَامُ صَلَاتَهُ، إِلَّا كَانَ كَفَّارَةً لَهُ مَا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْجُمُعَةِ الْمُقْبِلَةِ، مَا اجْتُنِبَتِ الْمَقْتَلَة

(I know what the day of Jumu`ah is. Anyone who takes a bath and cleans himself as much as he can and then proceeds for the Friday prayer and remains quiet until the Imam finishes the prayer, all his sins in between the present and the next Friday will be forgiven, as long as major sins were avoided.)'' Al-Bukhari recorded similar wording from Salman Al-Farisi.

48. The Seven Destructive Sins

What are the Seven Destructive Sins In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

اجْتَنِبُوا السَّبْعَ الْمُوبِقَات

(Avoid the seven great destructive sins.) The people inquired, 'O Allah's Messenger! What are they' He said,

الشِّرْكُ بِاللهِ، وَقَتْلُ النَّفْسِ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ، وَالسِّحْرُ، وَأَكْلُ الرِّبَا، وَأَكْلُ مَالِ الْيَتِيمِ، وَالتَّوَلِّي يَوْمَ الزَّحْفِ، وَقَذْفُ الْمُحْصَنَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ الْغَافِلَات

(To join others in worship along with Allah, to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause, magic, to consume Riba, to consume an orphan's wealth, to turn away from the enemy and flee from the battlefield when the battle begins, and to accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything that would tarnish their chastity and are good believers.) Another Hadith that mentions False Witness Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said, "The Messenger of Allah mentioned the major sins, or was asked about the major sins. He said,

الشِّرْكُ بِاللهِ، وَقَتْلُ النَّفْسِ، وَعُقُوقُ الْوَالِدَيْن

(Associating others with Allah in worship, killing the life, and being undutiful to the parents.) He then said,

أَلَا أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِأَكْبَرِ الْكَبَائِرِ؟

قال:

قَوْلُ الزُّورِ أَوْ شَهَادَةُ الزُّورِ

(Should I tell you about the biggest of the major sins The false statement - or the false testimony.)'' Shu`bah - one of the narrators of the Hadith - said, "Most likely, in my opinion, he said, `False testimony.''' The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith from Shu`bah from Anas. Another Hadith In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that `Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Bakrah said that his father said, "The Prophet said,

أَلَا أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِأَكْبَرِ الْكَبَائِرِ؟

(Should I inform you about the greatest of the great sins) We said, `Yes, O Allah's Messenger !' He said,

الِإشْرَاكُ بِاللهِ، وَعُقُوقُ الْوَالِدَيْن

(To join others in worship with Allah and to be undutiful to one's parents.) He was reclining, then he sat up and said;

أَلَا وَشَهَادَةُ الزُّورِ، أَلَا وَقَوْلُ الزُّور

(And I warn you against false testimony and false speech.) and he continued repeating it until we wished that he would stop.'' Another Hadith that mentions killing the Offspring In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "I asked, `O Allah's Messenger! What is the greatest sin' [(in one narration) the biggest sin]' He said,

أَنْ تَجْعَلَ للهِ نِدًّا وَهُوَ خَلَقَك

(To make a rival for Allah while He Alone created you.) I said, `Then' He said,

أَنْ تَقْتُلَ وَلَدَكَ خَشْيَةَ أَنْ يَطْعَمَ مَعَك

(To kill your offspring for fear that he might share your food with you. ) I said, `Then' He said,

أَنْ تُزَانِيَ حَلِيلَةَ جَارِك

(To commit adultery with your neighbor's wife.) He then recited,

[وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَـهَا ءَاخَرَ]

(And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah), until,

[إِلاَّ مَن تَابَ]

(Except those who repent).'' Another Hadith from `Abdullah bin `Amr Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr said that the Prophet said,

أَكْبَرُ الْكَبَائِرِ: الِإشْرَاكُ بِاللهِ، وَعُقُوقُ الْوَالِدَيْنِ أَوْ قَتْلُ النَّفْسِ شعبة الشاك وَالْيَمِينُ الْغَمُوس

(The greatest sins are: To join others in worship with Allah, to be undutiful to one's parents - or to take a life) Shu`bah was uncertain of which one - (and the false oath). Recorded by Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi, and An-Nasai. Another Hadith by `Abdullah bin `Amr about Causing one's Parents to be Cursed `Abdullah bin `Amr said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ مِنْ أَكْبَرِ الْكَبَائِرِ أَنْ يَلْعَنَ الرَّجُلُ وَالِدَيْه

(Among the worst of the major sins is for a man to curse his own parents.) They said, "How can one curse his own parents'' He said,

يَسُبُّ الرَّجُلُ أَبَا الرَّجُلِ، فَيَسُبُّ أَبَاهُ، وَيَسُبُّ أُمَّهُ فَيَسُبُّ أُمَّه

(One curses another man's father, and that man curses his father in retaliation, or he curses someone's mother and that man curses his mother.) This is the wording of Muslim. At-Tirmidhi said, "Sahih.'' It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,

سِبَابُ الْمُسْلِمِ فُسُوقٌ، وَقِتَالُهُ كُفْر

(Cursing a Muslim is a sin and fighting him is Kufr.)

[وَلاَ تَتَمَنَّوْاْ مَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بِهِ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبُواْ وَلِلنِّسَآءِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبْنَ وَاسْأَلُواْ اللَّهَ مِن فَضْلِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيماً ]

(32. And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others. For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned, and ask Allah of His bounty. Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything.)

49. Do Not Wish for the Things Which Allah has Made Some Others to Excel In

Imam Ahmad recorded that Umm Salamah said, "O Messenger of Allah! Men go to battle, but we do not go to battle, and we earn one-half of the inheritance (that men get).'' Allah sent down,

[وَلاَ تَتَمَنَّوْاْ مَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بِهِ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ]

(And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others). At-Tirmidhi also recorded this Hadith. Allah's statement,

[لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبُواْ وَلِلنِّسَآءِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبْنَ]

(For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned,) indicates, according to Ibn Jarir, that each person will earn his wages for his works, a reward if his deeds are good, and punishment if his deeds are evil. It was also reported that this Ayah is talking about inheritance, indicating the fact that each person will get his due share of the inheritance, as Al-Walibi reported from Ibn `Abbas. Allah then directed the servants to what benefits them,

[وَاسْأَلُواْ اللَّهَ مِن فَضْلِهِ]

(and ask Allah of His Bounty.)Therefore, the Ayah states, "Do not wish for what other people were endowed with over you, for this is a decision that will come to pass, and wishing does not change its decree. However, ask Me of My favor and I will grant it to you, for I Am Most Generous and Most Giving.'' Allah then said,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيماً]

(Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything.) meaning, Allah knows who deserves this life, and so He gives him riches, and whoever deserves poverty, He makes him poor. He also knows who deserves the Hereafter, and He directs him to perform the deeds that will help him to be sucessful in it, and whoever deserves failure, He prevents him from achieving righteousness and what leads to it. Hence, Allah said, m

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيماً]

(Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything).

[وَلِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مَوَالِىَ مِمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَلِدَنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبُونَ وَالَّذِينَ عَقَدَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ فَـَاتُوهُمْ نَصِيبَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ شَهِيداً ]

(33. And to everyone, We have appointed Mawali of that left by parents and relatives. To those also with whom you have made a pledge (brotherhood), give them their due portion (by wills). Truly, Allah is Ever a Witness over all things.) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Salih, Qatadah, Zayd bin Aslam, As-Suddi, Ad-Dahhak, Muqatil bin Hayyan, and others said that Allah's statement,

[وَلِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مَوَالِىَ]

(And to everyone, We have appointed Mawali) means, "Heirs.'' Ibn `Abbas was also reported to have said that Mawali refers to relatives. Ibn Jarir commented, "The Arabs call the cousin a Mawla.'' Ibn Jarir continued, "Allah's statement,

[مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَلِدَنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبُونَ]

(of that (property) left by parents and relatives.) means, from what he inherited from his parents and family members. Therefore, the meaning of the Ayah becomes: `To all of you, O people, We appointed relatives (such as children) who will later inherit what you inherited from your own parents and relatives.'' Allah's statement,

[وَالَّذِينَ عَقَدَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ فَـَاتُوهُمْ نَصِيبَهُمْ]

(To those also with whom you have made a pledge (brotherhood), give them their due portion.) means, "Those with whom you have a pledge of brotherhood, give them their share of inheritance, thus fulfilling the ratified pledges that you gave them. Allah has witnessed all of you when you gave these pledges and promises.'' This practice was followed in the beginning of Islam, but was later on abrogated when Muslims were commanded to fulfill the pledges (brotherhood) they had already given, but to refrain from making any new pledges after that. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said,

[وَلِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مَوَالِىَ]

(And to everyone, We have appointed Mawali) "meaning, heirs;

[وَالَّذِينَ عَقَدَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ]

(To those also with whom you have made a pledge (brotherhood)) When the emigrants came to Al-Madinah, the emigrant would inherit from the Ansari, while the latter's relatives would not inherit from him because of the bond of brotherhood which the Prophet established between them (the emigrants and the Ansar). When the verse,

[وَلِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مَوَالِىَ]

(And to everyone We have appointed Mawali) was revealed, it cancelled (the pledge of brotherhood regarding inheritance).'' Then he said, "The verse,

[وَالَّذِينَ عَقَدَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ فَـَاتُوهُمْ نَصِيبَهُمْ]

(To those also with whom you have made a pledge (brotherhood), give them their due portion.) remained valid for cases of co-operation and mutual advice, while the matter of inheritance was excluded and it became permissible to assign something in one's will to the person who had the right of inheriting before.''

[الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَآءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَبِمَآ أَنفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَلِهِمْ فَالصَّـلِحَـتُ قَـنِتَـتٌ حَـفِظَـتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ وَاللَّـتِى تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِى الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلاَ تَبْغُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلاً إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيّاً كَبِيراً ]

(34. Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are Qanitat, and guard in the husband's absence what Allah orders them to guard. As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct, admonish them, and abandon them in their beds, and beat them, but if they return to obedience, do not seek a means against them. Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great.) Allah said,

[الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَآءِ]

(Men are the protectors and maintainers of women,) meaning, the man is responsible for the woman, and he is her maintainer, caretaker and leader who disciplines her if she deviates.

[بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ]

(because Allah has made one of them to excel the other,) meaning, because men excel over women and are better than them for certain tasks. This is why prophethood was exclusive of men, as well as other important positions of leadership. The Prophet said,

لَنْ يُفْلِحَ قَوْمٌ وَلَّوْا أَمْرَهُمُ امْرَأَة

(People who appoint a woman to be their leader, will never achieve success.) Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith. Such is the case with appointing women as judges or on other positions of leadership.

[وَبِمَآ أَنفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَلِهِمْ]

(and because they spend from their means.) meaning the dowry, expenditures and various expenses that Allah ordained in His Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger for men to spend on women. For these reasons it is suitable that he is appointed her maintainer, just as Allah said,

[وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ]

(But men have a degree (of responsibility) over them).

50. Qualities of the Righteous Wife

Allah said,

[فَالصَّـلِحَـتُ]

(Therefore, the righteous) women,

[قَـنِتَـتٍ]

(are Qanitat), obedient to their husbands, as Ibn `Abbas and others stated.

[حَـفِظَـتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ]

(and guard in the husband's absence) As-Suddi and others said that it means she protects her honor and her husband's property when he is absent, and Allah's statement,

[بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ]

(what Allah orders them to guard.) means, the protected [husband] is the one whom Allah protects. Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

خَيْرُ النِّسَاءِ امْرَأَةٌ إِذَا نَظَرْتَ إِلَيْهَا سَرَّتْكَ، وَإِذَا أَمَرْتَهَا أَطَاعَتْكَ، وَإِذَا غِبْتَ عَنْهَا حَفِظَتْكَ فِي نَفْسِهَا وَمَالِك

(The best women is she who when you look at her, she pleases you, when you command her she obeys you, and when you are absent, she protects her honor and your property.) Then, the Messenger of Allah recited the Ayah,

[الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَآءِ]

(Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, ) until its end. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdur-Rahman bin 'Awf said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا صَلَّتِ الْمَرْأَةُ خَمْسَهَا، وَصَامَتْ شَهْرَهَا، وَحَفِظَتْ فَرْجَهَا، وَأَطَاعَتْ زَوْجَهَا، قِيلَ لَهَا: ادْخُلِي الْجَنَّةَ مِنْ أَيِّ الْأَبْوَابِ شِئْت

(If the woman prayed her five daily prayers, fasted her month, protected her chastity and obeyed her husband, she will be told, 'Enter Paradise from any of its doors you wish.')

51. Dealing with the Wife's Ill-Conduct

Allah said,

[وَاللَّـتِى تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ]

(As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct,) meaning, the woman from whom you see ill conduct with her husband, such as when she acts as if she is above her husband, disobeys him, ignores him, dislikes him, and so forth. When these signs appear in a woman, her husband should advise her and remind her of Allah's torment if she disobeys him. Indeed, Allah ordered the wife to obey her husband and prohibited her from disobeying him, because of the enormity of his rights and all that he does for her. The Messenger of Allah said,

لَوْ كُنْتُ آمِرًا أَحَدًا أَنْ يَسْجُدَ لِأَحَدٍ، لَأَمَرْتُ الْمَرْأَةَ أَنْ تَسْجُدَ لِزَوْجِهَا، مِنْ عِظَمِ حَقِّهِ عَلَيْهَا

(If I were to command anyone to prostrate before anyone, I would have commanded the wife to prostrate before her husband, because of the enormity of his right upon her.) Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا دَعَا الرَّجُلُ امْرَأَتَهُ إِلى فِرَاشِهِ فَأَبَتْ عَلَيْهِ، لَعَنَتْهَا الْمَلَائِكَةُ حَتَّى تُصْبِح

(If the man asks his wife to come to his bed and she declines, the angels will keep cursing her until the morning.) Muslim recorded it with the wording,

إِذَا بَاتَتِ الْمَرْأَةُ هَاجِرَةً فِرَاشَ زَوْجِهَا، لَعَنَتْهَا الْمَلَائِكَةُ حَتَّى تُصْبِح

(If the wife goes to sleep while ignoring her husband's bed, the angels will keep cursing her until the morning.) This is why Allah said,

[وَاللَّـتِى تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ]

(As to those women on whose part you see ill conduct, admonish them (first)). Allah's statement,

[وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِى الْمَضَاجِعِ]

(abandon them in their beds,) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said "The abandonment refers to not having intercourse with her, to lie on her bed with his back to her.'' Several others said similarly. As-Suddi, Ad-Dahhak, `Ikrimah, and Ibn `Abbas, in another narration, added, "Not to speak with her or talk to her.'' The Sunan and Musnad compilers recorded that Mu`awiyah bin Haydah Al-Qushayri said, "O Allah's Messenger! What is the right that the wife of one of us has on him'' The Prophet said,

أَنْ تُطْعِمَهَا إِذَا طَعِمْتَ، وَتَكْسُوَهَا إِذَا اكْتَسَيْتَ، وَلَا تَضْرِبِ الْوَجْهَ، وَلَا تُقَبِّحْ، وَلَا تَهْجُرْ إِلَّا فِي الْبَيْت

(To feed her when you eat, cloth her when you buy clothes for yourself, refrain from striking her face or cursing her, and to not abandon her, except in the house.) Allah's statement,

[وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ]

(beat them) means, if advice and ignoring her in the bed do not produce the desired results, you are allowed to discipline the wife, without severe beating. Muslim recorded that Jabir said that during the Farewell Hajj, the Prophet said;

وَاتَّقُوا اللهَ فِي النِّسَاءِ، فَإِنَّهُنَّ عِنْدَكُمْ عَوَانٍ، وَلَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ أَنْ لَا يُوطِئْنَ فُرُشَكُمْ أَحَدًا تَكْرَهُونَهُ،فَإِنْ فَعَلْنَ ذَلِكَ فَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ ضَرْبًا غَيْرَ مُبَرِحٍ، وَلَهُنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ رِزْقُهُنَّ وَكِسْوَتُهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوف

(Fear Allah regarding women, for they are your assistants. You have the right on them that they do not allow any person whom you dislike to step on your mat. However, if they do that, you are allowed to discipline them lightly. They have a right on you that you provide them with their provision and clothes, in a reasonable manner.) Ibn `Abbas and several others said that the Ayah refers to a beating that is not violent. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that it means, a beating that is not severe.

52. When the Wife Obeys Her Husband, Means of Annoyance Against Her are Prohibited

Allah said,

[فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلاَ تَبْغُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلاً]

(but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance),) meaning, when the wife obeys her husband in all that Allah has allowed, then no means of annoyance from the husband are allowed against his wife. Therefore, in this case, the husband does not have the right to beat her or shun her bed. Allah's statement,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيّاً كَبِيراً]

(Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great.) reminds men that if they transgress against their wives without justification, then Allah, the Ever Most High, Most Great, is their Protector, and He will exert revenge on those who transgress against their wives and deal with them unjustly.

[وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُواْ حَكَماً مِّنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَماً مِّنْ أَهْلِهَآ إِن يُرِيدَآ إِصْلَـحاً يُوَفِّقِ اللَّهُ بَيْنَهُمَآ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً خَبِيراً ]

(35. If you fear a breach between the two, appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family and the other from her's; if they both wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation. Indeed Allah is Ever All-Knower, Well-Acquainted with all things.)

53. Appointing Two Arbitrators When the Possibility of Estrangement Between Husband and Wife Occurs

Allah first mentioned the case of rebellion on the part of the wife. He then mentioned the case of estrangement and alienation between the two spouses. Allah said,

[وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُواْ حَكَماً مِّنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَماً مِّنْ أَهْلِهَآ]

(If you fear a breach between the two, appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family). The Fuqaha' (scholars of Fiqh) say that when estrangement occurs between the husband and wife, the judge refers them to a trusted person who examines their case in order to stop any wrongs commited between them. If the matter continues or worsens, the judge sends a trustworthy person from the woman's family and a trustworthy person from the man's family to meet with them and examine their case to determine whether it is best for them to part or to remain together. Allah gives preference to staying together, and this is why Allah said,

[إِن يُرِيدَآ إِصْلَـحاً يُوَفِّقِ اللَّهُ بَيْنَهُمَآ]

(if they both wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Allah commands that a righteous man from the husband's side of the family and the wife's side of the family are appointed, so that they find out who among the spouses is in the wrong. If the man is in the wrong, they prevent him from his wife, and he pays some restitution. If the wife is in the wrong, she remains with her husband, and he does not pay any restitution. If the arbitrators decide that the marriage should remain intact or be dissolved, then their decision is upheld. If they decide that the marriage remains intact, but one of the spouses disagrees while the other agrees, and one of them dies, then the one who agreed inherits from the other, while the spouse who did not agree does not inherit from the spouse who agreed.'' This was collected by Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir. Shaykh Abu `Umar bin `Abdul-Barr said, "The scholars agree that when the two arbitrators disagree, then the opinion that dissolves the marriage will not be adopted. They also agree that the decision of the arbitrators is binding, even if the two spouses did not appoint them as agents. This is the case if it is decided that they should stay together, but they disagree whether it is binding or not when they decide for separation.'' Then he mentioned that the majority holds the view that the decision is still binding, even if they did not appoint them to make any decision.

[وَاعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَلاَ تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِ شَيْئاً وَبِالْوَلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَـناً وَبِذِى الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَـمَى وَالْمَسَـكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِى الْقُرْبَى وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّـحِبِ بِالجَنْبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالاً فَخُوراً ]

(36. Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, the poor, the neighbor who is near of kin, the neighbor who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful.)

54. The Order to Worship Allah Alone and to Be Dutiful to Parents

Allah orders that He be worshipped Alone without partners, because He Alone is the Creator and Sustainer Who sends His favors and bounties on His creation in all situations and instances. Therefore He deserves to be singled out, without associating anything or anyone from His creation with Him in worship. Indeed, the Prophet said to Mu`adh,

أَتَدْرِي مَا حَقُّ اللهِ عَلَى الْعِبَادِ؟

(Do you know what Allah's right on His servants is) Mu`adh replied, "Allah and His Messenger know better.'' He said,

أنْ يَعْبُدُوهُ وَلَا يُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا

(That they should worship Him and should not worship any others with Him.) The Prophet then said,

أَتَدْرِي مَا حَقُّ الْعِبَادِ عَلَى اللهِ إِذَا فَعَلُوا ذَلِكَ؟ أَنْ لَا يُعَذِّبَهُم

(Do you know what the right of the servants on Allah is if they do this He should not punish them.) Allah then commands the servants to be dutiful to their parents, for Allah made parents the reason for the servants to come to existence, after they did not exist. Allah joins the order to worship Him with being dutiful to parents in many places. For example, He said,

[أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِى وَلِوَلِدَيْكَ]

(give thanks to Me and to your parents), and,

[وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّـهُ وَبِالْوَلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَـناً]

(And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents). After Allah ordained being dutiful to parents, He ordained kind treatment of relatives, males and females. A Hadith states,

الصَّدَقَةُ عَلَى الْمِسْكِينِ صَدَقَةٌ، وَعَلى ذِي الرَّحِمِ صَدَقَةٌ وَصِلَة

(Charity given to the poor is Sadaqah, while charity given to relatives is both Sadaqah and Silah (keeping the relations).) Allah then said,

[وَالْيَتَـمَى]

(orphans), because they lost their caretakers who would spend on them. So Allah commands that the orphans be treated with kindness and compassion. Allah then said,

[وَالْمَسَـكِينُ]

(Al-Masakin (the poor)) who have various needs and cannot find what sustains these needs. Therefore, Allah commands they should be helped in acquiring their needs in a sufficient manner that will end their inadequacy. We will further elaborate on the matter of the destitute and the poor in Surah Bara'h (9:60).

55. The Right of the Neighbor

Allah said,

[وَالْجَارِ ذِى الْقُرْبَى وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ]

(the neighbor who is near of kin, the neighbor who is a stranger) `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said that,

[وَالْجَارِ ذِى الْقُرْبَى]

(the neighbor who is near of kin) means, "The neighbor who is also a relative'', while,

[وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ]

(The neighbor who is a stranger) means, "Who is not a relative.'' It was also reported that `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Maymun bin Mihran, Ad-Dahhak, Zayd bin Aslam, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Qatadah said similarly. Mujahid was also reported to have said that Allah's statement,

[وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ]

(the neighbor who is a stranger) means, "The companion during travel.'' There are many Hadiths that command kind treatment to the neighbors, and we will mention some of them here with Allah's help. The First Hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَازَالَ جِبْرِيلُ يُوصِينِي بِالْجَارِ حَتَّى ظَنَنْتُ أَنَّهُ سَيُوَرِّثُه

(Jibril kept reminding of the neighbor's right, until I thought that he was going to give him a share of the inheritance.) The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith. The Second Hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَازَالَ جِبْرِيلُ يُوصِينِي بِالْجَارِ حَتَّى ظَنَنْتُ أَنَّهُ سَيُوَرِّثُه

(Jibril kept reminding me of the neighbor's right, until I thought he was going to appoint a share of the inheritance for him.) Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith, which At-Tirmidhi said was "Hasan Gharib through this route.'' The Third Hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As said that the Prophet said,

خَيْرُ الْأَصْحَابِ عِنْدَ اللهِ خَيْرُهُمْ لِصَاحِبِهِ، وَخَيْرُ الْجِيرَانِ عِنْدَ اللهِ خَيْرُهُمْ لِجَارِه

(The best companions according to Allah are those who are the best with their friends, and the best neighbors according to Allah are the best with their neighbors.) At-Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith and said, "Hasan Gharib''. The Fourth Hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miqdad bin Al-Aswad said that the Messenger of Allah asked his Companions,

مَا تَقُولُونَ فِي الزِّنَا؟

(What do you say about adultery) They said, "It is prohibited, for Allah and His Messenger have prohibited it. So it is forbidden until the Day of Resurrection.'' The Messenger of Allah said,

لَأَنْ يَزْنِيَ الرَّجُلُ بِعَشْرِ نِسْوَةٍ، أَيْسَرُ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَنْ يَزْنِيَ بِامْرَأَةِ جَارِه

(For a man to commit adultery with his neighbor's wife is worse than if he commits adultery with ten women.) He then said,

مَا تَقُولُونَ فِي السَّرِقَةِ؟

(What do you say about theft) They said, "It is prohibited, for Allah and His Messenger prohibited it.'' He said,

لَأَنْ يَسْرِقَ الرَّجُلُ مِنْ عَشْرَةِ أَبْيَاتٍ، أَيْسَرُ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَنْ يَسْرِقَ مِنْ جَارِه

(If a man steals from his neighbor, it is worse for him than stealing from ten homes.) Only Ahmad recorded this Hadith. A similar Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs, Ibn Mas`ud said, "I asked, `O Allah's Messenger! What is the greatest sin' He said,

أَنْ تَجْعَلَ للهِ نِدًّا وَهُوَ خَلَقَك

(To make a rival for Allah while He Alone created you.) I said, `Then' He said,

أَنْ تَقْتُلَ وَلَدَكَ خَشْيَةَ أَنْ يَطْعَمَ مَعَك

(To kill your offspring for fear that he might share your food with you.) I said, `Then' He said,

أَنْ تُزَانِيَ حَلِيلَةَ جَارِك

(To commit adultery with your neighbor's wife.)'' The Fifth Hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that `A'ishah asked the Messenger of Allah, "I have two neighbors, so whom among them should I give my gift'' He said,

إِلى أَقْرَبِهِمَا مِنْكِ بَابًا

(The neighbor whose door is the closest to you.) Al-Bukhari narrated this Hadith We will elaborate on this subject in the Tafsir of Surah Bara'h, Allah willing and upon Him we depend.

56. Being Kind to Slaves and Servants

Allah said,

[وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ]

(and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess,) this is an order to be kind to them because they are weak, being held as captives by others. An authentic Hadith records that during the illness that preceded his death, the Messenger of Allah continued advising his Ummah:

الصَّلَاةَ الصَّلَاةَ، وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُم

((Protect) the prayer, (protect) the prayer, and (those slaves) whom your hands possess.) He was repeating it until his tongue was still. Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miqdam bin Ma`dykarib said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَا أَطْعَمْتَ نَفْسَكَ فَهُوَ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ، وَمَا أَطْعَمْتَ وَلَدَكَ فَهُوَ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ، وَمَا أَطْعَمْتَ زَوْجَتَكَ فَهُوَ لَكَ صَدَقَةٌ، وَمَا أَطْعَمْتَ خَادِمَكَ فَهُوَ لَكَ صَدَقَة

(What you feed yourself is a Sadaqah (charity) for you, what you feed your children is Sadaqah for you, what you feed your wife is Sadaqah for you and what you feed your servant is Sadaqah for you.) An-Nasa'i recorded this Hadith which has an authentic chain of narration, all the thanks are due to Allah. `Abdullah bin `Amr said to a caretaker of his, "Did you give the slaves their food yet'' He said, "No.'' Ibn `Amr said, "Go and give it to them, for the Messenger of Allah said,

كَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ إِثْمًا أَنْ يَحْبِسَ عَمَّنْ يَمْلِكُ قُوتَهُم

(It is enough sin for someone to prevent whomever he is responsible for from getting their food. )'' Muslim recorded this Hadith. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said,

لِلْمَمْلُوكِ طَعَامُهُ وَكِسْوَتُهُ، وَلَا يُكَلَّفُ مِنَ الْعَمَلِ إِلَّا مَا يُطِيق

(The slave has the right to have food, clothing and to only be required to perform what he can bear of work.) Muslim also recorded this Hadith. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said,

إِذَا أَتَى أَحَدَكُمْ خَادِمُهُ بِطَعَامِه، فَإِنْ لَمْ يُجْلِسْهُ مَعَهُ فَلْيُنَاوِلْهُ لُقْمَةً أَوْ لُقْمَتَيْنِ أَوْ أُكْلَةً أَوْ أُكْلتَيْنِ فَإِنَّهُ وَلِيَ حَرَّهُ وَعِلَاجَه

(When your servant brings meals to one of you, if he does not let him sit and share the meal, then he should at least give him a mouthful or two mouthfuls of that meal or a meal or two, for he has prepared it.) This is the wording collected by Al-Bukhari.

57. Allah Does Not Like the Arrogant

Allah said,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالاً فَخُوراً]

(Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful.) meaning, one who is proud and arrogant, insolent and boasts to others. He thinks that he is better than other people, thus thinking high of himself, even though he is insignificant to Allah and hated by people. Mujahid said that Allah's statement,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالاً فَخُوراً]

(Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud) means arrogant, while,

[فَخُوراً]

(boastful) means boasting about what he has, while he does not thank Allah. This Ayah indicates that such a person boasts with people about the bounty that Allah has given him, but he is actually ungrateful to Allah for this bounty. Ibn Jarir recorded that `Abdullah bin Waqid Abu Raja' Al-Harawi said, "You will find that those who are mean are also proud and boasting. He then recited,

[وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ]

(and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess,) You will find that he who is undutiful (to parents) is also arrogant, and deprived. He then recited,

[وَبَرّاً بِوَالِدَتِى وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْنِى جَبَّاراً شَقِيّاً ]

(And dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, deprived.) Once a man asked the Prophet, "O Messenger of Allah, advise me.' The Prophet said,

إيَّاكَ وَإِسْبَالَ الْإِزَارِ، فَإِنَّ إِسْبَالَ الْإِزَارِ مِنَ الْمَخِيلَةِ، وَإِنَّ اللهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمَخِيلَة

(Avoid lengthening the dress (below the ankles), for this practice is from arrogance. Verily, Allah does not like arrogance.)''

[الَّذِينَ يَبْخَلُونَ وَيَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبُخْلِ وَيَكْتُمُونَ مَآ ءَاتَـهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَذَاباً مُّهِيناً - وَالَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ أَمْوَلَهُمْ رِئَـآءَ النَّاسِ وَلاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ وَمَن يَكُنِ الشَّيْطَـنُ لَهُ قَرِيناً فَسَآءَ قِرِيناً - وَمَاذَا عَلَيْهِمْ لَوْ ءَامَنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ وَأَنفَقُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقَهُمُ اللَّهُ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِهِم عَلِيماً ]

(37. Those who are stingy and encourage people to be stingy and hide what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounties. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a disgraceful torment.) (38. And (also) those who spend of their wealth to be seen of men, and believe not in Allah and the Last Day, and whoever takes Shaytan as an intimate; then what a dreadful intimate he has!) (39. And what loss have they if they had believed in Allah and in the Last Day, and they spend out of what Allah has given them for sustenamce And Allah is Ever All-Knower of them.)

58. The Censure of Stingy Behavior

Allah chastises the stingy behavior of those who refuse to spend their money for what Allah ordered them, such as being kind to parents and compassionate to relatives, orphans, the poor, the relative who is also a neighbor, the companion during travel, the needy wayfarer, the slaves and servants. Such people do not give Allah's right from their wealth, and they assist in the spread of stingy behavior. The Messenger of Allah said,

وَأَيُّ دَاءٍ أَدْوَأُ مِنَ الْبُخْل

(What disease is more serious than being stingy) He also said,

إِيَّاكُمْ وَالشُّحَّ، فَإِنَّهُ أَهْلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ، أَمَرَهُمْ بِالْقَطِيْعَةِ فَقَطَعُوا، وَأَمَرَهُمْ بِالْفُجُورِ فَفَجَرُوا

(Beware of being stingy, for it destroyed those who were before you, as it encouraged them to cut their relations and they did, and it encouraged them to commit sin and they did.) Allah said,

[وَيَكْتُمُونَ مَآ ءَاتَـهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ]

(and hide what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounties,) Therefore, the miser is ungrateful for Allah's favor, for its effect does not appear on him, whether in his food, clothes or what he gives. Similarly, Allah said,

[إِنَّ الإِنسَـنَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ - وَإِنَّهُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ لَشَهِيدٌ ]

(Verily, man is ungrateful to his Lord. And to that he bears witness.) by his manners and conduct,

[وَإِنَّهُ لِحُبِّ الْخَيْرِ لَشَدِيدٌ ]

(And verily, he is violent in the love of wealth.) Allah said,

[وَيَكْتُمُونَ مَآ ءَاتَـهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ]

(and hide what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounties) and this is why He threatened them,

[وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَذَاباً مُّهِيناً]

(And We have prepared for the disbelievers a disgraceful torment.) Kufr means to cover something. Therefore, the Bakhil (miser) covers the favors that Allah has blessed him with, meaning he does not spread those favors. So he is described by the term Kafir (ungrateful) regarding the favors that Allah granted him. A Hadith states that,

إِنَّ اللهَ إِذَا أَنْعَمَ نِعْمَةً عَلى عَبْدٍ،أَحَبَّ أَنْ يَظْهَرَ أَثَرُهَا عَلَيْه

(When Allah grants a servant a favor, He likes that its effect appears on him.) Some of the Salaf stated that this Ayah [4:37] is describing the Jews who hid the knowledge they had about the description of Muhammad, and there is no doubt that the general meaning of the Ayah includes this. The apparent wording for this Ayah indicates that it is talking about being stingy with money, even though miserly conduct with knowledge is also included. The Ayah talks about spending on relatives and the weak, just as the Ayah after it,

[وَالَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ أَمْوَلَهُمْ رِئَـآءَ النَّاسِ]

(And (also) those who spend of their wealth to be seen of men, ) Allah first mentions the punished misers who do not spend, then He mentions those who spend to show off to gain the reputation that they are generous, not for the Face of Allah. A Hadith states that the first three persons on whom the fire will feed are a scholar, a fighter and a spender who shows off with their actions. For instance,

يَقُولُ صَاحِبُ الْمَالِ: مَا تَرَكْتُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ تُحِبُّ أَنْ يُنْفَقَ فِيهِ، إِلَّا أَنْفَقْتُ فِي سَبِيلِكَ، فَيَقُولُ اللهُ: كَذَبْتَ، إِنَّمَا أَرَدْتَ أَنْ يُقَالَ: جَوَادٌ، فَقَدْدِقيل

(The wealthy will say, "I did not leave any area that You like to be spent on, but I spent on it in Your cause.'' Allah will say, "You lie, you only did that so that it is said, `He is generous.' And it was said...'') meaning you acquired your reward in the life, and this is indeed what you sought with your action. This is why Allah said,

[وَلاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ]

(and believe not in Allah and the Last Day,) meaning, it is Shaytan who lured them to commit this evil action, instead of performing the good deed as it should be performed. Shaytan encouraged, excited and lured them by making the evil appear good,

[وَمَن يَكُنِ الشَّيْطَـنُ لَهُ قَرِيناً فَسَآءَ قِرِيناً]

(And whoever takes Shaytan as an intimate; then what a dreadful intimate he has!) Allah then said,

[وَمَاذَا عَلَيْهِمْ لَوْ ءَامَنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ وَأَنفَقُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقَهُمُ اللَّهُ]

(And what loss have they if they had believed in Allah and in the Last Day, and they spend out of what Allah has given them for sustenance) This Ayah means, what harm would it cause them if they believe in Allah, go on the righteous path, replace showing off with sincerity, have faith in Allah, and await His promise in the Hereafter, for those who do good and spend what He has given them on what He likes and is pleased with. Allah's statement:

[وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِهِم عَلِيماً]

(And Allah is Ever All-Knower of them.) means, He has perfect knowledge of their intentions, whether good or evil. Indeed, Allah knows those who deserve success, and He grants them success and guidance, directing them to perform righteous actions that will earn them His pleasure. He also knows those who deserve failure and expulsion from His great mercy, which amounts to utter failure in this life and the Hereafter for them, we seek refuge in Allah from this evil end.

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَـعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْراً عَظِيماً - فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِن كُلِّ أمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَـؤُلاءِ شَهِيداً - يَوْمَئِذٍ يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَعَصَوُاْ الرَّسُولَ لَوْ تُسَوَّى بِهِمُ الاٌّرْضُ وَلاَ يَكْتُمُونَ اللَّهَ حَدِيثاً ]

(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.)

59. 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,

[وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَزِينَ الْقِسْطَ]

(And We shall set up balances of justice) Allah said that Luqman said,

[يبُنَىَّ إِنَّهَآ إِن تَكُ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ فَتَكُنْ فِى صَخْرَةٍ أَوْ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ أَوْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ يَأْتِ بِهَا اللَّهُ]

(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,

[يَوْمَئِذٍ يَصْدُرُ النَّاسُ أَشْتَاتاً لِّيُرَوْاْ أَعْمَـلَهُمْ - فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْراً يَرَهُ - وَمَن يَعْـمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرّاً يَرَهُ ]

(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 Sa`id Al-Khudri narrated, and in which the Messenger of Allah said,

فَيَقُولُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: ارْجِعُوا، فَمَنْ وَجَدْتُمْ فِي قَلْبِهِ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةِ خَرْدَلٍ مِنْ إِيمَانٍ، فَأَخْرِجُوهُ مِنَ النَّار

(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, وفي لفظ:

أَدْنَى أَدْنَى أَدْنَى مِثْقَالِ ذَرَّةٍ مِنْ إِيمَانٍ، فَأَخْرِجُوهُ مِنَ النَّارِ، فَيُخْرِجُونَ خَلْقًا كَثِيرًا

("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,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ]

(Surely! Allah wrongs not even of the weight of a speck of dust).''

60. Will Punishment be Diminished for the Disbelievers

Sa`id bin Jubayr commented about Allah's statement,

[وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَـعِفْهَا]

(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,

نَعَمْ هُوَ فِي ضَحْضَاحٍ مِنْ نَارٍ، وَلَوْلَا أَنَا، لَكَانَ فِي الدَّرْكِ الْأَسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّار

(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,

إِنَّ اللهَ لَا يَظْلِمُ الْمُؤْمِنَ حَسَنَةً، يُثَابُ عَلَيْهَا الرِّزْقَ فِي الدُّنْيَا، وَيُجْزَى بِهَا فِي الْآخِرَةِ، وَأَمَّا الْكَافِرُ فَيُطْعَمُ بِهَا فِي الدُّنْيَا، فَإِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ حَسَنَة

(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.)

61. What Does `Great Reward' Mean

Abu Hurayrah, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak said that Allah's statement,

[وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْراً عَظِيماً]

(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,

إِنَّ اللهَ يُضَاعِفُ الْحَسَنَةَ أَلْفَ أَلْفِ حَسَنَة

(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,

إِنَّ اللهَ يَجْزِي بِالْحَسَنَةِ أَلْفَ أَلْفِ حَسَنَة

(Allah rewards the good deed with a million deeds.) Abu Hurayrah said, `By Allah! I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

إِنَّ اللهَ يَجْزِي بِالْحَسَنَةِ أَلْفَيْ أَلْفِ حَسَنَة

(Allah rewards the good deed with two million deeds.) He then recited this Ayah,

[فَمَا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ]

(But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world as compared to the Hereafter).''

62. 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,

[فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِن كُلِّ أمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَـؤُلاءِ شَهِيداً ]

(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;

[وَأَشْرَقَتِ الاٌّرْضُ بِنُورِ رَبِّهَا وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَـبُ وَجِـىءَ بِالنَّبِيِّيْنَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ]

(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,

[وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْهِمْ مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ]

(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 Mas`ud 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,

[فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِن كُلِّ أمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَـؤُلاءِ شَهِيداً ]

(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.'' Allah's statement,

[يَوْمَئِذٍ يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَعَصَوُاْ الرَّسُولَ لَوْ تُسَوَّى بِهِمُ الاٌّرْضُ وَلاَ يَكْتُمُونَ اللَّهَ حَدِيثاً ]

(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,

[يَوْمَ يَنظُرُ الْمَرْءُ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ]

(The Day when man will see that (the deeds) which his hands have sent forth) Allah then said,

[وَلاَ يَكْتُمُونَ اللَّهَ حَدِيثاً]

(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 Sa`id 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,

[ثُمَّ لَمْ تَكُنْ فِتْنَتُهُمْ إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ وَاللَّهِ رَبِّنَا مَا كُنَّا مُشْرِكِينَ ]

(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,

[وَلاَ يَكْتُمُونَ اللَّهَ حَدِيثاً]

(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,

[ثُمَّ لَمْ تَكُنْ فِتْنَتُهُمْ إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ وَاللَّهِ رَبِّنَا مَا كُنَّا مُشْرِكِينَ ]

(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,

[وَاللَّهِ رَبِّنَا مَا كُنَّا مُشْرِكِينَ]

("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,

[يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَعَصَوُاْ الرَّسُولَ لَوْ تُسَوَّى بِهِمُ الاٌّرْضُ وَلاَ يَكْتُمُونَ اللَّهَ حَدِيثاً]

(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. )'''

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلَوةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَـرَى حَتَّى تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ وَلاَ جُنُباً إِلاَّ عَابِرِى سَبِيلٍ حَتَّى تَغْتَسِلُواْ وَإِنْ كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنْكُمْ مِّن الْغَآئِطِ أَوْ لَـمَسْتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَآءً فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيداً طَيِّباً فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوّاً غَفُوراً]

(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.)

63. 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,

[يَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ]

(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,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالاٌّنصَابُ وَالاٌّزْلاَمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَـنِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ]

(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,

[فَهَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُّنتَهُونَ]

(So, will you not then abstain) [5:91] was revealed, `Umar said, "We abstain, we abstain.'' In another narration, when the Ayah in Surat An-Nisa' was revealed,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلَوةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَـرَى حَتَّى تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ]

(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.

64. Causes of Its Revelation

Ibn Abi Hatim has recorded some reports about the incident of its revelation: Sa`d 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 Sa`d's nose, which was scarred ever since. This occurred before Al-Khamr was prohibited, and Allah later revealed,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلَوةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَـرَى]

(O you who believe! Approach not AsSalat (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state). Muslim recorded this Hadith, and the collectors of the Sunan recorded it, with the exception of Ibn Majah. 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,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلَوةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَـرَى حَتَّى تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ]

(O you who believe! Do not approach Salah when you are in a drunken state until you know what you are saying). '' This is the narration collected by Ibn Abi Hatim and At-Tirmidhi, who said "Hasan [Gharib] Sahih.'' Allah's statement,

[حَتَّى تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ]

(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 said,

إِذَا نَعَسَ أَحَدُكُمْ وَهُوَ يُصَلِّي، فَلْيَنْصَرِفْ فَلْيَنَمْ، حَتَّى يَعْلَمَ مَا يَقُول

(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.) This was also recorded by Al-Bukhari and An-Nasa'i. In some of the narrations of this Hadith, the Messenger said,

فَلَعَلَّهُ يَذْهَبُ يَسْتَغْفِرُ فَيَسُبَّ نَفْسَه

(...For he might want to ask for forgiveness, but instead curses himself!) Allah said,

[وَلاَ جُنُباً إِلاَّ عَابِرِى سَبِيلٍ حَتَّى تَغْتَسِلُواْ]

(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,

[وَلاَ جُنُباً إِلاَّ عَابِرِى سَبِيلٍ حَتَّى تَغْتَسِلُواْ]

(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.'' Ibn Abi Hatim said that similar is reported from `Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Anas, Abu `Ubaydah, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Abu Ad-Duha, `Ata', Mujahid, Masruq, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Zayd bin Aslam, Abu Malik, `Amr bin Dinar, Al-Hakam bin `Utaybah, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Yahya bin Sa`id Al-Ansari, Ibn Shihab and Qatadah. Ibn Jarir recorded that Yazid bin Abi Habib commented on Allah's statement,

[وَلاَ جُنُباً إِلاَّ عَابِرِى سَبِيلٍ]

(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,

[وَلاَ جُنُباً إِلاَّ عَابِرِى سَبِيلٍ]

(nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through,).'' 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 said,

سُدُّوا كُلَّ خَوْخَةٍ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ إِلَّا خَوْخَةَ أَبِي بَكْر

(Close all the small doors in this Masjid, except that of Abu Bakr.) This is what the Prophet 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,

نَاوِلِيِني الْخُمْرَةَ مِنَ الْمَسْجِد

(Bring me the garment from the Masjid.) I said, `I am having my period.' He said,

إِنَّ حَيْضَتَكِ لَيْسَتْ فِي يَدِك

(Your period is not in your hand.) 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.

65. Description of Tayammum

Allah said,

[وَإِنْ كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنْكُمْ مِّن الْغَآئِطِ أَوْ لَـمَسْتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَآءً فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيداً طَيِّباً]

(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,

[أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنْكُمْ مِّن الْغَآئِطِ]

(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,

[أَوْ لَـمَسْتُمُ النِّسَآءَ]

(or you Lamastum women), which was recited Lamastum and Lamastum, referring to sexual intercourse. For instance, Allah said in another Ayah,

[وَإِن طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَمَسُّوهُنَّ وَقَدْ فَرَضْتُمْ لَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً فَنِصْفُ مَا فَرَضْتُمْ]

(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,

[يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ إِذَا نَكَحْتُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَـتِ ثُمَّ طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَمَسُّوهُنَّ فَمَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ عِدَّةٍ تَعْتَدُّونَهَا]

(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 Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that Allah's statement,

[أَوْ لَـمَسْتُمُ النِّسَآءَ]

(or Lamastum women) refers to sexual intercourse. It was reported that `Ali, Ubayy bin Ka`b, Mujahid, Tawus, Al-Hasan, `Ubayd bin `Umayr, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ash-Sha`bi, Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan said similarly. Allah said,

[فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَآءً فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيداً طَيِّباً]

(but you do not find water,them perform Tayammum with clean earth,) In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that `Imran bin Husayn said, إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم رأى رجلا معتزلا لم يصل في القوم فقال:

يَا فُلَانُ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَنْ تُصَلِّيَ مَعَ الْقَوْمِ، أَلَسْتَ بِرَجُلٍ مُسْلِمٍ؟

قال: بلى، يا رسول الله ولكن أصابتني جنابة ولا ماء، قال:

عَلَيْكَ بِالصَّعِيدِ، فَإِنَّهُ يَكْفِيك

(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.') 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 said,

فُضِّلْنَا عَلَى النَّاسِ بِثَلَاثٍ: جُعِلَتْ صُفُوفُنَا كَصُفُوفِ الْمَلَائِكَةِ، وَجُعِلَتْ لَنَا الْأَرْضُ كُلُّهَا مَسْجِدًا، وَجُعِلَتْ تُرْبَتُهَا لَنَا طَهُورًا، إِذَا لَمْ نَجِدِ الْمَاء

(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.) 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 said,

الصَّعِيدُ الطَّيِّبُ طَهُورُ الْمُسْلِمِ، وَإِنْ لَمْ يَجِدِ الْمَاءَ عَشْرَ حِجَجٍ، فَإِذَا وَجَدَهُ فَلْيُمِسَّهُ بَشَرَتَهُ، فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ خَيْر

(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.) At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih''. Allah's statement,

[فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ]

(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, S

إِنَّمَا كَانَ يَكْفِيك

(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.'' 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 said,

أُعْطِيتُ خَمْسًا لَمْ يُعْطَهُنَّ أَحَدٌ قَبْلِي: نُصِرْتُ بِالرُّعْبِ مَسِيرَةَ شَهْرٍ، وَجُعِلَتْ لِيَ الْأَرْضُ مَسْجِدًا وَطَهُورًا، فَأَيُّمَا رَجُلٍ مِنْ أُمَّتِي أَدْرَكَتْهُ الصَّلَاةُ فَلْيُصَل

وفي لفظ:

فَعِنْدَهُ طَهُورُهُ وَمَسْجِدُهُ، وَأُحِلَّتْ لِيَ الْغَنَائِمُ، وَلَمْ تَحِلَّ لِأَحَدٍ قَبْلِي، وَأُعْطِيتُ الشَّفَاعَةَ، وَكَانَ النَّبِيُّ يُبْعَثُ إِلى قَوْمِهِ، وَبُعِثْتُ إِلَى النَّاسِ عَامَّة

(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.) We also mentioned the Hadith of Hudhayfah that Muslim recorded;

فُضِّلْنَا عَلَى النَّاسِ بِثَلَاثٍ، جُعِلَتْ صُفُوفُنَا كَصُفُوفِ الْمَلَائِكَةِ، وَجُعِلَتْ لَنَا الْأَرْضُ مَسْجِدًا، وَتُرْبَتُهَا طَهُورًا، إِذَا لَمْ نَجِدِ الْمَاء

(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.) Allah said in this Ayah,

[فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوّاً غَفُوراً]

(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.

66. 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.'' Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this Hadith.

[أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ نَصِيباً مِّنَ الْكِتَـبِ يَشْتَرُونَ الضَّلـلَةَ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن تَضِلُّواْ السَّبِيلَ - وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِأَعْدَائِكُمْ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَلِيّاً وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ نَصِيراً - مِّنَ الَّذِينَ هَادُواْ يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ عَن مَّوَاضِعِهِ وَيَقُولُونَ سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا وَاسْمَعْ غَيْرَ مُسْمَعٍ وَرَعِنَا لَيّاً بِأَلْسِنَتِهِمْ وَطَعْناً فِى الدِّينِ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ قَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا وَاسْمَعْ وَانْظُرْنَا لَكَانَ خَيْراً لَّهُمْ وَأَقْوَمَ وَلَكِن لَّعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ بِكُفْرِهِمْ فَلاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً ]

(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 Ra`ina 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.)

67. 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 . They also ignored the knowledge that they inherited from previous Prophets, about the description of Muhammad , so that they may have a small amount of the delights of this life.

[وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن تَضِلُّواْ السَّبِيلَ]

(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.

[وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِأَعْدَائِكُمْ]

(Allah has full knowledge of your enemies) meaning, Allah has better knowledge of your enemies, and He warns you against them.

[وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَلِيّاً وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ نَصِيراً]

(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,

[يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ عَن مَّوَاضِعِهِ]

(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,

[وَيَقُولُونَ سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا]

(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,

[وَاسْمَعْ غَيْرَ مُسْمَعٍ]

(And "Hear and let you hear nothing.'') means, hear our words, may you never hear anything, as Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn `Abbas. This is the Jews' way of mocking and jesting, may Allah's curse descend on them.

[وَرَعِنَا لَيّاً بِأَلْسِنَتِهِمْ وَطَعْناً فِى الدِّينِ]

(And Ra`ina, with a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion.) meaning, they pretend to say, `Hear us,' when they say, Ra`ina (an insult in Hebrew, but in Arabic it means `Listen to us.').' Yet, their true aim is to curse the Prophet . We mentioned this subject when we explained Allah's statement,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَقُولُواْ رَعِنَا وَقُولُواْ انظُرْنَا]

(O you who believe! Say not Ra`ina but say Unzurna (make us understand)). Therefore, Allah said about them, while they pretend to say other than what they truly mean,

[لَيّاً بِأَلْسِنَتِهِمْ وَطَعْناً فِى الدِّينِ]

(With a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion) because of their cursing the Prophet . Allah then said,

[وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ قَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا وَاسْمَعْ وَانْظُرْنَا لَكَانَ خَيْراً لَّهُمْ وَأَقْوَمَ وَلَكِن لَّعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ بِكُفْرِهِمْ فَلاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً]

(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,

[فَقَلِيلاً مَّا يُؤْمِنُونَ]

(so little is that which they believe) which means they do not have beneficial faith.

[يَـأَيُّهَآ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ ءَامِنُواْ بِمَا نَزَّلْنَا مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّطْمِسَ وُجُوهاً فَنَرُدَّهَا عَلَى أَدْبَـرِهَآ أَوْ نَلْعَنَهُمْ كَمَا لَعَنَّآ أَصْحَـبَ السَّبْتِ وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ مَفْعُولاً - إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَى إِثْماً عَظِيماً ]

(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.)

68. 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 , the Glorious Book that conforms to the good news that they already have about Muhammad . He also warns them,

[مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّطْمِسَ وُجُوهاً فَنَرُدَّهَا عَلَى أَدْبَـرِهَآ]

(before We efface faces and turn them backwards) Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said that `effacing' here refers to blindness,

[فَنَرُدَّهَا عَلَى أَدْبَـرِهَآ]

(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. 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,

[إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا فِى أَعْنـقِهِمْ أَغْلَـلاً فَهِىَ إِلَى الاٌّذْقَـنِ فَهُم مُّقْمَحُونَ وَجَعَلْنَا مِن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ سَدّاً]

(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.

69. Ka`b Al-Ahbar Embraces Islam Upon Hearing this Ayah [4:47]

It was reported that Ka`b 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 Ka`b became Muslim. He said, `Ka`b 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 Ka`b.' Ka`b said, `Do you not read in your Book,

[مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ حُمِّلُواْ التَّوْرَاةَ]

(The likeness of those who were entrusted with the Tawrah...) [62:5] until,

[أَسْفَاراً]

(Books) I am among those who were entrusted with the Tawrah.' `Umar left him alone and Ka`b went on to Hims (in Syria) and heard one of its inhabitants recite this Ayah while feeling sad,

[يَـأَيُّهَآ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ ءَامِنُواْ بِمَا نَزَّلْنَا مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّطْمِسَ وُجُوهاً فَنَرُدَّهَا عَلَى أَدْبَـرِهَآ]

(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). Ka`b 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.'' Allah's statement,

[أَوْ نَلْعَنَهُمْ كَمَا لَعَنَّآ أَصْحَـبَ السَّبْتِ]

(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-A`raf (7). Allah's statement,

[وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ مَفْعُولاً]

(And the commandment of Allah is always executed.) means, when He commands something, then no one can dispute or resist His command.

70. Allah Does not Forgive Shirk, Except After Repenting From it

Allah said that He,

[لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ]

(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,

[وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ]

(but He forgives except that) of sins,

[لِمَن يَشَآءُ]

(to whom He wills) of His servants. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ اللهَ يَقُولُ: يَا عَبْدِي مَا عَبَدْتَنِي وَرَجَوْتَنِي، فَإِنِّي غَافِرٌ لَكَ عَلى مَا كَانَ فِيكَ، يَا عَبْدِي إِنَّكَ إِنْ لَقِيتَنِي بِقُرَابِ الْأَرْضِ خَطِيئَةً مَا لَمْ تُشْرِكْ بِي، لَقِيتُكَ بِقُرَابِهَا مَغْفِرَة

(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.'') Only Ahmad recorded this Hadith with this chain of narration. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Dharr said, "I came to the Messenger of Allah and he said,

مَا مِنْ عَبْدٍ قَالَ: لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ ثُمَّ مَاتَ عَلَى ذَلِكَ، إِلَّا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّة

قلت:وإن زنى وإن سرق؟ قال:

وَإِنْ زَنَى وَإِنْ سَرَق

. قلت: وإن زنى وإن سرق؟ قال:

وَإِنْ زَنَى وَإِنْ سَرَقَ ثَلَاثًا

، ثم قال في الرابعة:

عَلَى رَغْمِ أَنْفِ أَبِي ذَر

("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.'' The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith 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,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ]

(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,

أَخَّرْتُ شَفَاعَتِي لِأَهْلِ الْكَبَائِرِ مِنْ أُمَّتِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة

(I have reserved my intercession on the Day of Resurrection for those among my Ummah who commit major sins.)'' Allah's statement,

[وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَى إِثْماً عَظِيماً]

(and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.) is similar to His statement,

[إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ]

(Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.) In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah! Which is the greatest sin' He said,

أَنْ تَجْعَلَ للهِ نِدًّا وَهُوَ خَلَقَك

(To make a rival with Allah, while He Alone created you.)''

[أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يُزَكُّونَ أَنفُسَهُمْ بَلِ اللَّهُ يُزَكِّى مَن يَشَآءُ وَلاَ يُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلاً - انظُرْ كَيفَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الكَذِبَ وَكَفَى بِهِ إِثْماً مُّبِيناً - أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ نَصِيباً مِّنَ الْكِتَـبِ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْجِبْتِ وَالطَّـغُوتِ وَيَقُولُونَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ هَـؤُلاءِ أَهْدَى مِنَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ سَبِيلاً - أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ وَمَن يَلْعَنِ اللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ نَصِيراً ]

(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.)

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

Al-Hasan and Qatadah said, "This Ayah,

[أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يُزَكُّونَ أَنفُسَهُمْ]

(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,

[نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ]

(We are the children of Allah and His loved ones) and their statement,

[لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلاَّ مَن كَانَ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَـرَى]

(None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian).'' This is why Allah said,

[بَلِ اللَّهُ يُزَكِّى مَن يَشَآءُ]

(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,

[وَلاَ يُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلاً]

(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.'' Allah said,

[انظُرْ كَيفَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الكَذِبَ]

(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;

[لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلاَّ مَن كَانَ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَـرَى]

(None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian) their statement;

[لَن تَمَسَّنَا النَّارُ إِلاَ أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَتٍ]

(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,

[تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُم مَّا كَسَبْتُم]

(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,

[وَكَفَى بِهِ إِثْماً مُّبِيناً]

(and enough is that as a manifest sin. ) meaning, these lies and fabrications of theirs are sufficent. Allah's statement,

[أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ نَصِيباً مِّنَ الْكِتَـبِ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْجِبْتِ وَالطَّـغُوتِ]

(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 Isma`il 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.''

72. Disbelievers Are not Better Guided Than Believers

Allah said,

[وَيَقُولُونَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ هَـؤُلاءِ أَهْدَى مِنَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ سَبِيلاً]

(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 Ka`b 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 us and 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,

[أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ نَصِيبًا]

(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,

[وَرَدَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِغَيْظِهِمْ لَمْ يَنَالُواْ خَيْراً وَكَفَى اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الْقِتَالَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ قَوِيّاً عَزِيزاً ]

(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).

[أَمْ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُلْكِ فَإِذاً لاَّ يُؤْتُونَ النَّاسَ نَقِيراً - أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَى مَآ ءَاتَـهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ فَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَآ ءَالَ إِبْرَهِيمَ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَءَاتَيْنَـهُمْ مُّلْكاً عَظِيماً - فَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ ءَامَنَ بِهِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَّن صَدَّ عَنْهُ وَكَفَى بِجَهَنَّمَ سَعِيراً ]

(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).)

73. 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,

[فَإِذاً لاَّ يُؤْتُونَ النَّاسَ نَقِيراً]

(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 , 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,

[قُل لَّوْ أَنتُمْ تَمْلِكُونَ خَزَآئِنَ رَحْمَةِ رَبِّى إِذًا لأمْسَكْتُمْ خَشْيَةَ الإِنفَاقِ]

(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,

[وَكَانَ الإنْسَـنُ قَتُورًا]

(And man is ever Qatur) meaning Bakhil (stingy). Allah then said,

[أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَى مَآ ءَاتَـهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ]

(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,

[أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ]

(Or do they envy men) means, "We are the worthy people, rather than the rest of the people.'' Allah said,

[فَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَآ ءَالَ إِبْرَهِيمَ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَءَاتَيْنَـهُمْ مُّلْكاً عَظِيماً]

(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,

[فَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ ءَامَنَ بِهِ]

(Of them were (some) who believed in it;) referring to Allah's favor and bounty (Prophets, Books, kingship),

[وَمِنْهُمْ مَّن صَدَّ عَنْهُ]

(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,

[فَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ ءَامَنَ بِهِ]

(Of them were (some) who believed in [him],) "Muhammad ,

[وَمِنْهُمْ مَّن صَدَّ عَنْهُ]

(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,

[وَكَفَى بِجَهَنَّمَ سَعِيراً]

(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.

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا سَوْفَ نُصْلِيهِمْ نَاراً كُلَّمَا نَضِجَتْ جُلُودُهُمْ بَدَّلْنَـهُمْ جُلُوداً غَيْرَهَا لِيَذُوقُواْ الْعَذَابَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَزِيزاً حَكِيماً - وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ سَنُدْخِلُهُمْ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَداً لَّهُمْ فِيهَآ أَزْوَجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ وَنُدْخِلُهُمْ ظِـلاًّ ظَلِيلاً ]

(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.) e(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.)

74. 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,

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا]

(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,

[كُلَّمَا نَضِجَتْ جُلُودُهُمْ بَدَّلْنَـهُمْ جُلُوداً غَيْرَهَا لِيَذُوقُواْ الْعَذَابَ]

(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-A`mash 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,

[كُلَّمَا نَضِجَتْ جُلُودُهُمْ]

(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,

[كُلَّمَا نَضِجَتْ جُلُودُهُمْ]

(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.''

75. The Wealth of the Righteous; Paradise and its Joy

Allah said,

[وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ سَنُدْخِلُهُمْ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَداً]

(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,

[لَّهُمْ فِيهَآ أَزْوَجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ]

(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-Nakha`i, Abu Salih, `Atiyah, and As-Suddi. Mujahid said that they are, free of urine, menstruation, spit, mucous and pregnancies.'' Allah's statement,

[وَنُدْخِلُهُمْ ظِـلاًّ ظَلِيلاً]

(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 said,

إِنَّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ لَشَجَرَةً يَسِيرُ الرَّاكِبُ فِي ظِلِّهَا مِائَةَ عَامٍ لَا يَقْطَعُهَا: شَجَرَةَ الْخُلْد

(There is a tree in Paradise, that if a rider travels under its shade for a hundred years, he will not cross it. It is the Tree of Everlasting Life.)

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تُؤدُّواْ الاحَمَـنَـتِ إِلَى أَهْلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُمْ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَن تَحْكُمُواْ بِالْعَدْلِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ نِعِمَّا يَعِظُكُمْ بِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ سَمِيعاً بَصِيراً ]

(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.)

76. 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 said,

أَدِّ الْأَمَانَةَ إِلى مَنِ ائْتَمَنَكَ، وَلَا تَخُنْ مَنْ خَانَك

(Return the trust to those who entrusted you, and do not betray those who betrayed you.) Imam Ahmad and the collectors of Sunan recorded this Hadith. 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 said,

لَتُؤَدَّنَّ الْحُقُوقُ إِلى أَهْلِهَا حَتَّى يُقْتَصَّ لِلشَّاةِ الْجَمَّاءِ مِنَ الْقَرْنَاء

(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.) 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 Ka`bah and entered it on the Day of the victory of Makkah. When the Prophet went out, he was reciting this Ayah,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تُؤدُّواْ الاحَمَـنَـتِ إِلَى أَهْلِهَا]

(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 went out of the Ka`bah, he was reciting this Ayah,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تُؤدُّواْ الاحَمَـنَـتِ إِلَى أَهْلِهَا]

(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.

77. The Order to Be Just

Allah said,

[وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُمْ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَن تَحْكُمُواْ بِالْعَدْلِ]

(and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice.) commanding justice when judging between people. Muhammad bin Ka`b, 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,

إِنَّ اللهَ مَعَ الْحَاكِمِ مَا لَمْ يَجُرْ، فَإِذَا جَارَ وَكَلَهُ اللهُ إِلى نَفْسِه

(Allah is with the judge as long as he does not commit injustice, for when he does, Allah will make him reliant on himself.) A statement goes, "One day of justice equals forty years of worship.'' Allah said,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ نِعِمَّا يَعِظُكُمْ بِهِ]

(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,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ سَمِيعاً بَصِيراً]

(Truly, Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Seer.) means, He hears your statements and knows your actions.

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَطِيعُواْ اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِى الاٌّمْرِ مِنْكُمْ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِى شَىْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ ذلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلاً ]

(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.)

78. The Necessity of Obeying the Rulers in Obedience to Allah

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Ayah,

[أَطِيعُواْ اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِى الاٌّمْرِ مِنْكُمْ]

(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.'' This statement was collected by the Group, with the exception of Ibn Majah At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan, Gharib''. 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 , they told him what had happened, and the Messenger said,

لَوْ دَخَلْتُمُوهَا مَا خَرَجْتُمْ مِنْهَا أَبَدًا، إِنَّمَا الطَّاعَةُ فِي الْمَعْرُوف

(Had you entered it, you would never have departed from it. Obedience is only in righteousness.)'' This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs. Abu Dawud recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

السَّمْعُ وَالطَّاعَةُ عَلَى الْمَرْءِ الْمُسْلِمِ فِيمَا أَحَبَّ وَكَرِهَ، مَا لَمْ يُؤْمَرْ بِمَعْصِيَةٍ، فَإِذَا أُمِرَ بِمَعْصِيَةٍ فَلَا سَمْعَ وَلَا طَاعَة

(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.) This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs. `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 said,

إِلَّا أَنْ تَرَوْا كُفْرًا بَوَاحًا، عِنْدَكُمْ فِيهِ مِنَ اللهِ بُرْهَان

(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 said,

اسْمَعُوا وَأَطِيعُوا، وَإِنْ أُمِّرَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَبْدٌحَبَشِيٌّ كَأَنَّ رَأْسَهُ زَبِيبَة

(Hear and obey (your leaders), even if an Ethiopian slave whose head is like a raisin, is made your chief.) Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith. Umm Al-Husayn said that she heard the Messenger of Allah giving a speech during the Farewell Hajj, in which he said;

وَلَوِ اسْتُعْمِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَبْدٌيَقُودُكُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللهِ، اسْمَعُوا لَهُ وَأَطِيعُوا

(Even if a slave was appointed over you, and he rules you with Allah's Book, then listen to him and obey him.) Muslim recorded this Hadith. In another narration with Muslim, the Prophet said,

عَبْدًا حَبَشِيًّا مَجْدُوعًا

(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 said,

مَنْ أَطَاعَنِي فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللهَ، وَمَنْ عَصَانِي فَقَدْ عَصَى اللهَ، وَمَنْ أَطَاعَ أَمِيرِي فَقَدْ أَطَاعَنِي، وَمَنْ عَصَى أَمِيرِي فَقَدْ عَصَانِي

(Whoever obeys me, obeys Allah, and whoever disobeys me, disobeys Allah. Whoever obeys my commander, obeys me, and whoever disobeys my commander, disobeys me.) This is why Allah said,

[أَطِيعُواْ اللَّهَ]

(Obey Allah), adhere to His Book,

[وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ]

(and obey the Messenger), adhere to his Sunnah,

[وَأُوْلِى الاٌّمْرِ مِنْكُمْ]

(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,

إِنَّمَا الطَّاعَةُ فِي الْمَعْرُوف

(Obedience is only in righteousness.)

79. The Necessity of Referring to the Qur'an and Sunnah for Judgment

Allah said,

[فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِى شَىْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ]

((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.'' 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,

[وَمَا اخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِن شَىْءٍ فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ]

(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, u

[إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ]

(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,

[إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ]

(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,

[ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ]

(That is better) meaning, referring to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger for judgment in various disputes is better,

[وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلاً]

(and more suitable for final determination.) meaning, "Has a better end and destination,'' as As-Suddi and several others have stated while Mujahid said, "Carries a better reward.''

[أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يَزْعُمُونَ أَنَّهُمْ ءَامَنُواْ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَحَاكَمُواْ إِلَى الطَّـغُوتِ وَقَدْ أُمِرُواْ أَن يَكْفُرُواْ بِهِ وَيُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَـنُ أَن يُضِلَّهُمْ ضَلَـلاً بَعِيداً - وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى مَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ وَإِلَى الرَّسُولِ رَأَيْتَ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَنكَ صُدُوداً - فَكَيْفَ إِذَآ أَصَـبَتْهُمْ مُّصِيبَةٌ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ ثُمَّ جَآءُوكَ يَحْلِفُونَ بِاللَّهِ إِنْ أَرَدْنَآ إِلاَّ إِحْسَاناً وَتَوْفِيقاً - أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُ اللَّهُ مَا فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ وَعِظْهُمْ وَقُل لَّهُمْ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ قَوْلاً بَلِيغاً ]

(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 inner selves.)

80. 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 Ka`b 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,

[يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَحَاكَمُواْ إِلَى الطَّـغُوتِ]

(and they wish to go for judgment to the Taghut) until the end of the Ayah. Allah's statement,

[يَصُدُّونَ عَنكَ صُدُوداً]

(turn away from you with aversion) means, they turn away from you in arrogance, just as Allah described the polytheists,

[وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُواْ مَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُواْ بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ ءَابَآءَنَا]

(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,

[إِنَّمَا كَانَ قَوْلَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذَا دُعُواْ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَن يَقُولُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا]

(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.'')

81. Chastising the Hypocrites

Chastising the hypocrites, Allah said,

[فَكَيْفَ إِذَآ أَصَـبَتْهُمْ مُّصِيبَةٌ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ]

(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.

[ثُمَّ جَآءُوكَ يَحْلِفُونَ بِاللَّهِ إِنْ أَرَدْنَآ إِلاَّ إِحْسَاناً وَتَوْفِيقاً]

(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,

[فَتَرَى الَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ يُسَـرِعُونَ فِيهِمْ يَقُولُونَ نَخْشَى]

(And you see those in whose hearts there is a disease (of hypocrisy), they hurry to their friendship, saying: "We fear''), until,

[فَيُصْبِحُواْ عَلَى مَآ أَسَرُّواْ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ نَـدِمِينَ]

(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,

[أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يَزْعُمُونَ أَنَّهُمْ ءَامَنُواْ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ]

(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,

[إِنْ أَرَدْنَآ إِلاَّ إِحْسَاناً وَتَوْفِيقاً]

("We meant no more than goodwill and conciliation!'') Allah then said,

[أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُ اللَّهُ مَا فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ]

(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,

[فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ]

(so turn aside from them (do not punish them)) meaning, do not punish them because of what is in their hearts.

[وَعِظْهُمْ]

(but admonish them) means, advise them against the hypocrisy and evil that reside in their hearts,

[وَقُل لَّهُمْ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ قَوْلاً بَلِيغاً]

(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.

[وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إلاَّ لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللَّهَ تَوَّاباً رَّحِيماً - فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ يَجِدُواْ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجاً مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً ]

(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.)

82. The Necessity of Obeying the Messenger

Allah said,

[وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إلاَّ لِيُطَاعَ]

(We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed) meaning, obeying the Prophet was ordained for those to whom Allah sends the Prophet. Allah's statement,

[بِإِذُنِ اللَّهِ]

(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,

[وَلَقَدْ صَدَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ إِذْ تَحُسُّونَهُمْ بِإِذْنِهِ]

(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,

[وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ]

(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 , 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,

[لَوَجَدُواْ اللَّهَ تَوَّاباً رَّحِيماً]

(they would have found Allah All-Forgiving (One Who forgives and accepts repentance), Most Merciful).

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

Allah said,

[فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ]

(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,

[ثُمَّ لاَ يَجِدُواْ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجاً مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً]

(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,

اسْقِ يَا زُبَيْرُ ثُمَّ أَرْسِلِ الْمَاءَ إِلى جَارِك

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

اسْقِ يَا زُبَيْرُ ثُمَّ احْبِسِ الْمَاءَ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَ إِلَى الْجَدْرِ،ثُمَّ أَرْسِلِ الْمَاءَ إِلى جَارِك

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

[فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ]

(But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you (O Muhammad ) judge in all disputes between them.)''' Another Reason In his Tafsir, Al-Hafiz Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin `Abdur-Rahman bin Ibrahim bin Duhaym recorded that Damrah narrated that two men took their dispute to the Prophet , and he gave a judgment to the benefit of whoever among them had the right. The person who lost the dispute said, "I do not agree.'' The other person asked him, "What do you want then'' He said, "Let us go to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq.'' They went to Abu Bakr and the person who won the dispute said, "We went to the Prophet with our dispute and he issued a decision in my favor.'' Abu Bakr said, "Then the decision is that which the Messenger of Allah issued.'' The person who lost the dispute still rejected the decision and said, "Let us go to `Umar bin Al-Khattab.'' When they went to `Umar, the person who won the dispute said, "We took our dispute to the Prophet and he decided in my favor, but this man refused to submit to the decision.'' `Umar bin Al-Khattab asked the second man and he concurred. `Umar went to his house and emerged from it holding aloft his sword. He struck the head of the man who rejected the Prophet's decision with the sword and killed him. Consequently, Allah revealed,

[فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ]

(But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith).

[وَلَوْ أَنَّا كَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَنِ اقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ أَوِ اخْرُجُواْ مِن دِيَـرِكُمْ مَّا فَعَلُوهُ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ مِّنْهُمْ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ فَعَلُواْ مَا يُوعَظُونَ بِهِ لَكَانَ خَيْراً لَّهُمْ وَأَشَدَّ تَثْبِيتاً - وَإِذاً لاّتَيْنَـهُمْ مِّن لَّدُنَّـآ أَجْراً عَظِيماً - وَلَهَدَيْنَـهُمْ صِرَطاً مُّسْتَقِيماً - وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ وَالصَّـلِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقاً - ذلِكَ الْفَضْلُ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ عَلِيماً ]

(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.)

84. 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,

[وَلَوْ أَنَّا كَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَنِ اقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ]

(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,

[وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ فَعَلُواْ مَا يُوعَظُونَ بِهِ]

(but if they had done what they were told,) meaning, if they do what they were commanded and refrain from what they were prohibited,

[لَكَانَ خَيْراً لَّهُمْ]

(it would have been better for them,) than disobeying the command and committing the prohibition,

[وَأَشَدَّ تَثْبِيتاً]

(and would have strengthened their conviction), stronger Tasdiq (conviction of faith), according to As-Suddi.

[وَإِذاً لاّتَيْنَـهُمْ مِّن لَّدُنَّـآ]

(And indeed We should then have bestowed upon them from Ladunna) from Us,

[أَجْراً عَظِيماً]

(A great reward), Paradise,

[وَلَهَدَيْنَـهُمْ صِرَطاً مُّسْتَقِيماً ]

(And indeed We should have guided them to the straight way.) in this life and the Hereafter.

85. Whoever Obeys Allah and His Messenger Will Be Honored by Allah

Allah then said,

[وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ وَالصَّـلِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقاً ]

(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,

[وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقاً]

(And how excellent these companions are!) Al-Bukhari recorded that `A'ishah said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

مَا مِنْ نَبِيَ يَمْرَضُ إِلَّا خُيِّرَ بَيْنَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَة

(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,

[مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ وَالصَّـلِحِينَ]

(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.'' Muslim recorded this Hadith. This Hadith explains the meaning of another Hadith; the Prophet said before his death;

اللَّهُمَّ (فِي) الرَّفِيقِ الْأَعْلَى

(O Allah! In the Most High Company) three times, and he then died, may Allah's best blessings be upon him.

86. The Reason Behind Revealing this Honorable Ayah

Ibn Jarir recorded that Sa`id 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,

[وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ]

(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.'' This Hadith was narrated in Mursal form from Masruq, `Ikrimah, `Amir Ash-Sha`bi, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas. This is the version with the best chain of narrators. 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,

[وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ وَالصَّـلِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقاً ]

(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.'' And Allah knows best. Muslim recorded that Rabi`ah bin Ka`b 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,

فَأَعِنِّي عَلى نَفْسِكَ بِكَثْرَةِ السُّجُود

(Then help me (fulfill this wish) for you by performing many prostrations.)'' 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 said,

مَـــنْ مَـــاتَ عَلى هَـــذَا كَانَ مَـــعَ النَّبِيِّيــنَ وَالصِّــدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّــهَدَاءِ يَـــــــــوْمَ الْقِيَـــــامَةِ،هَكَذا وَنَصَبَ أُصْبُعَيْهِ مَا لَمْ يَعُقَّ وَالِدَيْه

(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.)'' Only Ahmad recorded this Hadith. 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,

الْمَرْءُ مَعَ مَنْ أَحَب

(One is with those whom he loves.) 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.'' Allah said,

[ذلِكَ الْفَضْلُ مِنَ اللَّهِ]

(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.

[وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ عَلِيماً]

(and Allah is sufficient as All-Knower), He knows those who deserve guidance and success.

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ خُذُواْ حِذْرَكُمْ فَانفِرُواْ ثُبَاتٍ أَوِ انْفِرُواْ جَمِيعاً - وَإِنَّ مِنْكُمْ لَمَن لَّيُبَطِّئَنَّ فَإِنْ أَصَـبَتْكُمْ مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالَ قَدْ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَىَّ إِذْ لَمْ أَكُنْ مَّعَهُمْ شَهِيداً - وَلَئِنْ أَصَـبَكُمْ فَضْلٌ مِنَ الله لَيَقُولَنَّ كَأَن لَّمْ تَكُنْ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُ مَوَدَّةٌ يلَيتَنِى كُنتُ مَعَهُمْ فَأَفُوزَ فَوْزاً عَظِيماً - فَلْيُقَاتِلْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يَشْرُونَ الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيَا بِالاٌّخِرَةِ وَمَن يُقَـتِلْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَيُقْتَلْ أَو يَغْلِبْ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْراً عَظِيماً ]

(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 ـ 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.)

87. 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.

[ثُبَاتٍ]

(in parties) means, group after group, party after party, and expedition after expedition. `Ali bin Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said that,

[فَانفِرُواْ ثُبَاتٍ]

(and either go forth in parties) means, "In groups, expedition after expedition,

[أَوِ انْفِرُواْ جَمِيعاً]

(or go forth all together), means, all of you.'' Similar was reported from Mujahid, `Ikrimah, As-Suddi, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, `Ata' Al-Khurrasani, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Khusayf Al-Jazari.

88. Refraining from Joining Jihad is a Sign of Hypocrites

Allah said,

[وَإِنَّ مِنْكُمْ لَمَن لَّيُبَطِّئَنَّ]

(There is certainly among you he who would linger behind.) Mujahid and others said that this Ayah was revealed about the hypocrites. Muqatil bin Hayyan said that,

[لَّيُبَطِّئَنَّ]

(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:

[فَإِنْ أَصَـبَتْكُمْ مُّصِيبَةٌ]

(If a misfortune befalls you) death, martyrdom, or - by Allah's wisdom - being defeated by the enemy,

[قَالَ قَدْ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَىَّ إِذْ لَمْ أَكُنْ مَّعَهُمْ شَهِيداً]

(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.

[وَلَئِنْ أَصَـبَكُمْ فَضْلٌ مِنَ الله]

(But if a bounty comes to you from Allah) such as victory, triumph and booty,

[لَيَقُولَنَّ كَأَن لَّمْ تَكُنْ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُ مَوَدَّةٌ]

(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,

[يلَيتَنِى كُنتُ مَعَهُمْ فَأَفُوزَ فَوْزاً عَظِيماً]

("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.

89. The Encouragement to Participation in Jihad

Allah then said,

[فَلْيُقَاتِلْ]

(So fight) the believer with an aversion (to fighting),

[فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يَشْرُونَ الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيَا بِالاٌّخِرَةِ]

(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;

[وَمَن يُقَـتِلْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَيُقْتَلْ أَو يَغْلِبْ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْراً عَظِيماً]

(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,

وَتَكَفَّلَ اللهُ لِلْمُجَاهِدِ فِي سَبِيلِهِ، إِنْ تَوَفَّاهُ أَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ الْجَنَّةَ، أَوْ يَرْجِعَهُ إِلى مَسْكَنِهِ الَّذِي خَرَجَ مِنْهُ، بِمَا نَالَ مِنْ أَجْرٍ أَوْ غَنِيمَة

(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.)

[وَمَا لَكُمْ لاَ تُقَـتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَآءِ وَالْوِلْدَنِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَآ أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَـذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّـلِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَلْ لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنْكَ وَلِيّاً وَاجْعَلْ لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنْكَ نَصِيراً - الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ يُقَـتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُقَـتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ الطَّـغُوتِ فَقَـتِلُواْ أَوْلِيَاءَ الشَّيْطَـنِ إِنَّ كَيْدَ الشَّيْطَـنِ كَانَ ضَعِيفاً ]

(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.)

90. 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,

[الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَآ أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَـذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ]

(whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town), referring to Makkah. In a similar Ayah, Allah said,

[وَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ هِىَ أَشَدُّ قُوَّةً مِّن قَرْيَتِكَ الَّتِى أَخْرَجَتْكَ]

(And many a town, stronger than your town which has driven you out) Allah then describes this town,

[الظَّـلِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَلْ لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنْكَ وَلِيّاً وَاجْعَلْ لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنْكَ نَصِيراً]

(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).'' Allah then said,

[الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ يُقَـتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُقَـتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ الطَّـغُوتِ]

(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,

[فَقَـتِلُواْ أَوْلِيَاءَ الشَّيْطَـنِ إِنَّ كَيْدَ الشَّيْطَـنِ كَانَ ضَعِيفاً]

(So fight against the friends of Shaytan; ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shaytan).

[أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ قِيلَ لَهُمْ كُفُّواْ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلَوةَ وَءَاتُواْ الزَّكَوةَ فَلَمَّا كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقِتَالُ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمْ يَخْشَوْنَ النَّاسَ كَخَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ أَوْ أَشَدَّ خَشْيَةً وَقَالُواْ رَبَّنَا لِمَ كَتَبْتَ عَلَيْنَا الْقِتَالَ لَوْلا أَخَّرْتَنَا إِلَى أَجَلٍ قَرِيبٍ قُلْ مَتَـعُ الدُّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَالاٌّخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنِ اتَّقَى وَلاَ تُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلاً - أَيْنَمَا تَكُونُواْ يُدْرِككُّمُ الْمَوْتُ وَلَوْ كُنتُمْ فِى بُرُوجٍ مُّشَيَّدَةٍ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ حَسَنَةٌ يَقُولُواْ هَـذِهِ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ يَقُولُواْ هَـذِهِ مِنْ عِندِكَ قُلْ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ فَمَا لِهَـؤُلاءِ الْقَوْمِ لاَ يَكَادُونَ يَفْقَهُونَ حَدِيثاً ]

[مَّآ أَصَـبَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ وَمَآ أَصَـبَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ وَأَرْسَلْنَـكَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولاً وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ شَهِيداً ]

(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.)

91. 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.

[وَقَالُواْ رَبَّنَا لِمَ كَتَبْتَ عَلَيْنَا الْقِتَالَ لَوْلا أَخَّرْتَنَا إِلَى أَجَلٍ قَرِيبٍ]

(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,

[وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَوْلاَ نُزِّلَتْ سُورَةٌ فَإِذَآ أُنزِلَتْ سُورَةٌ مُّحْكَمَةٌ وَذُكِرَ فِيهَا الْقِتَالُ]

(Those who believe say: "Why is not a Surah sent down (for us) But when a decisive is sent down, and fighting is mentioned). 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 said,

إِنِّي أُمِرْتُ بِالْعَفْوِ فَلَا تُقَاتِلُوا الْقَوْم

(I was commanded to pardon the people, so do not fight them.) When Allah transferred the Prophet to Al-Madinah, He commanded him to fight (the idolators), but they (some Muslims) held back. So, Allah revealed the Ayah;

[أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ قِيلَ لَهُمْ كُفُّواْ أَيْدِيَكُمْ]

(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,

[قُلْ مَتَـعُ الدُّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَالاٌّخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنِ اتَّقَى]

(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.

[وَلاَ تُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلاً]

(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.

92. There is No Escaping Death

Allah said,

[أَيْنَمَا تَكُونُواْ يُدْرِككُّمُ الْمَوْتُ وَلَوْ كُنتُمْ فِى بُرُوجٍ مُّشَيَّدَةٍ]

(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,

[كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ ]

(Whatsooever is on it (the earth) will perish),

[كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ]

(Everyone shall taste death), and,

[وَمَا جَعَلْنَا لِبَشَرٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ الْخُلْدَ]

(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,

[وَلَوْ كُنتُمْ فِى بُرُوجٍ مُّشَيَّدَةٍ]

(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.

93. The Hypocrites Sense a Bad Omen Because of the Prophet !

Allah said,

[وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ حَسَنَةٌ]

(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.

[يَقُولُواْ هَـذِهِ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ]

(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.

[يَقُولُواْ هَـذِهِ مِنْ عِندِكَ]

(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 Fir`awn,

[فَإِذَا جَآءَتْهُمُ الْحَسَنَةُ قَالُواْ لَنَا هَـذِهِ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ يَطَّيَّرُواْ بِمُوسَى وَمَن مَّعَهُ]

(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,

[وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى حَرْفٍ]

(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 . Consequently, Allah revealed,

[قُلْ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ]

Say: All things are from Alla0h, 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 , but refering to mankind in general,

[مَّآ أَصَـبَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ]

(Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah,) meaning, of Allah's bounty, favor, kindness and mercy.

[وَمَآ أَصَـبَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ]

(But whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself.), meaning because of you and due to your actions. Similarly, Allah said,

[وَمَآ أَصَـبَكُمْ مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٍ ]

(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,

[فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ]

(from yourself) means, because of your errors. Qatadah said that,

[فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ]

(From yourself) means, as punishment for you, O son of Adam, because of your sins. Allah said,

[وَأَرْسَلْنَـكَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولاً]

(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.

[وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ شَهِيداً]

(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.

[مَّنْ يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ وَمَن تَوَلَّى فَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَـكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظاً - وَيَقُولُونَ طَاعَةٌ فَإِذَا بَرَزُواْ مِنْ عِندِكَ بَيَّتَ طَآئِفَةٌ مِّنْهُمْ غَيْرَ الَّذِى تَقُولُ وَاللَّهُ يَكْتُبُ مَا يُبَيِّتُونَ فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلاً ]

(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.)

94. Obeying the Messenger is Obeying Allah

Allah states that whoever obeys His servant and Messenger, Muhammad , 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 said,

مَنْ أَطَاعَنِي فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللهَ، وَمَنْ عَصَانِي فَقَدْ عَصَى اللهَ، وَمَنْ أَطَاعَ الْأَمِيرَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَنِي، وَمَنْ عَصَى الْأَمِيرَ فَقَدْ عَصَانِي

(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.) This Hadith was recorded in the Two Sahihs. Allah's statement,

[وَمَن تَوَلَّى فَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَـكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظاً]

(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,

مَنْ يُطِعِ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ رَشَدَ، وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَضُرُّ إِلَّا نَفْسَه

(Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, will acquire guidance; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, will only harm himself.)

95. The Foolishness of the Hypocrites

Allah said,

[وَيَقُولُونَ طَاعَةٌ]

(They say: "We are obedient,''). Allah states that the hypocrites pretend to be loyal and obedient.

[فَإِذَا بَرَزُواْ مِنْ عِندِكَ]

(but when they leave you), meaning, when they depart and are no longer with you,

[بَيَّتَ طَآئِفَةٌ مِّنْهُمْ غَيْرَ الَّذِى تَقُولُ]

(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,

[وَاللَّهُ يَكْتُبُ مَا يُبَيِّتُونَ]

(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,

[وَيِقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَبِالرَّسُولِ وَأَطَعْنَا]

(They (hypocrites) say: "We have believed in Allah and in the Messenger, and we obey,'') until the end of the Ayah. Allah's statement,

[فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ]

(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.

[وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلاً ]

(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.

[أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْءَانَ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ اخْتِلَـفاً كَثِيراً ]

[وَإِذَا جَآءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِّنَ الاٌّمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَى أُوْلِى الاٌّمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنْبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ وَلَوْلاَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لاَتَّبَعْتُمُ الشَّيْطَـنَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً ]

(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.)

96. 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,

[أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْءَانَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَآ ]

(Do they not then think deeply in the Qur'an, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)) Allah then said,

[وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ]

(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,

[لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ اخْتِلَـفاً]

(they would surely, have found therein contradictions), discrepancies and inconsistencies,

[كَثِيراً]

(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,

[ءَامَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا]

(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 Shu`ayb 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,

مَهْلًا يَا قَوْمِ، بِهَذَا أُهْلِكَتِ الْأُمَمُ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ، بِاخْتِلَافِهِمْ عَلى أَنْبِيَائِهِمْ، وَضَرْبِهِمِ الْكُتُبَ بَعْضَهَا بِبَعْضٍ، إِنَّ الْقُرْآنَ لَمْ يَنْزِلْ يُكَذِّبُ بَعْضُهُ بَعْضًا، إِنَّمَا يُصَدِّقُ بَعْضُهُ بَعْضًا، فَمَا عَرَفْتُمْ مِنْهُ فَاعْمَلُوا بِهِ، وَمَا جَهِلْتُمْ مِنْهُ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلى عَالِمِه

(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 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 said,

إِنَّمَا هَلَكَتِ الْأُمَمُ قَبْلَكُمْ بِاخْتِلَافِهِمْ فِي الْكِتَاب

(Verily, the nations before you were destroyed because of their disagreements over the Book.) Muslim and An-Nasa'i recorded this Hadith.

97. The Prohibition of Disclosing Unreliable and Uninvestigated News

Allah said,

[وَإِذَا جَآءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِّنَ الاٌّمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِ]

(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 said,

كَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ كَذِبًا أَنْ يُحَدِّثَ بِكُلِّ مَا سَمِع

(Narrating everything one hears is sufficient to make a person a liar.) This is the same narration collected by Abu Dawud in the section of Adab (manners) in his Sunan. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Al-Mughirah bin Shu`bah 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,

مَنْ حَدَّثَ بِحَدِيثٍ وَهُوَ يُرَى أَنَّهُ كَذِبٌ، فَهُوَ أَحَدُ الْكَاذِبَيْن

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

[وَإِذَا جَآءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِّنَ الاٌّمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَى أُوْلِى الاٌّمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنْبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ]

(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.'' This Ayah refers to proper investigation, or extraction of matters from their proper resources. Allah's statement,

[لاَتَّبَعْتُمُ الشَّيْطَـنَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً]

(you would have followed Shaytan except a few of you. ) refers to the believers, as `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas.

[فَقَاتِلْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لاَ تُكَلَّفُ إِلاَّ نَفْسَكَ وَحَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَسَى اللَّهُ أَن يَكُفَّ بَأْسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَاللَّهُ أَشَدُّ بَأْساً وَأَشَدُّ تَنكِيلاً - مَّن يَشْفَعْ شَفَـعَةً حَسَنَةً يَكُنْ لَّهُ نَصِيبٌ مِّنْهَا وَمَن يَشْفَعْ شَفَـعَةً سَيِّئَةً يَكُنْ لَّهُ كِفْلٌ مَّنْهَا وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ مُّقِيتاً - وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّواْ بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَآ أَوْ رُدُّوهَآ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ حَسِيباً - اللَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ لَيَجْمَعَنَّكُمْ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حَدِيثاً ]

(84. Then fight in the cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself, and incite the believers (to fight along with you), it may be that Allah will restrain the evil might of the disbelievers. And Allah is Stronger in might and Stronger in punishing.) (85. Whosoever intercedes for a good cause, will have the reward thereof; and whosoever intercedes for an evil cause, will have a share in its burden. And Allah is Ever All-Able to do everything.) (86. When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally. Certainly, Allah is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things.) (87. Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He. Surely, He will gather you together on the Day of Resurrection about which there is no doubt. And who is truer in statement than Allah)

98. Allah Commands His Messenger to Perform Jihad

Allah commands His servant and Messenger, Muhammad , to himself fight in Jihad and not to be concerned about those who do not join Jihad. Hence Allah's statement,

[لاَ تُكَلَّفُ إِلاَّ نَفْسَكَ]

(you are not tasked (held responsible except for yourself,) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Ishaq said, "I asked Al-Bara bin `Azib about a man who meets a hundred enemies and still fights them, would he be one of those referred to in Allah's statement,

[وَلاَ تُلْقُواْ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ]

(And do not throw yourselves into destruction (by not spending your wealth in the cause of Allah)) He said, `Allah said to His Prophet,

[فَقَاتِلْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لاَ تُكَلَّفُ إِلاَّ نَفْسَكَ وَحَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ]

(Then fight in the cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself, and incite the believers (to fight along with you)).'' Imam Ahmad recorded Sulayman bin Dawud saying that Abu Bakr bin `Ayyash said that Abu Ishaq said, "I asked Al-Bara', `If a man attacks the lines of the idolators, would he be throwing himself to destruction' He said, `No because Allah has sent His Messenger and commanded him,

[فَقَاتِلْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لاَ تُكَلَّفُ إِلاَّ نَفْسَكَ]

(Then fight in the cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself,) That Ayah is about spending [in Allah's cause].''

99. Inciting the Believers to Fight

Allah said,

[وَحَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ]

(and incite the believers) to fight, by encouraging them and strengthening their resolve in this regard. For instance, the Prophet said to the believers at the battle of Badr, while organizing their lines,

قُومُوا إِلى جَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّموَاتُ وَالْأَرْض

(Stand up and march forth to a Paradise, as wide as the heavens and Earth.) There are many Hadiths that encourage Jihad. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ، وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَاةَ، وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ، وَصَامَ رَمَضَانَ، كَانَ حَقًّا عَلَى اللهِ أَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ الْجَنَّـةَ، هَاجَرَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ أَوْ جَلَسَ فِي أَرْضِهِ الَّتِي وُلِدَ فِيهَا

(Whoever believes in Allah and His Messenger, offers prayer, pays the Zakah and fasts the month of Ramadan, will rightfully be granted Paradise by Allah, no matter whether he migrates in Allah's cause or remains in the land where he is born.) The people said, `O Allah's Messenger! Shall we acquaint the people with this good news' He said,

إِنَّ فِي الْجَنَّـةِ مِائَةَ دَرَجَةٍ أَعَدَّهَا اللهُ لِلْمُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، بَيْنَ كُلِّ دَرَجَتَيْنِ كَمَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ، فَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُ اللهَ فَاسْأَلُوهُ الْفِرْدَوْسَ، فَإِنَّهُ وَسَطُ الْجَنَّةِ، وَأَعْلَى الْجَنَّةِ، وَفَوْقَهُ عَرْشُ الرَّحْمنِ، وَمِنْهُ تَفَجَّرُ أَنْهَارُ الْجَنَّة

(Paradise has one hundred grades which Allah has reserved for the Mujahidin who fight in His cause, the distance between each two grades is like the distance between the heaven and the Earth. So, when you ask Allah, ask for Al-Firdaws, which is the best and highest part of Paradise, above it is the Throne of the Most Beneficent (Allah) and from it originate the rivers of Paradise.) There are various narrations for this Hadith from `Ubadah, Mu`adh, and Abu Ad-Darda'. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

يَا أَبَا سَعِيدٍ مَنْ رَضِيَ بِاللهِ رَبًّا، وَبِالْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا، وَبِمُحَمَّدٍصلى الله عليه وسلّم نَبِيًّا، وَجَبَتْ لَهُ الْجَنَّـة

(O Abu Sa`id! Whoever accepts Allah as his Lord, Islam as his religion and Muhammad as the Prophet, then he would rightfully acquire Paradise.) Abu Sa`id liked these words and said, "O Allah's Messenger! Repeat them for me.'' The Prophet repeated his words, then said,

وَأُخْرَى يَرْفَعُ اللهُ الْعَبْدَبِهَا مِائَةَ دَرَجَةٍ فِي الْجَنَّـةِ، مَا بَيْنَ كُلِّ دَرَجَتَيْنِ كَمَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْض

(And (there is) another deed for which Allah raises the servant a hundred grades in Paradise, between each two grades is the distance between heaven and Earth.) Abu Sa`id said, "What is it, O Allah's Messenger '' He said,

الْجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ الله

(Jihad in Allah's cause.) This Hadith was collected by Muslim. Allah's statement,

[عَسَى اللَّهُ أَن يَكُفَّ بَأْسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ]

(it may be that Allah will restrain the evil might of the disbelievers. ) means, by your encouraging them to fight, their resolve will be strengthened to meet the enemy in battle, to defend Islam and its people and to endure and be patient against the enemy. Allah's statement,

[وَاللَّهُ أَشَدُّ بَأْساً وَأَشَدُّ تَنكِيلاً]

(And Allah is Stronger in might and Stronger in punishing.) means, He is able over them in this life and the Hereafter, just as He said in another Ayah,

[ذَلِكَ وَلَوْ يَشَآءُ اللَّهُ لاَنْتَصَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَـكِن لِّيَبْلُوَ بَعْضَكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ]

(But if it had been Allah's will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight) in order to test some of you with others) (47:4).

100. Interceding for a Good or an Evil Cause

Allah said,

[مَّن يَشْفَعْ شَفَـعَةً حَسَنَةً يَكُنْ لَّهُ نَصِيبٌ مِّنْهَا]

(Whosoever intercedes for a good cause, will have the reward thereof;) meaning, whoever intercedes in a matter that produces good results, will acquire a share in that good.

[وَمَن يَشْفَعْ شَفَـعَةً سَيِّئَةً يَكُنْ لَّهُ كِفْلٌ مَّنْهَا]

(And whosoever intercedes for an evil cause, will have a share in its burden.) meaning, he will carry a burden due to what resulted from his intercession and intention. For instance, it is recorded in the Sahih that the Prophet said,

اشْفَعُوا تُؤْجَرُوا، وَيَقْضِي اللهُ عَلى لِسَانِ نَبِيِّهِ مَا شَاء

(Intercede and you will gain a reward of it. Yet, Allah shall decide whatever He wills by the words of His Prophet.) Mujahid bin Jabr said, "This Ayah was revealed about the intercession of people on behalf of each other.'' Allah then said,

[وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ مُّقِيتاً]

(And Allah is Ever Muqit over everything.) Ibn `Abbas, `Ata', `Atiyah, Qatadah and Matar Al-Warraq said that,

[مُّقِيتاً]

(Muqit) means, "Watcher.'' Mujahid said that Muqit means, `Witness', and in another narration, `Able to do.'

101. Returning the Salam, With a Better Salam

Allah said,

[وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّواْ بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَآ أَوْ رُدُّوهَآ]

(When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally.) meaning, if the Muslim greets you with the Salam, then return the greeting with a better Salam, or at least equal to the Salam that was given. Therefore, the better Salam is recommended, while returning it equally is an obligation. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Raja' Al-`Utaridi said that `Imran bin Husayn said that a man came to the Messenger of Allah and said, "As-Salamu `Alaykum''. The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Ten.'' Another man came and said, "As-Salamu `Alaykum wa Rahmatullah, O Allah's Messenger.'' The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Twenty.'' Then another man came and said, "As-Salamu `Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh.'' The Prophet returned the greeting, and after the man sat down he said, "Thirty.'' This is the narration recorded by Abu Dawud. At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Al-Bazzar also recorded it. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib''. There are several other Hadiths on this subject from Abu Sa`id, `Ali, and Sahl bin Hanif. When the Muslim is greeted with the full form of Salam, he is obliged to return the greeting equally. As for Ahl Adh-Dhimmah the Salam should not be initiated nor should the greeting be added to when returning their greeting. Rather, as recorded in the Two Sahihs their greeting is returned to them equally. Ibn `Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا سَلَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَهُودُ، فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ أَحَدُهُمْ: السَّامُ عَلَيْكَ، فَقُلْ: وَعَلَيْك

(When the Jews greet you, one of them would say, `As-Samu `Alayka (death be unto you).' Therefore, say, `Wa `Alayka (and the same to you).') In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَا تَبْدَأُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى بِالسَّلَامِ، وَإِذَا لَقِيتُمُوهُمْ فِي طَرِيقٍ فَاضْطَرُّوهُمْ إِلى أَضْيَقِه

(Do not initiate greeting the Jews and Christians with the Salam, and when you pass by them on a road, force them to its narrowest path.) Abu Dawud recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لَا تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّـةَ حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا، وَلَا تُؤْمِنُوا حَتَّى تَحَابُّوا، أَفَلَا أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَى أَمْرٍ إِذَا فَعَلْتُمُوهُ تَحَابَبْتُمْ؟ أَفْشُوا السَّلَامَ بَيْنَكُم

(By He in Whose Hand is my soul! You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love each other. Should I direct you to an action that would direct you to love each other Spread the Salam among yourselves.) Allah said,

[اللَّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ]

(Allah! none has the right to be worshipped but He) informing that He is singled out as the sole God of all creation. Allah then said,

[لَيَجْمَعَنَّكُمْ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ]

(Surely, He will gather you together on the Day of Resurrection about which there is no doubt.) swearing that He will gather the earlier and latter generations in one area, rewarding or punishing each person according to his or her actions. Allah said,

[وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حَدِيثاً]

(And who is truer in statement than Allah) meaning, no one utters more truthful statements than Allah, in His promise, warning, stories of the past and information of what is to come; there is no deity worthy of worship nor Lord except Him.

[فَمَا لَكُمْ فِى الْمُنَـفِقِينَ فِئَتَيْنِ وَاللَّهُ أَرْكَسَهُمْ بِمَا كَسَبُواْ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَهْدُواْ مَنْ أَضَلَّ اللَّهُ وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلاً - وَدُّواْ لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ كَمَا كَفَرُواْ فَتَكُونُونَ سَوَآءً فَلاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ مِنْهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءَ حَتَّى يُهَاجِرُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْاْ فَخُذُوهُمْ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ وَلاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ مِنْهُمْ وَلِيّاً وَلاَ نَصِيراً - إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ إِلَى قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ مِّيثَـقٌ أَوْ جَآءُوكُمْ حَصِرَتْ صُدُورُهُمْ أَن يُقَـتِلُونَكُمْ أَوْ يُقَـتِلُواْ قَوْمَهُمْ وَلَوْ شَآءَ اللَّهُ لَسَلَّطَهُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ فَلَقَـتَلُوكُمْ فَإِنِ اعْتَزَلُوكُمْ فَلَمْ يُقَـتِلُوكُمْ وَأَلْقَوْاْ إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ فَمَا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سَبِيلاً - سَتَجِدُونَ ءَاخَرِينَ يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَأْمَنُوكُمْ وَيَأْمَنُواْ قَوْمَهُمْ كُلَّ مَا رُدُّواْ إِلَى الْفِتْنِةِ أُرْكِسُواْ فِيِهَا فَإِن لَّمْ يَعْتَزِلُوكُمْ وَيُلْقُواْ إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ وَيَكُفُّواْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ فَخُذُوهُمْ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثِقِفْتُمُوهُمْ وَأُوْلَـئِكُمْ جَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَـناً مُّبِيناً ]

(88. Then what is the matter with you that you are divided into two parties about the hypocrites Allah has cast them back because of what they have earned. Do you want to guide him whom Allah has made to go astray And he whom Allah has made to go astray, you will never find for him a way.) (89. They wish that you reject faith, as they have rejected, and thus that you all become equal (like one another). So take not Awliya' from them, till they emigrate in the way of Allah. But if they turn back, take (hold of) them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither Awliya' nor helpers from them.) (90. Except those who join a group, between you and whom there is a treaty (of peace), or those who approach you with their breasts restraining from fighting you as well as fighting their own people. Had Allah willed, indeed He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. So, if they withdraw from you, and fight not against you, and offer you peace, then Allah has made no way for you against them.) (91. You will find others that wish to have security from you and security from their people. Every time they are sent back to Fitnah, they yield thereto. If they withdraw not from you, nor offer you peace, nor restrain their hands, take (hold of) them and kill them wherever you Thaqiftumuhum. In their case, We have provided you with a clear warrant against them.)

102. Censuring the Companions for Disagreeing over the Hypocrites who Returned to Al-Madinah Before Uhud

Allah criticizes the believers for disagreeing over the hypocrites. There are conflicting opinions over the reason behind revealing this Ayah. Imam Ahmad recorded that Zayd bin Thabit said that Messenger of Allah marched towards Uhud. However, some people who accompanied him went back to Al-Madinah, and the Companions of the Messenger of Allah divided into two groups concerning them, one saying they should be killed and the other objecting. Allah sent down,

[فَمَا لَكُمْ فِى الْمُنَـفِقِينَ فِئَتَيْنِ]

(Then what is the matter with you that you are divided into two parties about the hypocrites) The Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّهَا طَيْبَةُ، وَإِنَّهَا تَنْفِي الْخَبَثَ، كَمَا يَنْفِي الْكِيرُ خَبَثَ الْحَدِيد

(She (Al-Madinah) is Taybah, and she expels filth, just as the billow expels rust from iron.) The Two Sahihs also recorded this Hadith. Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said that the Ayah was revealed about some people in Makkah who said they embraced Islam, yet they gave their support to the idolators. One time, theses people went out of Makkah to fulfill some needs and said to each other, "If we meet the Companions of Muhammad, there will be no harm for us from their side.'' When the believers got news that these people went out of Makkah, some of them said, "Let us march to these cowards and kill them, because they support your enemy against you.'' However, another group from the believers said, "Glory be to Allah! Do you kill a people who say as you have said, just because they did not perform Hijrah or leave their land Is it allowed to shed their blood and confiscate their money in this case'' So they divided to two groups, while the Messenger was with them, and did not prohibit either group from reiterating their argument. Thereafter, Allah revealed,

[فَمَا لَكُمْ فِى الْمُنَـفِقِينَ فِئَتَيْنِ]

(Then what is the matter with you that you are divided into two parties about the hypocrites) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this Hadith. Allah said,

[وَاللَّهُ أَرْكَسَهُمْ بِمَا كَسَبُواْ]

(Allah has cast them back because of what they have earned.) meaning, He made them revert to, and fall into error. Ibn `Abbas said that,

[أَرْكَسَهُمْ]

(Arkasahum) means, `cast them' . Allah's statement,

[بِمَا كَسَبُواْ]

(because of what they have earned) means, because of their defiance and disobedience to the Messenger and following falsehood.

[أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَهْدُواْ مَنْ أَضَلَّ اللَّهُ وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلاً]

(Do you want to guide him whom Allah has made to go astray And he whom Allah has made to go astray, you will never find for him a way.) meaning, there will be no path for him, or way to guidance. Allah's statement,

[وَدُّواْ لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ كَمَا كَفَرُواْ فَتَكُونُونَ سَوَآءً]

(They wish that you reject faith, as they have rejected, and thus that you all become equal.) means, they wish that you fall into misguidance, so that you and they are equal in that regard. This is because of their extreme enmity and hatred for you. Therefore, Allah said,

[فَلاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ مِنْهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءَ حَتَّى يُهَاجِرُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْاْ]

(So take not Awliya' from them, till they emigrate in the way of Allah. But if they turn back,) if they abandon Hijrah, as Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas. As-Suddi said that this part of the Ayah means, "If they make their disbelief public.''

103. Combatants and Noncombatants

Allah excluded some people;

[إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ إِلَى قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ مِّيثَـقٌ]

(Except those who join a group, between you and whom there is a treaty (of peace),) meaning, except those who join and take refuge with a people with whom you have a pact of peace, or people of Dhimmah, then treat them as you treat the people with whom you have peace. This is the saying of As-Suddi, Ibn Zayd and Ibn Jarir. In his Sahih, Al-Bukhari recorded the story of the treaty of Al-Hudaybiyyah, where it was mentioned that whoever liked to have peace with Quraysh and conduct a pact with them, then they were allowed. Those who liked to have peace with Muhammad and his Companions and enter a pact with them were allowed. It was reported that Ibn `Abbas said that this Ayah was later abrogated by Allah's statement,

[فَإِذَا انسَلَخَ الأَشْهُرُ الْحُرُمُ فَاقْتُلُواْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ]

(Then when the Sacred Months have passed, kill the idolators wherever you find them) Allah said,

[أَوْ جَآءُوكُمْ حَصِرَتْ صُدُورُهُمْ]

(or those who approach you with their breasts restraining) referring to another type of people covered by the exclusion from fighting. They are those who approach the Muslims with hesitation in their hearts because of their aversion to fighting the Muslims. They do not have the heart to fight with the Muslims against their own people. Therefore, they are neither with nor against Muslims.

[وَلَوْ شَآءَ اللَّهُ لَسَلَّطَهُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ فَلَقَـتَلُوكُمْ]

(Had Allah willed, indeed He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you.) meaning, it is from Allah's mercy that He has stopped them from fighting you.

[فَإِنِ اعْتَزَلُوكُمْ فَلَمْ يُقَـتِلُوكُمْ وَأَلْقَوْاْ إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ]

(So, if they withdraw from you, and fight not against you, and offer you peace,) meaning, they revert to peace,

[فَمَا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سَبِيلاً]

(then Allah has opened no way for you against them), you do not have the right to kill them, as long as they take this position. This was the position of Banu Hashim (the tribe of the Prophet ), such as Al-`Abbas, who accompanied the idolators in the battle of Badr, for they joined the battle with great hesitation. This is why the Prophet commanded that Al-`Abbas not be killed, but only captured. Allah's statement, d

[سَتَجِدُونَ ءَاخَرِينَ يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَأْمَنُوكُمْ وَيَأْمَنُواْ قَوْمَهُمْ]

(You will find others that wish to have security from you and security from their people.) refers to a type of people who on the surface appear to be like the type we just mentioned. However, the intention of each type is different, for the latter are hypocrites. They pretend to be Muslims with the Prophet and his Companions, so that they could attain safety with the Muslims for their blood, property and families. However, they support the idolators in secret and worship what they worship, so that they are at peace with them also. These people have secretly sided with the idolators, just as Allah described them,

[وَإِذَا خَلَوْاْ إِلَى شَيَـطِينِهِمْ قَالُواْ إِنَّا مَعَكُمْ]

(But when they are alone with their Shayatin, they say: "Truly, we are with you.''). In this Ayah, Allah said,

[كُلَّ مَا رُدُّواْ إِلَى الْفِتْنِةِ أُرْكِسُواْ فِيِهَا]

(Every time they are sent back to Fitnah, they yield thereto.) meaning, they dwell in Fitnah. As-Suddi said that the Fitnah mentioned here refers to Shirk. Ibn Jarir recorded that Mujahid said that the Ayah was revealed about a group from Makkah who used to go to the Prophet [in Al-Madinah] pretending to be Muslims. However, when they went back to Quraysh, they reverted to worshipping idols. They wanted to be at peace with both sides. Allah commanded they should be fought against, unless they withdraw from combat and resort to peace. This is why Allah said,

[فَإِن لَّمْ يَعْتَزِلُوكُمْ وَيُلْقُواْ إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ]

(If they withdraw not from you, nor offer you peace) meaning, revert to peaceful and complacent behavior,

[وَيَكُفُّواْ أَيْدِيَهُمْ]

(nor restrain their hands) refrain from fighting you,

[فَخُذُوهُمْ]

(take (hold of) them), capture them,

[وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثَقِفْتُمُوهُمْ]

(and kill them wherever you Thaqiftumuhum.), wherever you find them,

[وَأُوْلَـئِكُمْ جَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَـناً مُّبِيناً]

(In their case, We have provided you with a clear warrant against them), meaning an unequivocal and plain warrant.

[وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ أَن يَقْتُلَ مُؤْمِناً إِلاَّ خَطَئاً وَمَن قَتَلَ مُؤْمِناً خَطَئاً فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُّؤْمِنَةٍ وَدِيَةٌ مُّسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ إِلاَّ أَن يَصَّدَّقُواْ فَإِن كَانَ مِن قَوْمٍ عَدُوٍّ لَّكُمْ وَهُوَ مْؤْمِنٌ فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُّؤْمِنَةٍ وَإِن كَانَ مِن قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ مِّيثَاقٌ فَدِيَةٌ مُّسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ وَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُّؤْمِنَةً فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ تَوْبَةً مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً - وَمَن يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِناً مُّتَعَمِّداً فَجَزَآؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِداً فِيهَا وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَعَنَهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ عَذَاباً عَظِيماً ]

(92. It is not for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake; and whosoever kills a believer by mistake, he must set free a believing slave and submit compensation (blood money) to the deceased's family unless they remit it. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (is prescribed); and if he belonged to a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance, then compensation (blood money) must be paid to his family, and a believing slave must be freed. And whoso finds this beyond his means, he must fast for two consecutive months in order to seek repentance from Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.) (93. And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein; and the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him.)

104. The Ruling Concerning Killing a Believer by Mistake

Allah states that the believer is not allowed to kill his believing brother under any circumstances. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَا يَحِلُّ دَمُ امْرِىءٍ مُسْلِمٍ يَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ، وَأَنِّي رَسُولُ اللهِ، إِلَّا بِإِحْدَى ثَلَاثٍ: النَّفْسُ بِالنَّفْسِ، وَالثَّيِّبُ الزَّانِي، وَالتَّارِكُ لِدِينِهِ الْمُفَارِقُ لِلْجَمَاعَة

(The blood of a Muslim who testifies that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, is sacred, except in three instances. (They are:) life for life, the married adulterer, and whoever reverts from the religion and abandons the Jama`ah (community of the faithful believers).) When one commits any of these three offenses, it is not up to ordinary citizens to kill him or her, because this is the responsibility of the Muslim Leader or his deputy. Allah said,

[إِلاَّ خَطَئاً]

(except by mistake). There is a difference of opinion concerning the reason behind revealing this part of the Ayah. Mujahid and others said that it was revealed about `Ayyash bin Abi Rabi`ah, Abu Jahl's half brother, from his mother's side, Asma' bint Makhrabah. `Ayyash killed a man called Al-Harith bin Yazid Al-`Amiri, out of revenge for torturing him and his brother because of their Islam. That man later embraced Islam and performed Hijrah, but `Ayyash did not know this fact. On the Day of the Makkan conquest, `Ayyash saw that man and thought that he was still a disbeliever, so he attacked and killed him. Later, Allah sent down this Ayah. `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that this Ayah was revealed about Abu Ad-Darda' because he killed a man after he embraced the faith, just as Abu Ad-Darda' held the sword above him. When this matter was conveyed to the Messenger of Allah , Abu Ad-Darda' said, "He only said that to avert death.'' The Prophet said to him,

هَلَّا شَقَقْتَ عَنْ قَلْبِه

(Have you opened his heart) The basis for this story is in the Sahih, but it is not about Abu Ad-Darda'. Allah said,

[وَمَن قَتَلَ مُؤْمِناً خَطَئاً فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُّؤْمِنَةٍ وَدِيَةٌ مُّسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ]

(and whosoever kills a believer by mistake, he must set free a believing slave and submit compensation (blood money) to the deceased's family) thus, ordaining two requirements for murder by mistake. The first requirement is the Kaffarah (fine) for the great sin that has been committed, even if it was a mistake. The Kaffarah is to free a Muslim slave, not a non-Muslim slave. Imam Ahmad recorded that a man from the Ansar said that he brought a slave and said, "O Messenger of Allah! I have to free a believing slave, so if you see that this slave is a believer, I will free her.'' The Messenger of Allah asked her,

أَتَشْهَدِينَ أَنْ لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ؟

(Do you testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah) She said, "Yes.'' He asked her,

أَتَشْهَدِينَ أَنِّي رَسُولُ اللهِ؟

(Do you testify that I am the Messenger of Allah) She said, "Yes.'' He asked,

أَتُؤْمِنِينَ بِالْبَعْثِ بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ؟

(Do you believe in Resurrection after death) She said, "Yes.'' The Prophet said,

أَعْتِقْهَا

(Then free her.) This is an authentic chain of narration, and not knowing the name of the Ansari Companion does not lessen its authenticity. Allah's statement,

[وَدِيَةٌ مُّسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ]

(and submit compensation (blood money) to the deceased's family) is the second obligation which involves the killer and the family of the deceased, who will receive blood money as compensation for their loss. The compensation is only obligatory for the one who possesses one of five; as Imam Ahmad, and the Sunan compilers recorded from Ibn Mas`ud. He said; "Allah's Messenger determined that the Diyah (blood money) for unintentional murder is twenty camels which entered their fourth year, twenty camels which entered their fifth year, twenty camels which entered their second year, and twenty camels which entered their third year.'' This is the wording of An-Nasa'i. This Diyah is required from the elders of the killer's tribe, not from his own money. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "Two women from Hudhayl quarreled and one of them threw a stone at the other and killed her and her unborn fetus. They disputed before the Messenger of Allah and he decided that the Diyah of the fetus should be to free a male or a female slave. He also decided that the Diyah of the deceased is required from the elders of the killer's tribe.'' This Hadith indicates that in the case of what appears to be intentional murder, the Diyah is the same as that for killing by virtual mistake. The former type requires three types of Diyah, just like intentional murder, because it is somewhat similar to intentional murder. Al-Bukhari recorded in his Sahih that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, "The Messenger of Allah sent Khalid bin Al-Walid to Banu Jadhimah and he called them to Islam, but they did not know how to say, `We became Muslims.' They started saying, `Saba'na, Saba'na (we became Sabians). Khalid started killing them, and when this news was conveyed to the Messenger of Allah , he raised his hands and said,

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَبْرَأُ إِلَيْكَ مِمَّا صَنَعَ خَالِد

(O Allah! I declare my innocence before You of what Khalid did.) The Messenger sent `Ali to pay the Diyah of those who were killed and to compensate for the property that was destroyed, to the extent of replacing the dog's bowl. This Hadith indicates that the mistake of the Leader or his deputy (Khalid in this case) is paid from the Muslim Treasury. Allah said,

[إِلاَّ أَن يَصَّدَّقُواْ]

(unless they remit it), meaning, the Diyah must be delivered to the family of the deceased, unless they forfeit their right, in which case the Diyah does not become necessary. Allah's statement,

[فَإِن كَانَ مِن قَوْمٍ عَدُوٍّ لَّكُمْ وَهُوَ مْؤْمِنٌ فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُّؤْمِنَةٍ]

(If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (is prescribed);) means, if the murdered person was a believer, yet his family were combatant disbelievers, then they will receive no Diyah. In this case, the murderer only has to free a believing slave. Allah's statement,

[وَإِن كَانَ مِن قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ مِّيثَاقٌ]

(and if he belonged to a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance,) meaning, if the family of the deceased were from Ahl Adh-Dhimmah or with whom there is a peace treaty, then they deserve his Diyah; full Diyah if the deceased was a believer, in which case the killer is required to free a believing slave also.

[فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ]

(And whoso finds this beyond his means, he must fast for two consecutive months) without breaking the fast (in the days of) the two months. If he breaks the fast without justification, i.e. illness, menstruation, post-natal bleeding, then he has to start all over again. Allah's statement,

[تَوْبَةً مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً]

(to seek repentance from Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.) means, this is how the one who kills by mistake can repent, he fasts two consecutive months if he does not find a slave to free.

[وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً]

(And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise), we mentioned the explanation of this before.

105. Warning Against Intentional Murder

After Allah mentioned the ruling of unintentional murder, He mentioned the ruling for intentional murder. Allah said,

[وَمَن يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِناً مُّتَعَمِّداً]

(And whoever kills a believer intentionally,) This Ayah carries a stern warning and promise for those who commit so grave a sin that it is mentioned along with Shirk in several Ayat of Allah's Book. For instance, in Surat Al-Furqan, Allah said,

[وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَـهَا ءَاخَرَ وَلاَ يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِى حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ]

(And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah, nor kill such person as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause). Allah said,

[قُلْ تَعَالَوْاْ أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَلاَّ تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِ شَيْئاً]

(Say: "Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him.) [6:151]. There are many Ayat and Hadiths that prohibit murder. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,

أَوَّلُ مَا يُقْضَى بَيْنَ النَّاسِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فِي الدِّمَاء

(Blood offenses are the first disputes to be judged between the people on the Day of Resurrection. ) In a Hadith that Abu Dawud recorded, `Ubadah bin As-Samit states that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَا يَزَالُ الْمُؤْمِنُ مُعْنِقًا صَالِحًا، مَا لَمْ يُصِبْ دَمًا حَرَامًا، فَإِذَا أَصَابَ دَمًا حَرَامًا بَلَّح

(The believer will remain unburdened in righteousness as long as he does not shed prohibited blood. When he sheds forbidden blood, he will become burdened.) Another Hadith, states,

لَزَوَالُ الدُّنْيَا أَهْوَنُ عِنْدَ اللهِ مِنْ قَتْلِ رَجُلٍ مُسْلِم

(The destruction of this earthly life is less significant before Allah than killing a Muslim man (or woman).)

106. Will the Repentance of those who Commit Intentional Murder, be Accepted

Ibn `Abbas held the view that the repentance of one who intentionally murders a believer, will not be accepted. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Jubayr said, "The people of knowledge of Al-Kufah differed on this subject, I traveled to Ibn `Abbas to ask him about it. He said, `This Ayah,

[وَمَن يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِناً مُّتَعَمِّداً فَجَزَآؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ]

(And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell) was the last revealed [on this subject] and nothing abrogated it.''' Muslim and An-Nasa'i also recorded it. However, the majority of scholars of the earlier and later generations said that the killer's repentance can be accepted. If he repents, and goes back to Allah humbly, submissively, and performing righteous deeds, then Allah will change his evil deeds into good deeds and compensate the deceased for his loss by rewarding him for his suffering. Allah said, R

[وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَـهَا ءَاخَرَ]

(And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah), until,

[إِلاَّ مَن تَابَ وَءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلاً صَـلِحاً]

(Except those who repent and believe, and do righteous deeds). The Ayah we just mentioned should not be considered abrogated or only applicable to the disbelievers [who become Muslim], for this contradicts the general, encompassing indications of the Ayah and requires evidence to support it. Allah knows best. Allah said,

[قُلْ يعِبَادِىَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُواْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لاَ تَقْنَطُواْ مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ]

(Say: "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the mercy of Allah). This Ayah is general, covering all types of sins, including Kufr, Shirk, doubt, hypocrisy, murder, sin, and so forth. Therefore, everyone who repents sincerely from any of these errors, then Allah will forgive him. Allah said,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ]

(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). This Ayah is general and includes every sin except Shirk, and it has been mentioned in this Surah, both after this Ayah and before it, in order to encourage hope in Allah, and Allah knows best. It is confirmed in the Two Sahihs, that an Israeli killed one hundred people then he asked a scholar, "Is it possible for me to repent'' So he replied, "What is there that would prevent you from repentance'' So he told him to go to another land where Allah was worshipped. He began to emigrate to it but died on the way, and the angel of mercy was the one to take him. Although this Hadith is about an Israeli, it is even more suitable for the Muslim community that their repentance be accepted. Indeed, Allah relieved Muslims from the burdens and restrictions that were placed on the Jews, and He sent our Prophet with the easy Hanifiyyah way (Islamic Monotheism). As for the honorable Ayah,

[وَمَن يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِناً مُّتَعَمِّداً]

(And whoever kills a believer intentionally), Abu Hurayrah and several among the Salaf said that this is his punishment, if Allah decides to punish him. And this is the case with every threat that is issued for every sin. For instance, there could be good deeds that this person has done that would prevent him from being punished for that, and Allah knows best. Even if the murderer inevitably enters the Fire -- as Ibn `Abbas stated because his repentance was not accepted, or he did not have good deeds to save him, he will not remain there for eternity, but only for a long time. There are Mutawatir Hadiths stating that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّهُ يَخْرُجُ مِنَ النَّارِ مَنْ كَانَ فِي قَلْبِهِ أَدْنَى ذَرَّةٍ مِنْ إِيمَان

(Whoever has the least speck of faith in his heart shall ultimately depart the Fire.)

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ إِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَتَبَيَّنُواْ وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَنْ أَلْقَى إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَـمَ لَسْتَ مُؤْمِناً تَبْتَغُونَ عَرَضَ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا فَعِنْدَ اللَّهِ مَغَانِمُ كَثِيرَةٌ كَذلِكَ كُنتُمْ مِّن قَبْلُ فَمَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَتَبَيَّنُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيراً ]

(94. O you who believe! When you go (to fight) in the cause of Allah, verify (the truth), and say not to anyone who greets you: "You are not a believer;'' seeking the perishable goods of the worldly life. There is much more benefit with Allah. Even as he is now, so were you yourselves before, till Allah conferred on you His Favors, therefore, be cautious in discrimination. Allah is Ever Well-Aware of what you do.)

107. Greeting with the Salam is a Sign of Islam

Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ikrimah said that Ibn `Abbas said, "A man from Bani Sulaym, who was tending a flock of sheep, passed by some of the Companions of the Prophet and said Salam to them. They said (to each other), `He only said Salam to protect himself from us.' Then they attacked him and killed him. They brought his sheep to the Prophet , and this Ayah was revealed,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ]

(O you who believe!), until the end of the Ayah.'' At-Tirmidhi recorded this in his (chapter on) Tafsir, and said, "This Hadith is Hasan, and it is also reported from Usamah bin Zayd.'' Al-Hakim also recorded it and said, "Its chain is Sahih, but they did not collect it.'' Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas commented;

[وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَنْ أَلْقَى إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَـمَ لَسْتَ مُؤْمِناً]

(and say not to anyone who greets you: "You are not a believer;''), "A man was tending his sheep and the Muslims caught up with him. He said, `As-Salamu `Alaykum.' However, they killed him and took his sheep. Allah revealed the Ayah;

[وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَنْ أَلْقَى إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَـمَ لَسْتَ مُؤْمِناً تَبْتَغُونَ عَرَضَ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا]

(And say not to anyone who greets you: "You are not a believer; seeking the perishable goods of the worldly life).'' Ibn `Abbas said; "The goods of this world were those sheep.'' And he recited,

[السَّلَـمُ]

(Peace) Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Qa`qa` bin Abdullah bin Abi Hadrad narrated that his father `Abdullah bin Abi Hadrad said, "The Messenger of Allah sent us to (the area of) Idam. I rode out with a group of Muslims that included Abu Qatadah, Al-Harith bin Rab`i and Muhallam bin Juthamah bin Qays. We continued on until we reached the area of Idam, where `Amr bin Al-Adbat Al-Ashja`i passed by us on his camel. When he passed by us he said Salam to us, and we did not attack him. Because of some previous problems with him, Muhallam bin Juthamah killed him and took his camel. When we went back to the Messenger of Allah and told him what had happened, a part of the Qur'an was revealed about us,

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ إِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ]

(O you who believe! When you go (to fight) in the cause of Allah), until,

[خَبِيراً]

(Well-Aware).'' Only Ahmad recorded this Hadith. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said to Al-Miqdad,

إِذَا كَانَ رَجُلٌ مُؤْمِنٌ يُخْفِي إِيمَانَهُ مَعَ قَوْمٍ كُفَّارٍ فَأَظْهَرَ إيمَانَهُ فَقَتَلْتَهُ، فَكَذلِكَ كُنْتَ أَنْتَ تُخْفِي إِيمَانَكَ بِمَكَّةَ مِنْ قَبْل

(You killed a believing man who hid his faith with disbelieving people, after he had announced his faith to you. Remember that you used to hide your faith in Makkah before.) Al-Bukhari recorded this shorter version without a complete chain of narrators. However a longer version with a connected chain of narrators has also been recorded. Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bazzar recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "The Messenger of Allah sent a military expedition under the authority of Al-Miqdad bin Al-Aswad and when they reached the designated area, they found the people had dispersed. However, a man with a lot of wealth did not leave and said, `I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.' Yet, Al-Miqdad killed him, and a man said to him, `You killed a man after he proclaimed: "There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. By Allah I will mention what you did to the Prophet .' When they went back to the Messenger of Allah, they said, `O Messenger of Allah! Al-Miqdad killed a man who testified that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.' He said,

ادْعُوا لِيَ الْمِقْدَادَ، يَا مِقْدَادُ أَقَتَلْتَ رَجُلًا يَقُولُ: لَا إِلهَ إلَّا اللهُ، فَكَيْفَ لَكَ بِلَا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ غَدًا؟

(Summon Al-Miqdad before me. O Miqdad! Did you kill a man who proclaimed, "There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah" What would you do when you face, "There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah tomorrow") Allah then revealed;

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ إِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَتَبَيَّنُواْ وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَنْ أَلْقَى إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَـمَ لَسْتَ مُؤْمِناً تَبْتَغُونَ عَرَضَ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا فَعِنْدَ اللَّهِ مَغَانِمُ كَثِيرَةٌ كَذلِكَ كُنتُمْ مِّن قَبْلُ فَمَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَتَبَيَّنُواْ]

(O you who believe! When you go (to fight) in the cause of Allah, verify (the truth), and say not to anyone who greets you: "You are not a believer;'' seeking the perishable goods of the worldly life. There are much more profits and booties with Allah. Even as he is now, so were you yourselves before till Allah conferred on you His Favors, therefore, be cautious in discrimination). The Messenger of Allah said to Al-Miqdad,

كَانَ رَجُلٌ مُؤْمِنٌ يُخْفِي إِيمَانَهُ مَعَ قَوْمٍ كُفَّارٍ فَأَظْهَرَ إيمَانَهُ فَقَتَلْتَهُ، فَكَذَلِكَ كُنْتَ أَنْتَ تُخْفِي إِيمَانَكَ بِمَكَّةَ مِنْ قَبْل

(He was a believing man who hid his faith among disbelieving people, and he announced his faith to you, but you killed him, although you used to hide your faith before, in Makkah.)'' Allah's statement,

[فَعِنْدَ اللَّهِ مَغَانِمُ كَثِيرَةٌ]

(There is much more benefit with Allah.) means, better than what you desired of worldly possessions which made you kill the one who greeted you with the Salam and pronounced his faith to you. Yet, you ignored all this and accused him of hypocrisy, to acquire the gains of this life. However, the pure wealth with Allah is far better than what you acquired. Allah's statement,

[كَذلِكَ كُنتُمْ مِّن قَبْلُ فَمَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ]

(so were you yourselves before, till Allah conferred on you His Favors.) means, beforehand, you used to be in the same situation like this person who hid his faith from his people. We mentioned the relevant Hadiths above. Allah said,

[وَاذْكُرُواْ إِذْ أَنتُمْ قَلِيلٌ مُّسْتَضْعَفُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ]

(And remember when you were few and were reckoned weak in the land). `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr commented about Allah's statement,

[كَذلِكَ كُنتُمْ مِّن قَبْلُ]

(so were you yourselves before), "You used to hide your faith, just as this shepherd hid his faith.'' Allah said,

[فَتَبَيَّنُواْ]

(therefore, be cautious in discrimination), then said,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيراً]

(Allah is Ever Well-Aware of what you do.) and this part of the Ayah contains a threat and a warning, as Sa`id bin Jubayr stated.

[لاَّ يَسْتَوِى الْقَـعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُوْلِى الضَّرَرِ وَالْمُجَـهِدُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِأَمْوَلِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ الْمُجَـهِدِينَ بِأَمْوَلِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ عَلَى الْقَـعِدِينَ دَرَجَةً وَكُـلاًّ وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْحُسْنَى وَفَضَّلَ اللَّهُ الْمُجَـهِدِينَ عَلَى الْقَـعِدِينَ أَجْراً عَظِيماً - دَرَجَـتٍ مِّنْهُ وَمَغْفِرَةً وَرَحْمَةً وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً ]

(95. Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled, and those who strive hard and fight in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home), by a huge reward.) (96. Degrees of (higher) grades from Him, and forgiveness and mercy. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

108. The Mujahid and those Who Do not Join Jihad are Not the Same, [and Jihad is Fard Kifayah]

Al-Bukhari recorded that Al-Bara' said, "When the Ayah,

[لاَّ يَسْتَوِى الْقَـعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ]

(Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home),) was revealed, the Messenger of Allah called Zayd and commanded him to write it. Then, Ibn Umm Maktum came and mentioned that he was blind. Allah revealed,

[غَيْرُ أُوْلِى الضَّرَرِ]

(except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame)).'' Al-Bukhari recorded that Sahl bin Sa`d As-Sa`di said, "I saw Marwan bin Al-Hakam sitting in the Masjid. I came and sat by his side. He told us that Zayd bin Thabit told him that Allah's Messenger dictated this Ayah to him,

[لاَّ يَسْتَوِى الْقَـعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُوْلِى الضَّرَرِ وَالْمُجَـهِدُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ]

(Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled, and those who strive hard and fight in the cause of Allah) Ibn Umm Maktum came to the Prophet as he was dictating that very Ayah to me. Ibn Umm Maktum said, `O Allah's Messenger! By Allah, if I had power, I would surely take part in Jihad.' He was a blind man. So Allah sent down revelation to His Messenger while his thigh was on mine and it became so heavy for me that I feared that my thigh would be broken. That ended after Allah revealed,

[غَيْرُ أُوْلِى الضَّرَرِ]

(except those who are disabled).'' This was recorded by Al-Bukhari. At-Tirmidhi recorded that Ibn `Abbas said,

[لاَّ يَسْتَوِى الْقَـعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُوْلِى الضَّرَرِ]

(Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled), refers to those who did not go to the battle of Badr and those who went to Badr. When the battle of Badr was about to occur, Abu Ahmad bin Jahsh and Ibn Umm Maktum said, `We are blind, O Messenger of Allah! Do we have an excuse' The Ayah,

[لاَّ يَسْتَوِى الْقَـعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُوْلِى الضَّرَرِ]

(Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled) was revealed. Allah made those who fight, above those who sit in their homes not hindered by disability.

[وَفَضَّلَ اللَّهُ الْمُجَـهِدِينَ عَلَى الْقَـعِدِينَ أَجْراً عَظِيماًدَرَجَـتٍ مِّنْهُ]

(but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home), by a huge reward. Degrees of (higher) grades from Him), above the believers who sit at home without a disability hindering them.'' This is the wording recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who said, "Hasan Gharib. Allah's statement,

[لاَّ يَسْتَوِى الْقَـعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ]

(Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home),) this is general. Soon after, the revelation came down with,

[غَيْرُ أُوْلِى الضَّرَرِ]

(except those who are disabled). So whoever has a disability, such as blindness, a limp, or an illness that prevents them from joining Jihad, they were not compared to the Mujahidin who strive in Allah's cause with their selves and wealth, as those who are not disabled and did not join the Jihad were. In his Sahih, Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ بِالْمَدِينَةِ أَقْوَامًا مَا سِرْتُمْ مِنْ مَسِيرٍ، وَلَا قَطَعْتُمْ مِنْ وَادٍ، إِلَّا وَهُمْ مَعَكُمْ فِيه

قالوا: وهم بالمدينة يا رسول الله؟ (There are people who remained in Al-Madinah, who were with you in every march you marched and every valley you crossed.) They said, "While they are still in Al-Madinah, O Messenger of Allah'' He said,

نَعَمْ حَبَسَهُمُ الْعُذْر

(Yes. Only their disability hindered them (from joining you).) Allah said,

[وَكُلاًّ وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْحُسْنَى]

(Unto each, Allah has promised good) meaning, Paradise and tremendous rewards. This Ayah indicates that Jihad is not Fard on each and every individual, but it is Fard Kifayah (which is a collective duty). Allah then said,

[وَفَضَّلَ اللَّهُ الْمُجَـهِدِينَ عَلَى الْقَـعِدِينَ أَجْراً عَظِيماً]

(but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home), by a huge reward). Allah mentions what He has given them rooms in Paradise, along with His forgiveness and the descent of mercy and blessing on them, as a favor and honor from Him. So He said;

[دَرَجَـتٍ مِّنْهُ وَمَغْفِرَةً وَرَحْمَةً وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً ]

(Degrees of (higher) grades from Him, and forgiveness and mercy. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.). In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ مِائَةَ دَرَجَةٍ، أَعَدَّهَا اللهُ لِلْمُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ، مَا بَيْنَ كُلِّ دَرَجَتَيْنِ كَمَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْض

(There are a hundred grades in Paradise that Allah has prepared for the Mujahidin in His cause, between each two grades is the distance between heaven and Earth.)

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَفَّـهُمُ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ ظَـلِمِى أَنفُسِهِمْ قَالُواْ فِيمَ كُنتُمْ قَالُواْ كُنَّا مُسْتَضْعَفِينَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ قَالْواْ أَلَمْ تَكُنْ أَرْضُ اللَّهِ وَسِعَةً فَتُهَـجِرُواْ فِيهَا فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ وَسَآءَتْ مَصِيراً - إِلاَّ الْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَآءِ وَالْوِلْدَنِ لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ حِيلَةً وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ سَبِيلاً - فَأُوْلَـئِكَ عَسَى اللَّهُ أَن يَعْفُوَ عَنْهُمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَفُوّاً غَفُوراً - وَمَن يُهَاجِرْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ يَجِدْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مُرَاغَماً كَثِيراً وَسَعَةً وَمَن يَخْرُجْ مِن بَيْتِهِ مُهَـجِراً إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ يُدْرِكْهُ الْمَوْتُ فَقَدْ وَقَعَ أَجْرُهُ عَلىَ اللَّهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً ]

(97. Verily, as for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves, they (angels) say (to them): "In what (condition) were you'' They reply: "We were weak and oppressed on the earth.'' They (angels) say: "Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to emigrate therein'' Such men will find their abode in Hell - what an evil destination!) (98. Except the weak ones among men, women and children who cannot devise a plan, nor are they able to direct their way.) (99. These are they whom Allah is likely to forgive them, and Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.) (100. He who emigrates in the cause of Allah, will find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by. And whosoever leaves his home as an emigrant unto Allah and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then surely incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

109. The Prohibition of Residing Among the Disbelievers While Able to Emigrate

Al-Bukhari recorded that Muhammad bin `Abdur-Rahman, Abu Al-Aswad, said, "The people of Al-Madinah were forced to prepare an army (to fight against the people of Ash-Sham during the Khilafah of Abdullah bin Az-Zubayir at Makkah), and I was enlisted in it. Then I met `Ikrimah, the freed slave of Ibn `Abbas, and informed him (about it), and he forbade me strongly from doing so (i.e., to enlist in that army), and then he said to me, `Ibn `Abbas told me that some Muslims used to go out with the idolators increasing the size of their army against the Messenger of Allah . Then, an arrow would hit one of them and kill him, or he would be struck on his neck (with a sword) and killed, and Allah sent down the Ayah,

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَفَّـهُمُ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ ظَـلِمِى أَنفُسِهِمْ]

(Verily, as for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves).'' Ad-Dahhak stated that this Ayah was revealed about some hypocrites who did not join the Messenger of Allah but remained in Makkah and went out with the idolators for the battle of Badr. They were killed among those who were killed. Thus, this honorable Ayah was revealed about those who reside among the idolators, while able to perform Hijrah and unable to practice the faith. Such people will be committing injustice against themselves and falling into a prohibition according to the consensus and also according to this Ayah,

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَفَّـهُمُ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ ظَـلِمِى أَنفُسِهِمْ]

(Verily, as for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves,) by refraining from Hijrah,

[قَالُواْ فِيمَ كُنتُمْ]

(They (angels) say (to them): "In what (condition) were you'') meaning, why did you remain here and not perform Hijrah

[قَالُواْ كُنَّا مُسْتَضْعَفِينَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ]

(They reply: "We were weak and oppressed on the earth.'') meaning, we are unable to leave the land or move about in the earth,

[قَالْواْ أَلَمْ تَكُنْ أَرْضُ اللَّهِ وَسِعَةً]

(They (angels) say: "Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you). Abu Dawud recorded that Samurah bin Jundub said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ جَامَعَ الْمُشْرِكَ وَسَكَنَ مَعَهُ فَإِنَّهُ مِثْلُه

(Whoever mingles with the idolator and resides with him, he is just like him.) Allah's statement,

[إِلاَّ الْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ]

(Except the weak) until the end of the Ayah, is an excuse that Allah gives for this type of people not to emigrate, because they are unable to free themselves from the idolators. And even if they did, they would not know which way to go. This is why Allah said,

[لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ حِيلَةً وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ سَبِيلاً]

(Who cannot devise a plan, nor are they able to direct their way), meaning, they do not find the way to emigrate, as Mujahid, `Ikrimah and As-Suddi stated. Allah's statement,

[فَأُوْلَـئِكَ عَسَى اللَّهُ أَن يَعْفُوَ عَنْهُمْ]

(These are they whom Allah is likely to forgive them,) means, pardon them for not migrating, and here, `likely' means He shall,

[وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَفُوّاً غَفُوراً]

(and Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving). Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "While the Messenger of Allah was praying `Isha', he said, `Sami` Allahu Liman Hamidah.' He then said before he prostrated,

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْجِ عَيَّاشَ بْنَ أبِي رَبِيعَةَ، اللَّهُمَّ أَنْجِ سَلَمَةَ بْنَ هِشَامٍ، اللَّهُمَّ أَنْجِ الْوَلِيدَ بْنَ الْوَلِيدِ، اللَّهُمَّ أَنْجِ الْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، اللَّهُمَّ اشْدُدْ وَطْأَتَكَ عَلَى مُضَرَ، اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْهَا سِنِينَ كَسِنِي يُوسُف

(O Allah! Save `Ayyash bin Abi Rabi`ah. O Allah! Save Salamah bin Hisham. O Allah! Save Al-Walid bin Al-Walid. O Allah! Save the weak Muslims. O Allah! Be very hard on Mudar tribe. O Allah! Afflict them with years (of famine) similar to the (famine) years of the time of Prophet Yusuf.)'' Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu An-Nu`man said that Hammad bin Zayd said that Ayyub narrated that Ibn Abi Mulaykah said that Ibn `Abbas commented on the verse,

[إِلاَّ الْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ]

(Except the weak ones among men), "I and my mother were among those (weak ones) whom Allah excused.'' Allah's statement,

[وَمَن يُهَاجِرْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ يَجِدْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مُرَاغَماً كَثِيراً وَسَعَةً]

(He who emigrates in the cause of Allah, will find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by.) this encourages the believers to perform Hijrah and abandon the idolators, for wherever the believer emigrates, he will find a safe refuge to resort to. Mujahid said that,

[مُرَاغَماً كَثِيراً]

(many dwelling places) means, he will find a way out of what he dislikes. Allah's statement,

[وَسِعَةً]

(and plenty to live by.) refers to provision. Qatadah also said that,

[يَجِدْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مُرَاغَماً كَثِيراً وَسَعَةً]

(...will find on earth many dwelling places and plenty to live by.) means, Allah will take him from misguidance to guidance and from poverty to richness. Allah's statement,

[وَمَن يَخْرُجْ مِن بَيْتِهِ مُهَـجِراً إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ يُدْرِكْهُ الْمَوْتُ فَقَدْ وَقَعَ أَجْرُهُ عَلىَ اللَّهِ]

(And whosoever leaves his home as an emigrant unto Allah and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward is then surely, incumbent upon Allah. ) means, whoever starts emigrating and dies on the way, he will acquire the reward of those who emigrate for Allah. The Two Sahihs, along with the Musnad and Sunan compilers, recorded that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّمَا الْأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّــيَّاتِ، وَإِنَّمَا لِكُلِّ امْرِىءٍ مَا نَوَى، فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ، فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ، وَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلى دُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا، أَوِ امْرَأَةٍ يَتَزَوَّجُهَا، فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْه

(The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions, and every person will be rewarded according to what he has intended. So, whoever emigrated to Allah and His Messenger, then his emigration is for Allah and His Messenger. And whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration is for what he emigrated for.) This Hadith is general, it applies to Hijrah as well as every other deed. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that a man killed ninety-nine people and completed the number one hundred when he killed a worshipper. He then asked a scholar if he has a chance to repent. The scholar said, "What prevents you from repentance'' The scholar told the killer to emigrate from his land to another land where Allah is worshipped. When he left his land and started on the migration to the other land, death overtook him on the way. The angels of mercy and the angels of torment disputed about the man, whereas the former said that he went out in repentance, while the latter said that he did not arrive at his destination. They were commanded to measure the distance between the two lands and to whichever land he is closer to, he will be considered part of that land. Allah commanded that the righteous land to move closer and the land of evil to move farther. The angels found that he died closer to the land that he intended to emigrate to by a hand-span, and thus the angels of mercy captured his soul. In another narration, when death came to that man, he moved his chest towards the righteous village that he emigrated to.

[وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُواْ مِنَ الصَّلوةِ إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَن يَفْتِنَكُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ إِنَّ الْكَـفِرِينَ كَانُواْ لَكُمْ عَدُوّاً مُّبِيناً ]

(101. And when you Darabtum in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten the Salah if you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial, verily, the disbelievers are ever unto you open enemies.)

110. Salat Al-Qasr, Shortening the Prayer

Allah said,

[وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ]

(And when you Darabtum in the land,) meaning if you travel in the land. In another Ayah, Allah said,

[أَن سَيَكُونُ مِنكُمْ مَّرْضَى وَءَاخَرُونَ يَضْرِبُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ يَبْتَغُونَ مِن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَءَاخَرُونَ]

(He knows that there will be some among you sick, others Yadribuna (traveling) through the land, seeking of Allah's bounty...) [73:20]. Allah's statement,

[فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُواْ مِنَ الصَّلوةِ]

(there is no sin on you if you shorten the Salah (prayer)) by reducing (the units of the prayer) from four to two. Allah's statement,

[إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَن يَفْتِنَكُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ]

(if you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial (attack you)), refers to the typical type of fear prevalent when this Ayah was revealed. In the beginning of Islam, and after the Hijrah, Muslims used to experience fear during most of their travels. Rather, they restricted their movements to large or short military expeditions. During that era, most areas were areas of combatant enemies of Islam and its people. But when the prevalent circumstances cease, or a new situation is prevalent, decrees of this nature may not be understood, as Allah said;

[وَلاَ تُكْرِهُواْ فَتَيَـتِكُمْ عَلَى الْبِغَآءِ إِنْ أَرَدْنَ تَحَصُّناً]

(And force not your slave girls to prostitution, if they desire chastity). And His saying;

[وَرَبَائِبُكُمُ اللَّـتِى فِى حُجُورِكُمْ مِّن نِّسَآئِكُمُ]

(And your stepdaughters, under your guardianship, born of your wives whom you have gone into) Imam Ahmad recorded that Ya`la bin Umayyah said, "I asked `Umar bin Al-Khattab about the verse:

[فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُواْ مِنَ الصَّلوةِ إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَن يَفْتِنَكُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ]

(there is no sin on you if you shorten the prayer. If you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial,) e `Allah granted Muslims safety now' `Umar said to me, `I wondered about the same thing and asked the Messenger of Allah about it and he said,

صَدَقَــةٌ تَصَدَّقَ اللهُ بِهَا عَلَيْكُمْ فَاقْبَلُوا صَدَقَتَه

(A gift that Allah has bestowed on you, so accept His gift).'' Muslim and the collectors of Sunan recorded this Hadith. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih''. `Ali bin Al-Madini said, "This Hadith is Hasan Sahih from the narration of `Umar, and it is not preserved by any other route besides this one, and its narrators are all known.'' Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Shaybah recorded that Abu Hanzalah Al-Hadha' said, "I asked Ibn `Umar about the Qasr prayer and he said, `It consists of two Rak`ahs.' I said, what about Allah's statement,

[إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَن يَفْتِنَكُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ]

(if you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial (attack you),) `We are safe now.' He said, `This is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah .'''. Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas said, "We went out with the Messenger of Allah from Al-Madinah to Makkah; he used to pray two Rak`ahs until we went back to Al-Madinah.'' When he was asked how long they remained in Makkah, he said, "We remained in Makkah for ten days.'' This was recorded by the Group. Imam Ahmad recorded that Harithah bin Wahb Al-Khuza`i said, "I prayed behind the Prophet for the Zuhr and `Asr prayers in Mina, when the people were numerous and very safe, and he prayed two Rak`ahs.'' This was recorded by the Group, with the exception of Ibn Majah. Al-Bukhari's narration of this Hadith reads, "The Prophet led us in the prayer at Mina during the peace period by offering two Rak`ahs. ''

[وَإِذَا كُنتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ الصَّلَوةَ فَلْتَقُمْ طَآئِفَةٌ مِّنْهُمْ مَّعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُواْ أَسْلِحَتَهُمْ فَإِذَا سَجَدُواْ فَلْيَكُونُواْ مِن وَرَآئِكُمْ وَلْتَأْتِ طَآئِفَةٌ أُخْرَى لَمْ يُصَلُّواْ فَلْيُصَلُّواْ مَعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُواْ حِذْرَهُمْ وَأَسْلِحَتَهُمْ وَدَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ تَغْفُلُونَ عَنْ أَسْلِحَتِكُمْ وَأَمْتِعَتِكُمْ فَيَمِيلُونَ عَلَيْكُمْ مَّيْلَةً وَحِدَةً وَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِن كَانَ بِكُمْ أَذًى مِّن مَّطَرٍ أَوْ كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَن تَضَعُواْ أَسْلِحَتَكُمْ وَخُذُواْ حِذْرَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَذَاباً مُّهِيناً ]

(102. When you (O Messenger Muhammad ) are among them, and lead them in Salah, let one party of them stand up [in prayer] with you, taking their arms with them; when they finish their prostrations, let them take their positions in the rear and let the other party come up which have not yet prayed, and let them pray with you, taking all the precautions and bearing arms. Those who disbelieve wish, if you were negligent of your arms and your baggage, to attack you in a single rush, but there is no sin on you if you put away your arms because of the inconvenience of rain or because you are ill, but take every precaution for yourselves. Verily, Allah has prepared a humiliating torment for the disbelievers.)

111. The Description of The Fear Prayer

The Fear prayer has different forms, for the enemy is sometimes in the direction of the Qiblah and sometimes in another direction. The Fear prayer consists sometimes of four Rak`ahs, three Rak`ahs, as for Maghrib, and sometimes two Rak`ah like Fajr and prayer during travel. The Fear prayer is sometimes prayed in congregation, but when the battle is raging, congregational prayer may not be possible. In this case, they pray each by himself, facing the Qiblah or otherwise, riding or on foot. In this situation, they are allowed to walk and fight, all the while performing the acts of the prayer. Some scholars said that in the latter case, they pray only one Rak`ah, for Ibn `Abbas narrated, "By the words of your Prophet , Allah has ordained the prayer of four Rak`ah while residing, two Rak`ah during travel, and one Rak`ah during fear.'' Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah recorded it. This is also the view of Ahmad bin Hanbal. Al-Mundhiri said, "This is the saying of `Ata', Jabir, Al-Hasan, Mujahid, Al-Hakam, Qatadah and Hammad; and Tawus and Ad-Dahhak also prefered it.'' Abu `Asim Al-`Abadi mentioned that Muhammad bin Nasr Al-Marwazi said the Fajr prayer also becomes one Rak`ah during fear. This is also the opinion of Ibn Hazm. Ishaq bin Rahwayh said, "When a battle is raging, one Rak`ah during which you nod your head is sufficient for you. If you are unable, then one prostration is sufficient, because the prostration is remembrance of Allah.''

112. The Reason behind Revealing this Ayah

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu `Ayyash Az-Zuraqi said, "We were with the Messenger of Allah in the area of `Usfan (a well known place near Makkah), when the idolators met us under the command of Khalid bin Al-Walid, and they were between us and the Qiblah. The Messenger of Allah led us in Zuhr prayer, and the idolators said, `They were busy with something during which we had a chance to attack them.' They then said, `Next, there will come a prayer (`Asr) that is dearer to them than their children and themselves.' However, Jibril came down with these Ayat between the prayers of Zuhr and `Asr,

[وَإِذَا كُنتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ الصَّلَوةَ]

(When you (O Messenger Muhammad ) are among them, and lead them in Salah (prayer)). When the time for prayer came, the Messenger of Allah commanded Muslims to hold their weapons and he made us stand in two lines behind him. When he bowed, we all bowed behind him. When he raised his head, we all raised our heads. The Prophet then prostrated with the line that was behind him while the rest stood in guard. When they finished with the prostration and stood up, the rest sat and performed prostration, while those who performed it stood up in guard after the two lines exchanged position. The Prophet then bowed and they all bowed after him, then raised their heads after he raised his head. Then the Prophet performed prostration with the line that was behind him, while the rest stood in guard. When those who made prostration sat, the rest prostrated. The Prophet then performed the Taslim and ended the prayer. The Messenger of Allah performed this prayer twice, once in `Usfan and once in the land of Banu Sulaym.''' This is the narration recorded by Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i, and it has an authentic chain of narration and many other texts to support it. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Once the Prophet led the Fear prayer and the people stood behind him. He said Allahu-Akbar and the people said the same. He bowed and some of them bowed. Then he prostrated and they also prostrated. Then he stood for the second Rak`ah and those who had prayed the first Rak`ah left and guarded their brothers. The second party joined him and performed bowing and prostration with him. All the people were in prayer, but they were guarding one another during the prayer.'' Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah led them in the Fear prayer. A group of them stood before him and a group behind him. The Prophet led those who were behind him with one Rak`ah and two prostrations. They then moved to the position of those who did not pray, while the others stood in their place, and the Messenger of Allah performed one Rak`ah and two prostrations and then said the Salam. Therefore, the Prophet prayed two Rak`ah while they prayed one. An-Nasa'i recorded this Hadith, while Muslim collected other wordings for it. Collectors of the Sahih, Sunan and Musnad collections recorded this in a Hadith from Jabir. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Salim said that his father said,

[وَإِذَا كُنتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ الصَّلَوةَ]

(When you (O Messenger Muhammad ) are among them, and lead them in Salah (prayer)) refers to the Fear prayer. The Messenger of Allah led one group and prayed one Rak`ah, while the second group faced the enemy. Then the second group that faced the enemy came and Allah's Messenger led them, praying one Rak`ah, and then said the Salam. Each of the two groups then stood up and prayed one more Rak`ah each (while the other group stood in guard).'' The Group collected this Hadith with Ma`mar in its chain of narrators. This Hadith also has many other chains of narration from several Companions, and Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Ibn Marduwyah collected these various narrations, as did Ibn Jarir. As for the command to hold the weapons during the Fear prayer, a group of scholars said that it is obligatory according to the Ayah. What testifies to this is that Allah said;

[وَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِن كَانَ بِكُمْ أَذًى مِّن مَّطَرٍ أَوْ كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَن تَضَعُواْ أَسْلِحَتَكُمْ وَخُذُواْ حِذْرَكُمْ]

(But there is no sin on you if you put away your arms because of the inconvenience of rain or because you are ill, but take every precaution for yourselves) meaning, so that when necessary, you will be able to get to your weapons easily,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَذَاباً مُّهِيناً]

(Verily, Allah has prepared a humiliating torment for the disbelievers).

[فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمُ الصَّلَوةَ فَاذْكُرُواْ اللَّهَ قِيَـماً وَقُعُوداً وَعَلَى جُنُوبِكُمْ فَإِذَا اطْمَأْنَنتُمْ فَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلَوةَ إِنَّ الصَّلَوةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَـباً مَّوْقُوتاً - وَلاَ تَهِنُواْ فِى ابْتِغَآءِ الْقَوْمِ إِن تَكُونُواْ تَأْلَمُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ يَأْلَمُونَ كَمَا تَأْلَمونَ وَتَرْجُونَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لاَ يَرْجُونَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً ]

(103. When you have finished the Salah, remember Allah standing, sitting down, and on your sides, but when you are free from danger, perform the Salah. Verily, Salah is kitaban on the believers at fixed hours.) (104. And don't be weak in the pursuit of the enemy; if you are suffering (hardships) then surely they (too) are suffering (hardships) as you are suffering, but you have a hope from Allah (for the reward, i.e. Paradise) that for which they hope not; and Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.)

113. The Order for Ample Remembrance After the Fear Prayer

Allah commands Dhikr after finishing the Fear prayer, in particular, even though such Dhikr is encouraged after finishing other types of prayer in general. In the case of Fear prayer, Dhikr is encouraged even more because the pillars of the prayer are diminished since they move about while performing it, etc., unlike other prayers. Allah said about the Sacred Months,

[فَلاَ تَظْلِمُواْ فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ]

(so wrong not yourselves therein), even though injustice is prohibited all year long. However, injustice is particularly outlawed during the Sacred Months due to their sanctity and honor. So Allah's statement,

[فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمُ الصَّلَوةَ فَاذْكُرُواْ اللَّهَ قِيَـماً وَقُعُوداً وَعَلَى جُنُوبِكُمْ]

(When you have finished Salah, remember Allah standing, sitting down, and on your sides,) means, in all conditions,

[فَإِذَا اطْمَأْنَنتُمْ فَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلَوةَ]

(But when you are free from danger perform the Salah.) when you are safe, tranquil and fear subsides,

[فَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلَوةَ]

(perform the Salah) by performing it as you were commanded; fulfilling its obligations, with humbleness, completing the bowing and prostration positions etc. Allah's statement,

[إِنَّ الصَّلَوةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَـباً مَّوْقُوتاً]

(Verily, the Salah is Kitaban on the believers at fixed hours.) means, enjoined, as Ibn `Abbas stated. Ibn `Abbas also said, "The prayer has a fixed time, just as the case with Hajj.'' Similar is reported from Mujahid, Salim bin `Abdullah, `Ali bin Al-Husayn, Muhammad bin `Ali, Al-Hasan, Muqatil. As-Suddi and `Atiyah Al-`Awfi.

114. The Encouragement to Pursue the Enemy Despite Injuries

Allah's statement,

[وَلاَ تَهِنُواْ فِى ابْتِغَآءِ الْقَوْمِ]

(And don't be weak in the pursuit of the enemy;) means, do not weaken your resolve in pursuit of your enemy. Rather, pursue them vigorously, fight them and be wary of them.

[إِن تَكُونُواْ تَأْلَمُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ يَأْلَمُونَ كَمَا تَأْلَمونَ]

(if you are suffering then surely they are suffering as you are suffering,) meaning, just as you suffer from injuries and death, the same happens to the enemy. In another Ayah, Allah said,

[إِن يَمْسَسْكُمْ قَرْحٌ فَقَدْ مَسَّ الْقَوْمَ قَرْحٌ مِّثْلُهُ]

(If you suffer a harm, be sure a similar harm has struck the others). Allah then said,

[وَتَرْجُونَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لاَ يَرْجُونَ]

(but you have a hope from Allah that for which they hope not;) meaning, you and they are equal regarding the injuries and pain that you suffer from. However, you hope for Allah's reward, victory and aid, just as He has promised you in His Book and by the words of his Messenger . Surely, Allah's promise is true. On the other hand, your enemies do not have hope for any of this. So, it is you, not they, who should be eager to fight so that you establish the Word of Allah and raise it high. i

[وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً]

(And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.) means, He is most knowledgeable and wise in all what He decides, decrees, wills and acts on concerning various worldly and religious ordainments, and He is worthy of praise in all conditions.

[إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَـبَ بِالْحَقِّ لِتَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ بِمَآ أَرَاكَ اللَّهُ وَلاَ تَكُنْ لِّلْخَآئِنِينَ خَصِيماً - وَاسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً - وَلاَ تُجَـدِلْ عَنِ الَّذِينَ يَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ خَوَّاناً أَثِيماً - يَسْتَخْفُونَ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَلاَ يَسْتَخْفُونَ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَهُوَ مَعَهُمْ إِذْ يُبَيِّتُونَ مَا لاَ يَرْضَى مِنَ الْقَوْلِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ مُحِيطاً - هَـأَنْتُمْ هَـؤُلاءِ جَـدَلْتُمْ عَنْهُمْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا فَمَن يُجَـدِلُ اللَّهَ عَنْهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ أَمْ مَّن يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَكِيلاً ]

(105. Surely, We have sent down to you (O Muhammad ) the Book in truth that you might judge between men by that which Allah has shown you, so be not a pleader for the treacherous.) (106. And seek the forgiveness of Allah, certainly, Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (107. And argue not on behalf of those who deceive themselves. Verily, Allah does not like anyone who is a betrayer, sinner.) (108. They may hide (their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide (them) from Allah; for He is with them (by His knowledge), when they plot by night in words that He does not approve. And Allah ever encompasses what they do.) (109. Lo! You are those who have argued for them in the life of this world, but who will argue for them on the Day of Resurrection against Allah, or who will then be their defender)

115. The Necessity of Referring to What Allah has Revealed for Judgement

Allah says to His Messenger, Muhammad ,

[إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَـبَ بِالْحَقِّ]

(Surely, We have sent down to you the Book in truth) meaning, it truly came from Allah and its narrations and commandments are true. Allah then said,

[لِتَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ بِمَآ أَرَاكَ اللَّهُ]

(that you might judge between men by that which Allah has shown you,) In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Zaynab bint Umm Salamah said that Umm Salamah said that the Messenger of Allah heard the noise of disputing people close to the door of his room, and he went out to them saying,

أَلَا إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ، وَإِنَّمَا أَقْضِي بِنَحْوٍ مِمَّا أَسْمَعُ، وَلَعَلَّ أَحَدَكُمْ أَنْ يَكُونَ أَلْحَنَ بِحُجَّتِهِ مِنْ بَعْضٍ فَأَقْضِيَ لَهُ، فَمَنْ قَضَيْتُ لَهُ بِحَقِّ مُسْلِمٍ، فَإِنَّمَا هِيَ قِطْعَةٌ مِنْ نَارٍ، فَلْيَحْمِلْهَا أَوْ لِيَذَرْهَا

(Verily, I am only human and I judge based on what I hear. Some of you might be more eloquent in presenting his case than others, so that I judge in his favor. If I judge in one's favor concerning the right of another Muslim, then it is a piece of the Fire. So let one take it or leave it.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Umm Salamah said, "Two men from the Ansar came to the Messenger of Allah with a dispute regarding some old inheritance, but they did not have evidence. The Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّكُمْ تَخْتَصِمُونَ إِلَيَ، وَإِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ، وَلَعَلَّ بَعْضَكُمْ أَلْحَنُ بِحُجَّتِهِ مِنْ بَعْضٍ، وَإِنَّما أَقْضِي بَيْنَكُمْ عَلى نَحْوٍ مِمَّا أَسْمَعُ، فَمَنْ قَضَيْتُ لَهُ مِنْ حَقِّ أَخِيهِ شَيْئًا فَلَا يَأْخُذْهُ، فَإِنَّمَا أَقْطَعُ لَهُ قِطْعَةً مِنَ النَّارِ، يَأْتِي بِهَا إِسْطَامًا فِي عُنُقِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة

(You bring your disputes to me, but I am only human. Some of you might be more persuasive in their arguments than others. I only judge between you according to what I hear. Therefore, whomever I judge in his favor and give him a part of his brother's right, let him not take it, for it is a part of the Fire that I am giving him and it will be tied around his neck on the Day of Resurrection.) The two men cried and each one of them said, `I forfeit my right to my brother.' The Messenger of Allah said,

أَمَا إِذْ قُلْتُمَا فَاذْهَبَا فَاْقَتَسِمَا، ثُمَّ تَوَخَّيَا الْحَقَّ ثُمَّ اسْتَهِمَا، ثُم لِيُحْلِلْ كُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْكُمَا صَاحِبَه

(Since you said that, then go and divide the inheritance, and try to be just in your division. Then draw lots, and each one of you should forgive his brother thereafter (regardless of who got the best share).)'' Allah's statement,

[يَسْتَخْفُونَ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَلاَ يَسْتَخْفُونَ مِنَ اللَّهِ]

(They may hide (their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide (them) from Allah;) chastises the hypocrites because they hide their evil works from the people so that they will not criticize them. Yet, the hypocrites disclose this evil with Allah, Who has perfect watch over their secrets and knows what is in their hearts. This is why Allah said,

[وَهُوَ مَعَهُمْ إِذْ يُبَيِّتُونَ مَا لاَ يَرْضَى مِنَ الْقَوْلِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ مُحِيطاً]

(for He is with them (by His knowledge), when they plot by night in words that He does not approve. And Allah ever encompasses what they do) threatening and warning them. Allah then said,

[هَـأَنْتُمْ هَـؤُلاءِ جَـدَلْتُمْ عَنْهُمْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا]

(Lo! You are those who have argued for them in the life of this world,) meaning, suppose these people gain the verdict from the rulers in their favor in this life, since the rulers judge according to what is apparent to them. However, what will their condition be on the Day of Resurrection before Allah, Who knows the secret and what is even more hidden Who will be his advocate on that Day Verily, none will support them that Day. Hence, Allah's statement,

[أَمْ مَّن يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَكِيلاً]

(or who will then be their defender)

[وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّهَ يَجِدِ اللَّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً - وَمَن يَكْسِبْ إِثْماً فَإِنَّمَا يَكْسِبُهُ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً - وَمَن يَكْسِبْ خَطِيئَةً أَوْ إِثْماً ثُمَّ يَرْمِ بِهِ بَرِيئاً فَقَدِ احْتَمَلَ بُهْتَـناً وَإِثْماً مُّبِيناً - وَلَوْلاَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكَ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَهَمَّتْ طَّآئِفَةٌ مِّنْهُمْ أَن يُضِلُّوكَ وَمَا يُضِلُّونَ إِلاَّ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَضُرُّونَكَ مِن شَىْءٍ وَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَعَلَّمَكَ مَا لَمْ تَكُنْ تَعْلَمُ وَكَانَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكَ عَظِيماً ]

(110. And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) 111. And whoever earns sin, he earns it only against himself. And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.) (112. And whoever earns a fault or a sin and then blames it on someone innocent, he has indeed burdened himself with falsehood and a manifest sin.) (113. Had not the grace of Allah and His mercy been upon you, a party of them would certainly have made a decision to mislead you, but they mislead none except their own selves, and no harm can they do to you in the least. Allah has sent down to you the Book, and the Hikmah, and taught you that which you knew not. And ever great is the grace of Allah unto you.)

116. The Encouragement to Seek Allah's Forgiveness, and Warning those who Falsely Accuse Innocent People

Allah emphasizes His generosity and kindness, in that He forgives whoever repents to Him from whatever evil they commit. Allah said,

[وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّهَ يَجِدِ اللَّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً ]

(And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas commented about this Ayah, "Allah informs His servants of His forgiveness, forbearing generosity and expansive mercy. So whoever commits a sin, whether minor or major,

[ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّهَ يَجِدِ اللَّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً]

(but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) even if his sins were greater than the heavens, the earth and the mountains.'' Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ali said, "Whenever I hear anything from the Messenger of Allah, Allah benefits me with whatever He wills of that. Abu Bakr told me, and Abu Bakr has said the truth, that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يُذْنِبُ ذَنْبًا، ثُمَّ يَتَوَضَّأُ فَيُصَلِّي رَكْعَتَيْنِ، ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ لِذلِكَ الذَّنْبِ، إِلَّا غَفَرَ لَه

(No Muslim commits a sin and then performs ablution, prays two Rak`ahs and begs Allah for forgiveness for that sin, but He forgives him.) He then recited these two Ayat,

[وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ]

(And whoever does evil or wrongs himself), and,

[وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَـحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ]

(And those who, when they have committed Fahishah or wronged themselves with evil).'' Allah's statement,

[وَمَن يَكْسِبْ إِثْماً فَإِنَّمَا يَكْسِبُهُ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ]

(And whoever earns sin, he earns it only against himself.) is similar to His statement,

[وَلاَ تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى]

(And no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another). So no one will avail anyone else. Rather, every soul, and none else, shall carry its own burden. This is why Allah said,

[وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً]

(And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.) meaning, this occurs due to His knowledge, wisdom, fairness and mercy.

[وَعَلَّمَكَ مَا لَمْ تَكُنْ تَعْلَمُ]

(and taught you that which you knew not.), before this revelation was sent down to you. Similarly, Allah said,

[وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ رُوحاً مِّنْ أَمْرِنَا مَا كُنتَ تَدْرِى مَا الْكِتَـبُ]

(And thus We have sent to you (O Muhammad ) a Ruh (a revelation, and a mercy) of Our command. You knew not what is the Book) until the end of the Surah. Allah said,

[وَمَا كُنتَ تَرْجُو أَن يُلْقَى إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَـبُ إِلاَّ رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ]

(And you were not expecting that the Book (this Qur'an) would be sent down to you, but it is a mercy from your Lord). So Allah said;

[وَكَانَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكَ عَظِيماً]

(And ever great is the grace of Allah unto you (O Muhammad )).

[لاَّ خَيْرَ فِى كَثِيرٍ مِّن نَّجْوَاهُمْ إِلاَّ مَنْ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوْ مَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ إِصْلَـحٍ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذلِكَ ابْتَغَآءَ مَرْضَـتِ اللَّهِ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْراً عَظِيماً - وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَى وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّى وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ وَسَآءَتْ مَصِيراً ]

(114. There is no good in most of their secret talks save (in) him who orders Sadaqah, or goodness, or conciliation between mankind; and he who does this, seeking the good pleasure of Allah, We shall give him a great reward. (115. And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell what an evil destination!)

117. Righteous Najwa, Secret Talk

Allah said,

[لاَّ خَيْرَ فِى كَثِيرٍ مِّن نَّجْوَاهُمْ]

(There is no good in most of their secret talks) meaning, what the people say to each other.

[إِلاَّ مَنْ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوْ مَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ إِصْلَـحٍ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ]

(save him who orders Sadaqah (charity), or goodness, or reconciliation between mankind;) meaning, except for this type of talk. Imam Ahmad recorded that Umm Kulthum bint `Uqbah said that she heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

لَيْسَ الْكَذَّابُ الَّذِي يُصْلِحُ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فَيَنْمِي خَيْرًا، أَوْ يَقُولُ خَيْرًا

(He who brings about reconciliation between people by embellishing good or saying good things, is not a liar.) She also said, "I never heard him allow what the people say (lies) except in three cases: in war, bringing peace between people and the man's speech (invented compliments) to his wife and her speech to her husband.'' Umm Kulthum bint `Uqbah was among the immigrant women who gave their pledge of allegiance to the Messenger of Allah . The Group also recorded this Hadith, with the exception of Ibn Majah. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said that the Messenger of Allah said,

أَلَا أُخْبِرُكُمْ بِأَفْضَلَ مِنْ دَرَجَةِ الصِّيَامِ، وَالصَّلَاةِ، وَالصَّدَقَةِ؟

(Should I tell you what is better than the grade of fasting, praying and Sadaqah) They said, "Yes, O Allah's Messenger!'' He said,

إِصْلَاحُ ذَاتِ الْبَيْن

(Bringing reconciliation between people.) He also said,

وَفَسَادُ ذَاتِ الْبَيْنِ هِيَ الْحَالِقَة

(Spoiling the relationship (between people) is the destroyer.) Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi also recorded this Hadith, and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih''. Allah said,

[وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذلِكَ ابْتَغَآءَ مَرْضَـتِ اللَّهِ]

(and he who does this, seeking the good pleasure of Allah,) with sincerity and awaiting the reward with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored,

[فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْراً عَظِيماً]

(We shall give him a great reward.) meaning, an immense, enormous and tremendous reward.

118. The Punishment for Contradicting and Opposing the Messenger and Following a Path Other than That of the Believers

Allah's statement,

[وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَى]

(And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger after the right path has been shown clearly to him.) refers to whoever intentionally takes a path other than the path of the Law revealed to the Messenger, after the truth has been made clear, apparent and plain to him. Allah's statement,

[وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ]

(and follows other than the believers' way,) refers to a type of conduct that is closely related to contradicting the Messenger . This contradiction could be in the form of contradicting a text (from the Qur'an or Sunnah) or contradicting what the Ummah of Muhammad has agreed on. The Ummah of Muhammad is immune from error when they all agree on something, a miracle that serves to increase their honor, due to the greatness of their Prophet. There are many authentic Hadiths on this subject. Allah warned against the evil of contradicting the Prophet and his Ummah, when He said, e

[نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّى وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ وَسَآءَتْ مَصِيراً]

(We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell --- what an evil destination!) meaning, when one goes on this wicked path, We will punish him by making the evil path appear good in his heart, and will beautify it for him so that he is tempted further. For instance, Allah said,

[فَذَرْنِى وَمَن يُكَذِّبُ بِهَـذَا الْحَدِيثِ سَنَسْتَدْرِجُهُمْ مِّنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ ]

(Then leave Me Alone with such as belie this Qur'an. We shall punish them gradually from directions they perceive not),

[فَلَمَّا زَاغُواْ أَزَاغَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ]

(So when they turned away (from the path of Allah), Allah turned their hearts away), and,

[وَنَذَرُهُمْ فِى طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ]

(And We shall leave them in their trespass to wander blindly). Allah made the Fire the destination of such people in the Hereafter. Indeed, the path of those who avoid the right guidance will only lead to the Fire on the Day of Resurrection, as evident by Allah's statements,

[احْشُرُواْ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ وَأَزْوَجَهُمْ]

((It will be said to the angels): "Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions (from the devils)), and,

[وَرَأَى الْمُجْرِمُونَ النَّارَ فَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ مُّوَاقِعُوهَا وَلَمْ يَجِدُواْ عَنْهَا مَصْرِفًا ]

(And the criminals, shall see the Fire and apprehend that they have to fall therein. And they will find no way of escape from there).

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَـلاً بَعِيداً - إِن يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلاَّ إِنَـثاً وَإِن يَدْعُونَ إِلاَّ شَيْطَـناً مَّرِيداً - لَّعَنَهُ اللَّهُ وَقَالَ لاّتَّخِذَنَّ مِنْ عِبَادِكَ نَصِيباً مَّفْرُوضاً - وَلأضِلَّنَّهُمْ وَلأُمَنِّيَنَّهُمْ وَلاّمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُبَتِّكُنَّ ءَاذَانَ الاٌّنْعَـمِ وَلاّمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُغَيِّرُنَّ خَلْقَ اللَّهِ وَمَن يَتَّخِذِ الشَّيْطَـنَ وَلِيّاً مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَقَدْ خَسِرَ خُسْرَاناً مُّبِيناً - يَعِدُهُمْ وَيُمَنِّيهِمْ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمْ الشَّيْطَـنُ إِلاَّ غُرُوراً - أُوْلَـئِكَ مَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ وَلاَ يَجِدُونَ عَنْهَا مَحِيصاً - وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ سَنُدْخِلُهُمْ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَداً وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقّاً وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ قِيلاً ]

(116. Verily, Allah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners (in worship) with Him, but He forgives whom He wills, sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, has indeed strayed far away.) (117. They invoke nothing but female deities besides Him (Allah), and they invoke nothing but Shaytan, a persistent rebel!) (118. Allah cursed him. And he [Shaytan] said: "I will take an appointed portion of your servants.") (119. "Verily, I will mislead them, and surely, I will arouse in them false desires; and certainly, I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allah.'' And whoever takes Shaytan as a Wali instead of Allah, has surely suffered a manifest loss.) (120. He [Shaytan] makes promises to them, and arouses in them false desires; and Shaytan's promises are nothing but deceptions.) (121. The dwelling of such (people) is Hell, and they will find no way of escape from it.) (122. And those who believe and do righteous good deeds, We shall admit them to the Gardens under which rivers flow (i.e. in Paradise) to dwell therein forever. Allah's promise is the truth; and whose words can be truer than those of Allah)

119. Shirk Shall not be Forgiven, in Reality the Idolators Worship Shaytan

We talked about Allah's statement,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَلِكَ]

(Verily, Allah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners (in worship) with Him, but He forgives whom He wills, sins other than that,) before and mentioned the relevant Hadiths in the beginning of this Surah. Allah's statement,

[وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَـلاً بَعِيداً]

(and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, has indeed strayed far away.) means, he will have taken other than the true path, deviated from guidance and righteousness, destroyed himself in this life and the Hereafter, and lost contentment in this life and the Hereafter. Juwaybir said that Ad-Dahhak said about Allah's statement,

[إِن يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلاَّ إِنَـثاً]

(They invoke nothing but female deities besides Him (Allah),) "The idolators claimed that the angels are Allah's daughters, saying, `We only worship them so that they bring us closer to Allah.' So they took the angels as gods, made the shapes of girls and decided, `These (idols) resemble the daughters of Allah (i.e., the angels), Whom we worship. ''' This is similar to Allah's statements,

[أَفَرَءَيْتُمُ اللَّـتَ وَالْعُزَّى ]

(Have you then considered Al-Lat and Al-`Uzza)

[وَجَعَلُواْ الْمَلَـئِكَةَ الَّذِينَ هُمْ عِبَادُ الرَّحْمَـنِ إِنَـثاً]

(And they make the angels who themselves are servants of the Most Gracious (Allah) females) and,

[وَجَعَلُواْ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْجِنَّةِ نَسَباً]

(And they have invented a kinship between Him and the Jinn). Allah's statement,

[وَإِن يَدْعُونَ إِلاَّ شَيْطَـناً مَّرِيداً]

(and they invoke nothing but Shaytan, a persistent rebel!) means, Shaytan has commanded them to do this and made it seem fair and beautiful in their eyes. Consequently, they are worshipping Shaytan in reality, just as Allah said in another Ayah,

[أَلَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يبَنِى ءَادَمَ أَن لاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ الشَّيطَـنَ]

(Did I not command you, O Children of Adam, that you should not worship Shaytan) Allah said that, on the Day of Resurrection, the angels shall proclaim about the idolators who worshipped them in this life:

[بَلْ كَانُواْ يَعْبُدُونَ الْجِنَّ أَكْـثَرُهُم بِهِم مُّؤْمِنُونَ]

(Nay, but they used to worship the Jinn; most of them were believers in them). Allah's statement,

[لَّعَنَهُ اللَّهُ]

(Allah cursed him), means, He expelled him and banished him from His mercy and His grace.

[لاّتَّخِذَنَّ مِنْ عِبَادِكَ نَصِيباً مَّفْرُوضاً]

(I will take an appointed portion of your servants) means, a fixed and known share. Muqatil bin Hayyan commented, "From every one thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine will go to the Fire and one to Paradise.''

[وَلأضِلَّنَّهُمْ]

(Verily, I will mislead them) from the true path,

[وَلأُمَنِّيَنَّهُمْ]

(and surely, I will arouse in them false desires;) tempting them to feign repentance, arousing false hopes in them, encouraging them to delay and procrastinate with righteous deeds, deceiving them.

[وَلاّمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُبَتِّكُنَّ ءَاذَانَ الاٌّنْعَـمِ]

(and certainly, I will order them to slit the ears of cattle,) meaning, slitting their ears to designate them as Bahirah, Sa'ibah, and a Wasilah, as Qatadah and As-Suddi stated.

[وَلاّمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُغَيِّرُنَّ خَلْقَ اللَّهِ]

(And indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allah.) means tattooing, according to Al-Hasan bin Abi Al-Hasan Al-Basri. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded the prohibition of tattooing the face, which in one of its wordings states: "May Allah curse whoever does this.'' It is also recorded in the Sahih that Ibn Mas`ud said, "May Allah curse those who have tattoos and those who do it, who pluck their (facial) hairs and the one who does it for them, and those who make spaces between their teeth for the purpose of beauty, changing what Allah has created.'' He then said, "Why should not I curse whom the Messenger of Allah has cursed, when the Book of Allah commands it,'' referring to the Ayah,

[وَمَآ ءَاتَـكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَـكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُواْ]

(And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)). Allah's statement,

[وَمَن يَتَّخِذِ الشَّيْطَـنَ وَلِيّاً مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَقَدْ خَسِرَ خُسْرَاناً مُّبِيناً]

(And whoever takes Shaytan as a Wali (protector or helper) instead of Allah, has surely suffered a manifest loss.) means, he will have lost this life and the Hereafter. Indeed, this is a type of loss that cannot be compensated or restored. Allah's statement,

[يَعِدُهُمْ وَيُمَنِّيهِمْ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمْ الشَّيْطَـنُ إِلاَّ غُرُوراً ]

(He [Shaytan] makes promises to them, and arouses in them false desires;) explains the true reality. Surely, Shaytan deceitfully promises his supporters and tempts them into believing that they are winners in this and the Hereafter. This is why Allah said,

[وَمَا يَعِدُهُمْ الشَّيْطَـنُ إِلاَّ غُرُوراً]

(and Shaytan's promises are nothing but deceptions.) Allah states that on the Day of Return,

[وَقَالَ الشَّيْطَـنُ لَمَّا قُضِىَ الاٌّمْرُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ وَمَا كَانَ لِىَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِّن سُلْطَـنٍ]

(And Shaytan will say when the matter has been decided: "Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you), until,

[إِنَّ الظَّـلِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ]

(Verily, there is a painful torment for the wrongdoers.) Allah's statement,

[أُوْلَـئِكَ]

(of such (people)) refers to those who like and prefer what Shaytan is promising and assuring them of,

[مَّأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ]

(The dwelling of such (people) is Hell), as their destination and abode on the Day of Resurrection,

[وَلاَ يَجِدُونَ عَنْهَا مَحِيصاً]

(and they will find no way of escape from it.), meaning, they will not be able to avoid, avert, evade or elude the Hellfire.

120. The Reward of Righteous Believers

Allah then mentions the condition of the content righteous believers and the perfect honor they will earn in the end. Allah said,

[وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ]

(And those who believe and do righteous good deeds,) meaning, their hearts were truthful and their limbs obedient with the righteous acts they were commanded, all the while abandoning the evil they were prohibited from doing.

[سَنُدْخِلُهُمْ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ]

(We shall admit them to Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise)) meaning, they will think of where they want these rivers to flow and they will flow there,

[خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَداً]

(to dwell therein forever), without end or being removed from it.

[وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقًّا]

(Allah's promise is the truth), meaning, this is a true promise from Allah, and verily, Allah's promise shall come to pass. Allah then said,

[وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ قِيلاً]

(and whose words can be truer than those of Allah) meaning, none is more truthful in statement and narration than Allah. There is no deity worthy of worship, or Lord except Him. The Messenger of Allah used to proclaim in his speech,

إِنَّ أَصْدَقَ الْحَدِيثِ كَلَامُ اللهِ، وَخَيْرَ الْهَدْيِ هَدْيُ مُحَمَّدٍصلى الله عليه وسلّم، وَشَرَّ الْأُمُورِ مُحْدَثَاتُهَا، وَكُلَّ مُحْدَثَةٍ بِدْعَةٌ، وَكُلَّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلَالَةٌ، وَكُلَّ ضَلَالَةٍ فِي النَّار

(The most truthful speech is Allah's Speech, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The worst matters are the newly invented (in religion), every newly invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is a heresy, and every heresy is in the Fire.)

[لَّيْسَ بِأَمَـنِيِّكُمْ وَلا أَمَانِىِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ وَلاَ يَجِدْ لَهُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيّاً وَلاَ نَصِيراً - وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّـلِحَـتَ مِن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ وَلاَ يُظْلَمُونَ نَقِيراً - وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِيناً مِمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لله وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ واتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَهِيمَ حَنِيفاً وَاتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ إِبْرَهِيمَ خَلِيلاً - وَللَّهِ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ مُّحِيطاً ]

(123. It will not be in accordance with your desires, nor those of the People of the Scripture, whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof, and he will not find any protector or helper besides Allah.) (124. And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a believer, such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a Naqir, will be done to them.) (125. And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face (himself) to Allah; and he is a Muhsin (a doer of good). And follows the religion of Ibrahim the Hanif (Monotheist). And Allah did take Ibrahim as a Khalil (an intimate friend)!) (126. And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is Ever Encompassing all things.)

121. Success is Only Achieved by Performing Righteous Deeds, not Wishful Thinking

Qatadah said, "We were told that the Muslims and the People of the Scriptures mentioned their own virtues to each other. People of the Scriptures said, `Our Prophet came before your Prophet and our Book before your Book. Therefore, we should have more right to Allah than you have.' Muslims said, `Rather, we have more right to Allah than you, our Prophet is the Final Prophet and our Book supersedes all the Books before it.' Allah sent down,

[لَّيْسَ بِأَمَـنِيِّكُمْ وَلا أَمَانِىِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ]

(It will not be in accordance with your desires (Muslims), nor those of the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof),

[وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِيناً مِمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لله وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ]

(And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face (himself) to Allah; and he is a Muhsin.) Allah then supported the argument of the Muslims against their opponents of the other religions.'' Similar statements were attributed to As-Suddi, Masruq, Ad-Dahhak and Abu Salih. Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah [4:123], "The followers of various religions disputed, the people of the Tawrah said, `Our Book is the best Book and our Prophet (Musa) is the best Prophet. ' The people of the Injil said similarly, the people of Islam said, `There is no religion except Islam, our Book has abrogated every other Book, our Prophet is the Final Prophet, and you were commanded to believe in your Books and adhere to our Book.' Allah judged between them, saying, o

[لَّيْسَ بِأَمَـنِيِّكُمْ وَلا أَمَانِىِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ]

(It will not be in accordance with your desires, nor those of the People of the Scripture, whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof).'' This Ayah indicates that the religion is not accepted on account of wishful thinking or mere hopes. Rather, the accepted religion relies on what resides in the heart and which is made truthful through actions. It is not true that when one utters a claim to something, he attains it merely on account of his claim. It is not true that every person who claims to be on the truth is considered as such, merely on account of his words, until his claim gains merit with proof from Allah. Hence Allah's statement,

[لَّيْسَ بِأَمَـنِيِّكُمْ وَلا أَمَانِىِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ]

(It will not be in accordance with your desires, nor those of the People of the Scripture, whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof), meaning safety will not be acquired by you or them just by wishful thinking. Rather, the key is in obeying Allah and following what He has legislated through the words of His honorable Messengers. This is why Allah said afterwards,

[مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ]

(whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof,) Similarly, Allah said,

[فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْراً يَرَهُ - وَمَن يَعْـمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرّاً يَرَهُ ]

(So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it.) and it was reported that when these Ayat were revealed, they became hard on many Companions. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `A'ishah said, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah! I know the hardest Ayah in the Qur'an.' He said, `What is it, O `A'ishah!' I said,

[مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ]

(whoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof,) He said,

هُوَ مَا يُصِيبُ الْعَبْدَالْمُؤْمِنَ، حَتَّى النَّكْبَةِ يُنْكَبُهَا

(That is what strikes the believing servant, even the problems that bother him.)'' Ibn Jarir and Abu Dawud also recorded this Hadith. Sa`id bin Mansur recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "When the Ayah,

[مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ]

(whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof,) was revealed, it was hard on Muslims. The Messenger of Allah said to them,

سَدِّدُوا وَقَارِبُوا، فَإِنَّ فِي كُلِّ مَا يُصَابُ بِهِ الْمُسْلِمُ كَفَّارَةً، حَتَّى الشَّوْكَةِ يُشَاكُهَا، وَالنَّـكْبَةِ يُنْكَبُهَا

(Be steadfast and seek closeness. Everything that afflicts the Muslim, even the thorn that pierces his skin and the hardship he suffers, will be an expiation for him.)'' This is the wording collected by Ahmad through Sufyan bin `Uyaynah. Muslim and At-Tirmidhi also recorded it. Allah's statement,

[وَلاَ يَجِدْ لَهُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيّاً وَلاَ نَصِيراً]

(and he will not find any protector or helper besides Allah,) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said; "Unless he repents and Allah forgives him.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded it. Allah then said,

[وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّـلِحَـتَ مِن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ]

(And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a believer). Allah mentions the recompense for evil actions and that He will surely inflict its punishment on the servant, either in this life, which is better for him, or in the Hereafter, we seek refuge with Allah from this end. We also beg Allah for our well-being in this life and the Hereafter and for His forgiveness, mercy and pardon. Allah then mentions His kindness, generosity and mercy in accepting the good deeds from His servants, whether male or female, with the condition that they embrace the faith. He also stated that He will admit the believers into Paradise and will not withhold any of their righteous deeds, even the weight of a Naqir - speck on the back of a date-stone. Earlier, we discussed the Fatil - the scalish thread in the long slit of a date-stone, and both of these, along with the Qitmir -- the thin membrane over the date-stone were mentioned in the Qur'an. Allah then said,

[وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِيناً مِمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لله]

(And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face to Allah.) meaning, performs the good actions in sincerity for his Lord with faith and awaiting the reward with Allah,

[وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ]

(and he is a Muhsin) following the correct guidance that Allah legislated in the religion of truth which He sent His Messenger with. These are the two conditions, in the absence of which no deed will be accepted from anyone; sincerity and correctness. The work is sincere when it is performed for Allah alone and it becomes correct when it conforms to the Shari`ah. So, the deed becomes outwardly correct with following the Sunnah and inwardly correct with sincerity. When any deed lacks either of these two conditions, the deed becomes null and void. For instance, when one lacks the pillar of sincerity in his work, he becomes a hypocrite who shows off for people. Whoever does not follow the Shari`ah, he becomes an ignorant, wicked person. When one combines both pillars, his actions will be the deeds of the faithful believers whose best deeds are accepted from them and their errors erased. Consequently, Allah said,

[واتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَهِيمَ حَنِيفاً]

(And follows the religion of Ibrahim the Hanif (Monotheist). ) referring to Muhammad and his following, until the Day of Resurrection. Allah said,

[إِنَّ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِإِبْرَهِيمَ لَلَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ وَهَـذَا النَّبِىُّ]

(Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ibrahim are those who followed him, and this Prophet), and,

[ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ]

(Then, We have sent the Revelation to you (saying): "Follow the religion of Ibrahim the Hanif (Monotheist) and he was not of the Mushrikin). The Hanif, intentionally and with knowledge, avoids Shirk, he goes attentively to the truth, allowing no one to hinder him or stop him from it.

122. Ibrahim is Allah's Khalil

Allah's statement,

[وَاتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ إِبْرَهِيمَ خَلِيلاً]

(And Allah did take Ibrahim as a Khalil (an intimate friend)!) encourages following Ibrahim Al-Khalil, because he was and still is an Imam whose conduct is followed and imitated. Indeed, Ibrahim reached the ultimate closeness to Allah that the servants seek, for he attained the grade of Khalil, which is the highest grade of love. He acquired all this due to his obedience to His Lord, just as Allah has described him,

[وَإِبْرَهِيمَ الَّذِى وَفَّى ]

(And of Ibrahim, the one who fulfilled),

[وَإِذِ ابْتَلَى إِبْرَهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَـتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ]

(And (remember) when the Lord of Ibrahim tried him with (certain) commands, which he fulfilled), and,

[إِنَّ إِبْرَهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَـنِتًا لِلَّهِ حَنِيفًا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ]

(Verily, Ibrahim was an Ummah, obedient to Allah, a Hanif, and he was not one of the Mushrikin). Al-Bukhari recorded that `Amr bin Maymun said that when Mu`adh came back from Yemen, he led them in the Fajr prayer and recited,

[وَاتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ إِبْرَهِيمَ خَلِيلاً]

(And Allah did take Ibrahim as a Khalil!) One of the men present commented, "Surely, the eye of Ibrahim's mother has been comforted.'' Ibrahim was called Allah's Khalil due to his Lord's great love towards him, on account of the acts of obedience he performed that Allah loves and prefers. We should mention here that in the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said that when the Messenger of Allah gave them his last speech, he said,

أَمَّا بَعْدُ، أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ فَلَوْ كُنْتُ مُتَّخِذًا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ خَلِيلًا، لَاتَّخَذْتُ أَبَا بَكْرِ ابْنَ أَبِي قُحَافَةَ خَلِيلًا، وَلكِنْ صَاحِبُكُمْ خَلِيلُ الله

(O people! If I were to take a Khalil from the people of the earth, I would have taken Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafah as my Khalil. However, your companion (meaning himself) is the Khalil of Allah.) Jundub bin `Abdullah Al-Bajali, `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As and `Abdullah bin Mas`ud narrated that the Prophet said,

إِنَّ اللهَ اتَّخَذَنِي خَلِيلًا، كَمَا اتَّخَذَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلًا

(Allah has chosen me as His Khalil, just as He has chosen Ibrahim as His Khalil.) Allah's statement,

[وَللَّهِ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ]

(And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth.) means, everything and everyone are His property, servants and creation, and He has full authority over all of this. There is no one who can avert Allah's decision or question His judgment. He is never asked about what He does due to His might, ability, fairness, wisdom, compassion and mercy. Allah's statement,

[وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ مُّحِيطاً]

(And Allah is Ever Encompassing all things.) means, His knowledge encompasses everything and nothing concerning His servants is ever hidden from Him. Nothing, even the weight of an atom, ever escapes His observation in the heavens and earth, nor anything smaller or bigger than that.

[وَيَسْتَفْتُونَكَ فِى النِّسَآءِ قُلِ اللَّهُ يُفْتِيكُمْ فِيهِنَّ وَمَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ فِى يَتَـمَى النِّسَآءِ الَّلَـتِى لاَ تُؤْتُونَهُنَّ مَا كُتِبَ لَهُنَّ وَتَرْغَبُونَ أَن تَنكِحُوهُنَّ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الْوِلْدَنِ وَأَن تَقُومُواْ لِلْيَتَـمَى بِالْقِسْطِ وَمَا تَفْعَلُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِهِ عَلِيماً ]

(127. They ask your legal instruction concerning women. Say: "Allah instructs you about them, and about what is recited unto you in the Book concerning the orphan girls whom you give not what they deserve and yet whom you desire to marry, and the children who are weak and oppressed, and that you stand firm for justice to orphans. And whatever good you do, Allah is Ever All-Aware of it.)

123. The Ruling Concerning Female Orphans

Al-Bukhari recorded that `A'ishah said about the Ayah,

[وَيَسْتَفْتُونَكَ فِى النِّسَآءِ قُلِ اللَّهُ يُفْتِيكُمْ فِيهِنَّ]

(They ask your instruction concerning women. Say, "Allah instructs you about them...) until,

[وَتَرْغَبُونَ أَن تَنكِحُوهُنَّ]

(whom you desire to marry...) "It is about the man who is taking care of a female orphan, being her caretaker and inheritor. Her money is joined with his money to such an extent, that she shares with him even the branch of a date that he has. So he likes (for material gain) to marry her himself, and hates to marry her to another man who would have a share in his money, on account of her share in his money. Therefore, he refuses to let her marry anyone else. So, this Ayah was revealed.'' Muslim also recorded it. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `A'ishah said, "The people asked Allah's Messenger (about orphan girls), so Allah revealed,

[وَيَسْتَفْتُونَكَ فِى النِّسَآءِ قُلِ اللَّهُ يُفْتِيكُمْ فِيهِنَّ وَمَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ]

(They ask your instruction concerning women. Say, "Allah instructs you about them and about what is recited unto you in the Book...") What is meant by Allah's saying, `And about what is recited unto you in the Book' is the former verse which said,

[وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تُقْسِطُواْ فِى الْيَتَـمَى فَانكِحُواْ مَا طَابَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ النِّسَآءِ]

(If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry (other) women of your choice.)'' `A'ishah said, "Allah's statement,

[وَتَرْغَبُونَ أَن تَنكِحُوهُنَّ]

(whom you desire to marry...) also refers to the desire of the guardian not to marry an orphan girl under his supervision when she lacks property or beauty. The guardians were forbidden to marry their orphan girls possessing property and beauty without being just to them, as they generally refrain from marrying them (when they are neither beautiful nor wealthy).'' The basis of this is recorded in Two Sahihs. Consequently, when a man is the caretaker of a female orphan, he might like to marry her himself. In this case, Allah commands him to give her a suitable dowry that other women of her status get. If he does not want to do that, then let him marry other women, for Allah has made this matter easy for Muslims. Sometimes, the caretaker does not desire to marry the orphan under his care, because she is not attractive to his eye. In this case, Allah forbids the caretaker from preventing the female orphan from marrying another man for fear that her husband would share in the money that is mutually shared between the caretaker and the girl. `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said, "During the time of Jahiliyyah, the caretaker of a female orphan would cover her with his rope, and when he did that, no man would marry her. If she was beautiful and he desired to marry her, he married her and took control of her wealth. If she was not beautiful, he did not allow her to marry until she died, and when she died he inherited her money. Allah prohibited and outlawed this practice. '' He also said about Allah's statement,

[وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الْوِلْدَنِ]

(and the children who are weak and oppressed,) that during the time of Jahiliyyah, they used to deny young children and females a share of inheritance. So Allah's statement,

[لاَ تُؤْتُونَهُنَّ مَا كُتِبَ لَهُنَّ]

(you give not what they deserve) thus prohibiting this practice and designating a fixed share for each,

[لِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الاٍّنْثَيَيْنِ]

(To the male, a portion equal to that of two females..) whether they were young or old, as Sa`id bin Jubayr and others stated. Sa`id bin Jubayr said about Allah's statement,

[وَأَن تَقُومُواْ لِلْيَتَـمَى بِالْقِسْطِ]

(and that you stand firm for justice to orphans.) "Just as when she is beautiful and wealthy you would want to marry her and have her for yourself, so when she is not wealthy or beautiful, marry her and have her for yourself.'' Allah's statement,

[وَمَا تَفْعَلُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِهِ عَلِيماً]

r(And whatever good you do, Allah is Ever All-Aware of it.) encourages performing the good deeds and fulfilling the commandments, and states that Allah is knowledgeable of all of this and He will reward for it in the best and most perfect manner.

[وَإِنِ امْرَأَةٌ خَـفَتْ مِن بَعْلِهَا نُشُوزاً أَوْ إِعْرَاضاً فَلاَ جُنَاْحَ عَلَيْهِمَآ أَن يُصْلِحَا بَيْنَهُمَا صُلْحاً وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ وَأُحْضِرَتِ الأنفُسُ الشُّحَّ وَإِن تُحْسِنُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيراً ]

[وَلَن تَسْتَطِيعُواْ أَن تَعْدِلُواْ بَيْنَ النِّسَآءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ فَلاَ تَمِيلُواْ كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ وَإِن تُصْلِحُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً - وَإِن يَتَفَرَّقَا يُغْنِ اللَّهُ كُلاًّ مِّن سَعَتِهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ وَسِعاً حَكِيماً ]

(128. And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, there is no sin on them both if they make terms of peace between themselves; and making peace is better. And human souls are swayed by greed. But if you do good and have Taqwa, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.) (129. You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire, so do not incline too much to one of them so as to leave the other hanging. And if you do justice, and do all that is right and have Taqwa, then Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (130. But if they separate (by divorce), Allah will provide abundance for everyone of them from His bounty. And Allah is Ever All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Wise.)

124. The Ruling Concerning Desertion on the Part of the Husband

Allah states, and thus legislates accordingly, that sometimes, the man inclines away from his wife, sometimes towards her and sometimes he parts with her. In the first case, when the wife fears that her husband is steering away from her or deserting her, she is allowed to forfeit all or part of her rights, such as provisions, clothing, dwelling, and so forth, and the husband is allowed to accept such concessions from her. Hence, there is no harm if she offers such concessions, and if her husband accepts them. This is why Allah said,

[فَلاَ جُنَاْحَ عَلَيْهِمَآ أَن يُصْلِحَا بَيْنَهُمَا صُلْحاً]

(there is no sin on them both if they make terms of peace between themselves;) He then said,

[وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ]

(and making peace is better) than divorce. Allah's statement,

[وَأُحْضِرَتِ الأنفُسُ الشُّحَّ]

(And human souls are swayed by greed.) means, coming to peaceful terms, even when it involves forfeiting some rights, is better than parting. Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Sawdah feared that the Messenger of Allah might divorce her and she said, `O Messenger of Allah! Do not divorce me; give my day to `A'ishah.' And he did, and later on Allah sent down,

[وَإِنِ امْرَأَةٌ خَـفَتْ مِن بَعْلِهَا نُشُوزاً أَوْ إِعْرَاضاً فَلاَ جُنَاْحَ عَلَيْهِمَآ]

(And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, there is no sin on them both) Ibn `Abbas said, "Whatever (legal agreement) the spouses mutually agree to is allowed.''. At-Tirmidhi recorded it and said, "Hasan Gharib''. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that `A'ishah said that when Sawdah bint Zam`ah became old, she forfeited her day to `A'ishah, and the Prophet used to spend Sawdah's night with `A'ishah. There is a similar narration also collected by Al-Bukhari. Al-Bukhari also recorded that `A'ishah commented;

[وَإِنِ امْرَأَةٌ خَـفَتْ مِن بَعْلِهَا نُشُوزاً أَوْ إِعْرَاضاً]

(And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part), that it refers to, "A man who is married to an old woman, and he does not desire her and wants to divorce her. So she says, `I forfeit my right on you.' So this Ayah was revealed.''

125. Meaning of "Making Peace is Better

Allah said,

[وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ]

(And making peace is better). `Ali bin Abi Talhah related that Ibn `Abbas said that the Ayah refers to, "When the husband gives his wife the choice between staying with him or leaving him, as this is better than the husband preferring other wives to her.'' However, the apparent wording of the Ayah refers to the settlement where the wife forfeits some of the rights she has over her husband, with the husband agreeing to this concession, and that this settlement is better than divorce. For instance, the Prophet kept Sawdah bint Zam`ah as his wife after she offered to forfeit her day for `A'ishah. By keeping her among his wives, his Ummah may follow this kind of settlement. Since settlement and peace are better with Allah than parting, Allah said,

[وَالصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌ]

(and making peace is better). Divorce is not preferred with Allah. The meaning of Allah's statement,

[وَإِن تُحْسِنُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيراً]

(But if you do good and have Taqwa, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do) if you are patient with the wife you dislike and treat her as other wives are treated, then Allah knows what you do and will reward you for it perfectly. Allah's statement,

[وَلَن تَسْتَطِيعُواْ أَن تَعْدِلُواْ بَيْنَ النِّسَآءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ]

(You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire,) means, O people! You will never be able to be perfectly just between wives in every respect. Even when one divides the nights justly between wives, there will still be various degrees concerning love, desire and sexual intimacy, as Ibn `Abbas, `Ubaydah As-Salmani, Mujahid, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim stated. Imam Ahmad and the collectors of the Sunan recorded that `A'ishah said, "The Messenger of Allah used to treat his wives equally and proclaim,

اللَّهُمَّ هَذَا قَسْمِي فِيمَا أَمْلِكُ، فَلَا تَلُمْنِي فِيمَا تَمْلِكُ وَلَا أَمْلِك

(O Allah! This is my division in what I own, so do not blame me for what You own and I do not own) referring to his heart. This was the wording that Abu Dawud collected, and its chain of narrators is Sahih. Allah's statement,

[فَلاَ تَمِيلُواْ كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ]

(so do not incline too much to one of them) means, when you like one of your wives more than others, do not exaggerate in treating her that way,

[فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ]

(so as to leave the other hanging. ) referring to the other wives. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that Mu`allaqah [hanging] means, "She is neither divorced nor married.'' Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ كَانَتْ لَهُ امْرَأَتَانِ فَمَالَ إِلى إِحْدَاهُمَا، جَاءَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَأَحَدُ شِقَّيْهِ سَاقِط

(Whoever has two wives and inclines to one of them (too much), will come on the Day of Resurrection with one of his sides dragging.) Allah's statement,

[وَإِن تُصْلِحُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً]

(And if you do justice, and do all that is right and have Taqwa, then Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) The Ayah states: If you do justice and divide equally in what you have power over, while fearing Allah in all conditions, then Allah will forgive you the favoritism that you showed to some of your wives. Allah then said,

[وَإِن يَتَفَرَّقَا يُغْنِ اللَّهُ كُلاًّ مِّن سَعَتِهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ وَسِعاً حَكِيماً ]

(But if they separate (divorce), Allah will provide abundance for everyone of them from His bounty. And Allah is Ever All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Wise. ) This is the third case between husband and wife, in which divorce occurs. Allah states that if the spouses separate by divorce, then Allah will suffice them by giving him a better wife and her a better husband. The meaning of,

[وَكَانَ اللَّهُ وَسِعاً حَكِيماً]

(And Allah is Ever All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Wise.) is: His favor is tremendous, His bounty is enormous and He is All-Wise in all His actions, decisions and commandments.

[وَللَّهِ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَلَقَدْ وَصَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَإِيَّـكُمْ أَنِ اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَإِن تَكْفُرُواْ فَإِنَّ للَّهِ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَنِيّاً حَمِيداً - وَللَّهِ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلاً - إِن يَشَأْ يُذْهِبْكُمْ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ وَيَأْتِ بِـاخَرِينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَى ذلِكَ قَدِيراً - مَّن كَانَ يُرِيدُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا فَعِندَ اللَّهِ ثَوَابُ الدُّنْيَا وَالاٌّخِرَةِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ سَمِيعاً بَصِيراً ]

(131. And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And verily, We have recommended to the People of the Scripture before you, and to you that you have Taqwa of Allah. But if you disbelieve, then unto Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and Allah is Ever Rich (free of any needs), Worthy of all praise.) (132. And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is Ever All-Sufficient as Disposer of affairs.) (133. If He wills, He can take you away, O people, and bring others. And Allah is Ever All-Potent over that.) (134. Whoever desires the rewards of this life, then with Allah is the reward of this worldly life and of the Hereafter. And Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Seer.)

126. The Necessity of Taqwa of Allah

Allah states that He is the Owner of the heavens and earth and that He is the Supreme Authority over them. Hence Allah's statement,

[وَلَقَدْ وَصَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَإِيَّـكُمْ]

(And verily, We have recommended to the People of the Scripture before you, and to you) meaning, We have recommended to you what We recommended to the People of Scriptures; Taqwa of Allah, by worshipping Him Alone without partners. Allah then said,

[وَإِن تَكْفُرُواْ فَإِنَّ للَّهِ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ]

(But if you disbelieve, then unto Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth). In another Ayah, Allah said that Musa said to his people,

[إِن تَكْفُرُواْ أَنتُمْ وَمَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَنِىٌّ حَمِيدٌ]

("If you disbelieve, you and all on the earth together, then verily, Allah is Rich (free of any need), Owner of all praise.''). Allah said,

[فَكَفَرُواْ وَتَوَلَّواْ وَّاسْتَغْنَى اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ غَنِىٌّ حَمِيدٌ]

(So they disbelieved and turned away. But Allah was not in need (of them). And Allah is Rich (free of any need), Worthy of all praise) meaning, He is far too Rich than to need His servants, and worthy of all praise in all His decisions and commandments. The meaning of Allah's statement,

[وَللَّهِ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلاً ]

(And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is Ever All-Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.) He has perfect watch over every soul, knowing what it deserves, He is the Watcher, and Witness of all things. Allah's statement,

[إِن يَشَأْ يُذْهِبْكُمْ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ وَيَأْتِ بِـاخَرِينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَى ذلِكَ قَدِيراً ]

(If He wills, He can take you away, O people, and bring others. And Allah is Ever All-Potent over that.) means, He is able to take you away and replace you with other people if you disobey Him. In a similar Ayah, Allah said,

[الْفُقَرَآءُ وَإِن تَتَوَلَّوْاْ يَسْتَبْدِلْ قَوْماً غَيْرَكُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ يَكُونُواْ]

(And if you turn away, He will exchange you for some other people and they will not be your likes) Allah's statement,

[مَّن كَانَ يُرِيدُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا فَعِندَ اللَّهِ ثَوَابُ الدُّنْيَا وَالاٌّخِرَةِ]

(Whoever desires the rewards of this life, then with Allah is the reward of this worldly life and of the Hereafter.) means, O those whose ultimate desire is this life, know that Allah owns the rewards of this life and the Hereafter. Therefore, if you ask Allah for both, He will enrich you, award you and suffice for you. As Allah said,

[فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُم مَّنَـسِكَكُمْ فَاذْكُرُواْ اللَّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ ءَابَآءَكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا فَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى الدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَـقٍ - وِمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِى الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الاٌّخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ أُولَـئِكَ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا كَسَبُواْ]

(But of mankind there are some who say: "Our Lord! Give us in this world!'' and for such there will be no portion in the Hereafter. And of them there are some who say: "Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!'' For them there will be alloted a share for what they have earned),

[مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الاٌّخِرَةِ نَزِدْ لَهُ فِى حَرْثِهِ]

(Whosoever desires (by his deeds) the reward of the Hereafter, We give him increase in his reward), and

[مَّن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْعَـجِلَةَ عَجَّلْنَا لَهُ فِيهَا مَا نَشَآءُ لِمَن نُّرِيدُ]

(Whoever desires the quick-passing (transitory enjoyment of this world), We readily grant him what We will for whom We like) until,

[انظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ]

(See how We prefer one above another (in this world)). So Allah said here,

[وَكَانَ اللَّهُ سَمِيعاً بَصِيراً]

(And Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Seer.)

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَآءِ للَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَلِدَيْنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبِينَ إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيّاً أَوْ فَقَيراً فَاللَّهُ أَوْلَى بِهِمَا فَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ الْهَوَى أَن تَعْدِلُواْ وَإِن تَلْوُواْ أَوْ تُعْرِضُواْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيراً ]

(135. O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a better Protector to both. So follow not the lusts, lest you may avoid justice; and if you Talwu or Tu`ridu, it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.)

127. Commanding Justice and Conveying the Witness for Allah

Allah commands His believing servants to stand up for justice and fairness and not to deviate from it, right or left. They should not fear the blame of anyone or allow anyone to prevent them from doing something for the sake of Allah. They are also required to help, support and aid each other for Allah's sake. Allah's statement,

[شُهَدَآءِ للَّهِ]

(as witnesses to Allah) is similar to His statement,

[وَأَقِيمُواْ الشَّهَـدَةَ لِلَّهِ]

(And establish the testimony for Allah). Testimony should be delivered precisely, for the sake of Allah, thus making the testimony correct, truly just, and free of alterations, changes or deletions. This is why Allah said,

[وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنفُسِكُمْ]

(even though it be against yourselves,) meaning, give correct testimony, and say the truth when you are asked about it, even if harm will effect you as a consequence. Indeed, Allah shall make a way out and give relief for those who obey Him in every matter. Allah's statement,

[أَوِ الْوَلِدَيْنِ وَالاٌّقْرَبِينَ]

(or your parents, or your kin,) means, even if you have to testify against your parents and kin, do not compromise for their sake. Rather, give the correct and just witness even if they are harmed in the process, for the truth presides above everyone and is preferred to everyone. Allah's statement,

[إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيّاً أَوْ فَقَيراً فَاللَّهُ أَوْلَى بِهِمَا]

(be he rich or poor, Allah is a better Protector to both.) means, do not favor someone (in your testimony) because he is rich, or feel pity for him because he is poor, for Allah is their caretaker, a better Protector of them than you, and has better knowledge of what is good for them. Allah's statement,

[فَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ الْهَوَى أَن تَعْدِلُواْ]

(So follow not the lusts, lest you may avoid justice;) means, let not desire, lust or the hatred you have against others, lure you into injustice in your affairs. Rather, stand for justice in all situations. Allah said;

[وَلاَ يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ اعْدِلُواْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى]

(And let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety) when the Prophet sent `Abdullah bin Rawahah to collect the tax on the fruits and produce of the Jews of Khaybar, they offered him a bribe so that he would go easy on them. He said; "By Allah! I have come to you from the dearest of the creation to me (Muhammad), and you are more hated by me than an equivelent number of apes and swine. However, my love for him (the Prophet ) and hatred for you shall not prevent me from being just with you.'' On that, they said, "This (justice) is the basis which the heavens and earth were created. '' We will mention this Hadith later in Surat Al-Ma'idah (chapter 5) Allah willing. Allah's statement afterwards,

[وَإِن تَلْوُواْ أَوْ تُعْرِضُواْ]

(and if you Talwu or Tu`ridu) means, "Distort your testimony and change it'', according to Mujahid and several others among the Salaf. Talwu, includes distortion and intentional lying. For instance, Allah said,

[وَإِنَّ مِنْهُمْ لَفَرِيقًا يَلْوُونَ أَلْسِنَتَهُم بِالْكِتَـبِ]

(And verily, among them is a party who Yalwuna (distort) the Book with their tongues (as they read)). Tu`ridu, includes hiding and withholding the testimony. Allah said,

[وَمَن يَكْتُمْهَا فَإِنَّهُ ءَاثِمٌ قَلْبُهُ]

(Who hides it, surely, his heart is sinful) The Prophet said,

خَيْرُ الشُّهَدَاءِ الَّذِي يَأْتِي بِشَهَادَتِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُسْأَلَهَا

(The best witness is he who discloses his testimony before being asked to do so.) Allah then warned,

[فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيراً]

(Verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.) and will reward or punish you accordingly.

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ءَامِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَـبِ الَّذِى نَزَّلَ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ وَالْكِتَـبِ الَّذِى أَنَزلَ مِن قَبْلُ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَـئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَـلاً بَعِيداً ]

(136. O you who believe! Believe in Allah, and His Messenger, and the Book (the Qur'an) which He has sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He sent down to those before; and whosoever disbelieves in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, then indeed he has strayed far away.)

128. The Order to Have Faith after Believing

Allah commands His faithful servants to adhere to all the elements of faith, its branches, pillars and cornerstones. This is not stated as mere redundancy, but from the view of completing faith and the continual maintenence of it. For instance, the believer proclaims in every prayer,

[اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ ]

(Guide us to the straight way.) which means, make us aware of the straight path and increase us in guidance and strengthen us on it. In this Ayah [4:136], Allah commands the believers to believe in Him and in His Messenger, just as He said elsewhere,

[يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَءَامِنُواْ بِرَسُولِهِ]

(O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah, and believe in His Messenger, ). Allah's statement,

[وَالْكِتَـبِ الَّذِى نَزَّلَ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ]

(and the Book which He has sent down to His Messenger,) refers to the Qur'an, while,

[وَالْكِتَـبِ الَّذِى أَنَزلَ مِن قَبْلُ]

(and the Scripture which He sent down to those before (him);) refers to the previously revealed divine Books. Allah then said,

[وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَـئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَـلاً بَعِيداً]

(and whosoever disbelieves in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, then indeed he has strayed far away.) meaning, he will have deviated from the correct guidance and strayed far away from its path.

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ثُمَّ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ ءَامَنُواْ ثُمَّ كَفَرُواْ ثُمَّ ازْدَادُواْ كُفْراً لَّمْ يَكُنْ اللَّهُ لِيَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ وَلاَ لِيَهْدِيَهُمْ سَبِيلاً - بَشِّرِ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً ]

[الَّذِينَ يَتَّخِذُونَ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَيَبْتَغُونَ عِندَهُمُ الْعِزَّةَ فَإِنَّ العِزَّةَ للَّهِ جَمِيعاً - وَقَدْ نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ أَنْ إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ ءَايَـتِ اللَّهِ يُكَفَرُ بِهَا وَيُسْتَهْزَأُ بِهَا فَلاَ تَقْعُدُواْ مَعَهُمْ حَتَّى يَخُوضُواْ فِى حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ إِنَّكُمْ إِذاً مِّثْلُهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ جَامِعُ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ وَالْكَـفِرِينَ فِى جَهَنَّمَ جَمِيعاً ]

(137. Verily, those who believe, then disbelieve, then believe (again), and (again) disbelieve, and go on increasing in disbelief; Allah will not forgive them, nor guide them on the (right) way.) (138. Give to the hypocrites the tidings that there is for them a painful torment.) (139. Those who take disbelievers for friends instead of believers, do they seek honor with them Verily, then to Allah belongs all honor). (140. And it has already been revealed to you in the Book that when you hear the verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in talk other than that; certainly in that case you would be like them. Surely, Allah will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell.)

129. Characteristics of the Hypocrites and Their Destination

Allah states that whoever embraces the faith, reverts from it, embraces it again, reverts from it and remains on disbelief and increases in it until death, then he will never have a chance to gain accepted repentance after death. Nor will Allah forgive him, or deliver him from his plight to the path of correct guidance. This is why Allah said,

[لَّمْ يَكُنْ اللَّهُ لِيَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ وَلاَ لِيَهْدِيَهُمْ سَبِيلاً]

(Allah will not forgive them, nor guide them on the (right) way). Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that his father said that Ahmad bin `Abdah related that Hafs bin Jami' said that Samak said that `Ikrimah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented;

[ثُمَّ ازْدَادُواْ كُفْراً]

(and go on increasing in disbelief), "They remain on disbelief until they die.'' Mujahid said similarly. Allah then said,

[بَشِّرِ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً ]

(Give to the hypocrites the tidings that there is for them a painful torment.) Hence, the hypocrites have this characteristic, for they believe, then disbelieve, and this is why their hearts become sealed. Allah describes the hypocrites as taking the disbelievers as friends instead of the believers, meaning they are the disbelievers' supporters in reality, for they give them their loyalty and friendship in secret. They also say to disbelievers when they are alone with them, "We are with you, we only mock the believers by pretending to follow their religion.'' Allah said, while chastising them for being friends with the disbelievers,

[أَيَبْتَغُونَ عِندَهُمُ الْعِزَّةَ]

(do they seek honor, with them) Allah then states that honor, power and glory is for Him Alone without partners, and for those whom Allah grants such qualities to. Allah said,

[مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْعِزَّةَ فَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ جَمِيعاً]

(Whosoever desires honor, then to Allah belong all honor), and,

[وَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلَـكِنَّ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ]

(But honor belongs to Allah, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites know not). The statement that honor is Allah's Alone, is meant to encourage the servants to adhere to their servitude to Allah and to be among His faithful servants who will gain victory in this life and when the Witnesses stand up to testify on the Day of Resurection. Allah's statement,

[وَقَدْ نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ أَنْ إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ ءَايَـتِ اللَّهِ يُكَفَرُ بِهَا وَيُسْتَهْزَأُ بِهَا فَلاَ تَقْعُدُواْ مَعَهُمْ حَتَّى يَخُوضُواْ فِى حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ إِنَّكُمْ إِذاً مِّثْلُهُمْ]

(And it has already been revealed to you in the Book that when you hear the verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in talk other than that; certainly in that case you would be like them.) The Ayah means, if you still commit this prohibition after being aware of its prohibition, sitting with them where Allah's Ayat are rejected, mocked at and denied, and you sanction such conduct, then you have participated with them in what they are doing. So Allah said,

[إِنَّكُمْ إِذاً مِّثْلُهُمْ]

((But if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them.) concerning the burden they will earn. What has already been revealed in the Book -- as the Ayah says -- is the Ayah in Surat Al-An`am [6], which was revealed in Makkah,

[وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ الَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِى ءَايَـتِنَا فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ]

(And when you see those who engage in false conversation about Our verses (of the Qur'an) by mocking at them, stay away from them). Muqatil bin Hayyan said that this Ayah [4:140] abrogated the Ayah in Surat Al-An`am, referring to the part that says here,

[إِنَّكُمْ إِذاً مِّثْلُهُمْ]

((But if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them), and Allah's statement in Al-An`am,

[وَمَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ مِنْ حِسَابِهِم مِّن شَىْءٍ وَلَـكِن ذِكْرَى لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ ]

(Those who fear Allah, keep their duty to Him and avoid evil, are not responsible for them (the disbelievers) in any case, but (their duty) is to remind them, that they may have Taqwa). Allah's statement,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ جَامِعُ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ وَالْكَـفِرِينَ فِى جَهَنَّمَ جَمِيعاً]

(Surely, Allah will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell.) means, just as the hypocrites participate in the Kufr of disbelievers, Allah will join them all together to reside in the Fire for eternity, dwelling in torment, punishment, enchained, restrained and in drinking boiling water.

[الَّذِينَ يَتَرَبَّصُونَ بِكُمْ فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمْ فَتْحٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ قَالُواْ أَلَمْ نَكُنْ مَّعَكُمْ وَإِن كَانَ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ نَصِيبٌ قَالُواْ أَلَمْ نَسْتَحْوِذْ عَلَيْكُمْ وَنَمْنَعْكُمْ مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَاللَّهُ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَلَن يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلاً ]

(141. Those who wait and watch about you; if you gain a victory from Allah, they say: "Were we not with you'' But if the disbelievers gain a success, they say (to them): "Did we not gain mastery over you and did we not protect you from the believers'' Allah will judge between you (all) on the Day of Resurrection. And never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers.)

130. Hypocrites Wait and Watch what Happens to Muslims

Allah states that the hypocrites watch and await the harm that occurs to the believers, awaiting the time when the Muslim circumstances and religion are dissolved and the state of Kufr takes over.

[فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمْ فَتْحٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ]

(if you gain a victory from Allah) triumph, aid and booty,

[قَالُواْ أَلَمْ نَكُنْ مَّعَكُمْ]

(they say, "Were we not with you'') trying to come closer to the believers with this statement. However,

[وَإِن كَانَ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ نَصِيبٌ]

(But if the disbelievers gain a success,) by gaining victory over the believers sometimes, just as occurred during Uhud, for surely, the Messengers are tested, but the final victory is theirs.

[قَالُواْ أَلَمْ نَسْتَحْوِذْ عَلَيْكُمْ وَنَمْنَعْكُمْ مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ]

(they say (to them), "Did we not gain mastery over you and did we not protect you from the believers'') meaning, did we not help you in secret and try our best to confuse the believers and weaken their resolve, until you gained victory over them This statement of the hypocrites is an attempt to strengthen relations with the disbelievers, because they pretend to be friends with both parties so that they will be safe from their harm, due to their weak faith and lack of certainty. Allah said,

[فَاللَّهُ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ]

(Allah will judge between you (all) on the Day of Resurrection) meaning, by what He knows about you, O hypocrites. Therefore, do not be deceived by being shaded under the protection of Islamic Law in this life, which is such only out of Allah's wisdom. Surely, on the Day of Resurrection, your pretending shall not benefit you, because on that Day, the secrets of the souls will be disclosed and the contents of the hearts will be collected. Allah said,

[وَلَن يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلاً]

(And never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers). `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Yasi` Al-Kindi said, "A man came to `Ali bin Abi Talib and said, `What about this Ayah,

[وَلَن يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلاً]

(And never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers.) `Ali said, `Come closer, come closer. Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection, and He will not grant victory for the disbelievers over the believers.' '' Ibn Jurayj recorded that `Ata' Al-Khurasani said that Ibn `Abbas said that,

[وَلَن يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلاً]

(And never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers.) "Will occur on the Day of Resurrection.'' As-Suddi recorded that Abu Malik Al-Ashja`i said that it occurs on the Day of Resurrection. As-Suddi said that "way'' means, proof. It is possible that the meaning of, `and never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers', is in this life by being unable to exterminate the believers completely, although they sometimes gain victory over some Muslims. However, the Final Triumph will be for the believers in this life and the Hereafter. Allah said,

[إِنَّا لَنَنصُرُ رُسُلَنَا وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا]

(Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe in the worldly life) This provides a rebuttal to the wishes of the hypocrites for the destruction of the believers, and their loyalty to the disbelievers, fearing for themselves if they are victorious. In another Ayah, Allah said,

[فَتَرَى الَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ يُسَـرِعُونَ فِيهِمْ]

(And you see those in whose hearts there is a disease (of hypocrisy), they hurry to their friendship), until,

[نَـدِمِينَ]

(Regretful)

[إِنَّ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ يُخَـدِعُونَ اللَّهَ وَهُوَ خَادِعُهُمْ وَإِذَا قَامُواْ إِلَى الصَّلَوةِ قَامُواْ كُسَالَى يُرَآءُونَ النَّاسَ وَلاَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً - مُّذَبْذَبِينَ بَيْنَ ذلِكَ لاَ إِلَى هَـؤُلاءِ وَلاَ إِلَى هَـؤُلاءِ وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلاً ]

(142. Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for Salah, they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little.) (143. (They are) swaying between this and that, belonging neither to these nor to those; and he whom Allah sends astray, you will not find for him a way.)

131. The Hypocrites Try to Deceive Allah and Sway Between Believers and Disbelievers

In the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah [2], we mentioned Allah's statement,

[يُخَـدِعُونَ اللَّهَ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا]

(They (think to) deceive Allah and those who believe). Here, Allah states,

[إِنَّ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ يُخَـدِعُونَ اللَّهَ وَهُوَ خَادِعُهُمْ]

(Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them.) There is no doubt that Allah can never be deceived, for He has perfect knowledge of the secrets and what the hearts conceal. However, the hypocrites, due to their ignorance, scarce knowledge and weak minds, think that since they were successful in deceiving people, using Islamic Law as a cover of safety for themselves, they will acquire the same status with Allah on the Day of Resurrection and deceive Him too. Allah states that on that Day, the hypocrites will swear to Him that they were on the path of righteousness and correctness thinking that such statement will benefit them with Allah. For instance, Allah said,

[يَوْمَ يَبْعَثُهُمُ اللَّهِ جَمِيعاً فَيَحْلِفُونَ لَهُ كَمَا يَحْلِفُونَ لَكُمْ]

(On the Day when Allah will resurrect them all together; then they will swear to Him as they swear to you) Allah's statement,

[وَهُوَ خَادِعُهُمْ]

(but it is He Who deceives them) means, He lures them further into injustice and misguidance. He also prevents them from reaching the truth in this life and on the Day of Resurrection. Allah said,

[يَوْمَ يَقُولُ الْمُنَـفِقُونَ وَالْمُنَـفِقَـتُ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ انظُرُونَا نَقْتَبِسْ مِن نُّورِكُمْ]

(On the Day when the hypocrites ـ men and women ـ will say to the believers: "Wait for us! Let us get something from your light!'' It will be said: "Go back to your rear! Then seek a light!'') until,

[وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ]

(And worst indeed is that destination). A Hadith states;

مَن سَمَّعَ سَمَّعَ اللهُ بِهِ، وَمَنْ رَاءَى رَاءَى اللهُ بِه

(Whoever wants to be heard of, Allah will make him heard of, and whoever wants to be seen, Allah will show him.) Allah's statement,

[وَإِذَا قَامُواْ إِلَى الصَّلَوةِ قَامُواْ كُسَالَى]

(And when they stand up for Salah, they stand with laziness). This is the characteristic of the hypocrites with the most honored, best and righteous act of worship, the prayer. When they stand for prayer, they stand in laziness because they neither truly intend to perform it nor do they believe in it, have humility in it, or understand it. This is the description of their outward attitude! As for their hearts, Allah said,

[يُرَآءُونَ النَّاسَ]

(to be seen of men) meaning, they do not have sincerity when worshipping Allah. Rather, they show off to people so that they gain closeness to them. They are often absent from the prayers that they can hide away from, such as the `Isha' prayer and the Dawn prayer that are prayed in darkness. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

أَثْقَلُ الصَّلَاةِ عَلَى الْمُنَافِقِينَ صَلَاةُ الْعِشَاءِ وَصَلَاةُ الْفَجْرِ، وَلَوْ يَعْلَمُونَ مَا فِيهِمَا لَأَتَوْهُمَا وَلَوْ حَبْوًا، وَلَقَدْ هَمَمْتُ أَنْ آمُرَ بِالصَّلَاةِ فَتُقَامُ، ثُمَّ آمُرَ رَجُلًا فَيُصَلِّي بِالنَّاسِ، ثُمَّ أَنْطَلِقَ مَعِيَ بِرِجَالٍ مَعَهُمْ حُزَمٌ مِنْ حَطَبٍ، إِلى قَوْمٍ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الصَّلَاةَ، فَأُحَرِّقَ عَلَيْهِمْ بُيُوتَهُمْ بِالنَّار

. (The heaviest prayers on the hypocrites are the `Isha' and Dawn prayers. If they know their rewards, they will attend them even if they have to crawl. I was about to order someone to pronounce the Adhan for the prayer, then order someone to lead the prayer for the people, then order some men to collect fire-wood (fuel); then I would burn the houses around men who did not attend the (compulsory congregational) prayer.) In another narration, the Prophet said,

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لَوْ عَلِمَ أَحَدُهُمْ أَنَّهُ يَجِدُ عَرْقًا سَمِينًا أَوْ مِرْمَاتَيْنِ حَسَنَتَيْنِ، لَشَهِدَ الصَّلَاةَ، وَلَوْلَا مَا فِي الْبُيُوتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالذُّرِّيَّـةِ لَحَرَّقْتُ عَلَيْهِمْ بُيُوتَهُمْ بِالنَّار

(By Him, in Whose Hand my soul is, if anyone of them had known that he would get a bone covered with good meat or two (small) pieces of meat between two ribs, he would have turned up for the prayer, and had it not been that the houses have women and children in them, I would burn their homes around them.) Allah's statement,

[وَلاَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً]

(And they do not remember Allah but little) means, during the prayer they do not feel humbleness or pay attention to what they are reciting. Rather, during their prayer, they are inattentive, jesting and avoid the good that they are meant to receive from prayer. Imam Malik reported that Al-`Ala' bin `Abdur-Rahman said that Anas bin Malik said that the Messenger of Allah said,

تِلْكَ صَلَاةُ الْمُنَافِقِ، تِلْكَ صَلَاةُ الْمُنَافِقِ، تِلْكَ صَلَاةُ الْمُنَافِقِ، يَجْلِسُ يَرْقُبُ الشَّمْسَ، حَتَّى إِذَا كَانَتْ بَيْنَ قَرْنَيِ الشَّيْطَانِ، قَامَ فَنَقَرَ أَرْبَعًا، لَا يَذْكُرُ اللهَ فِيهَا إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

(This is the prayer of the hypocrite, this is the prayer of the hypocrite, this is the prayer of the hypocrite. He sits watching the sun until when it goes down between the two horns of the devil, he stands up pecks out four Rak`ahs (for `Asr) without remembering Allah during them except little.) Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i also recorded it. At-Tirmidhi said "Hasan Sahih''. Allah's statement,

[مُّذَبْذَبِينَ بَيْنَ ذلِكَ لاَ إِلَى هَـؤُلاءِ]

((They are) swaying between this and that, belonging neither to these) means that the hypocrites are swaying between faith and disbelief. So they are neither with believers inwardly or outwardly nor with disbelievers inwardly or outwardly. Rather, they are with the believers outwardly and with the disbelievers inwardly. Some of them would suffer fits of doubt, leaning towards these sometimes and towards those sometimes,

[كُلَّمَآ أَضَآءَ لَهُم مَّشَوْاْ فِيهِ وَإِذَآ أَظْلَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ قَامُواْ]

(Whenever it flashes for them, they walk therein, and when darkness covers them, they stand still). Mujahid said;

[مُّذَبْذَبِينَ بَيْنَ ذلِكَ لاَ إِلَى هَـؤُلاءِ]

((They are) swaying between this and that, belonging neither to these) "The Companions of Muhammad ,

[وَلاَ إِلَى هَـؤُلاءِ]

(nor to those): the Jews.'' Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Prophet said,

مَثَلُ الْمُنَافِقِ كَمَثَلِ الشَّاةِ الْعَائِرَةِ بَيْنَ الْغَنَمَيْنِ، تَعِيرُ إِلى هَذِهِ مَرَّةً، وَإِلَى هَذِهِ مَرَّةً، وَلَا تَدْرِي أَيَّتَهُمَا تَتْبَع

(The example of the hypocrite is the example of the sheep wandering between two herds, sometimes she goes to one of them, and sometimes the other, confused over whom she should follow.) Muslim also recorded it. This is why Allah said afterwards,

[وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلاً]

(and he whom Allah sends astray, you will not find for him a way.) meaning, whomever He leads astray from the guidance,

[فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ وَلِيًّا مُّرْشِدًا]

(For him you will find no Wali (guiding friend) to lead him (to the right path)) because,

[مَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلاَ هَادِيَ لَهُ]

(Whomsoever Allah sends astray, none can guide him). So the hypocrites whom Allah has led astray from the paths of safety will never find a guide to direct them, nor someone to save them. There is none who can resist Allah's decision, and He is not asked about what He does, while they all will be asked.

[يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَجْعَلُواْ للَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَاناً مُّبِيناً - إِنَّ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ فِى الدَّرْكِ الاٌّسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ نَصِيراً - إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ وَأَصْلَحُواْ وَاعْتَصَمُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَأَخْلَصُواْ دِينَهُمْ للَّهِ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَسَوْفَ يُؤْتِ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَجْراً عَظِيماً - مَّا يَفْعَلُ اللَّهُ بِعَذَابِكُمْ إِن شَكَرْتُمْ وَءَامَنْتُمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ شَـكِراً عَلِيماً ]

(144. O you who believe! Do not take disbelievers as friends instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest Sultan against yourselves) (145. Verily, the hyprocrites will be in the lowest depth (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them.) (146. Except those who repent, do righteous good deeds, depend on Allah, and purify their religion for Allah, then they will be with the believers. And Allah will grant the believers a great reward.) (147. Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And Allah is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing.)

132. The Prohibition of Wilayah with the Disbelievers

Allah forbids His believing servants from taking the disbelievers as friends instead of the believers. This includes being friends and associates of the disbelievers, advising them, being intimate with them and exposing the secrets of the believers to them. In another Ayah, Allah said,

[لاَّ يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَىْءٍ إِلاَ أَن تَتَّقُواْ مِنْهُمْ تُقَـةً وَيُحَذِّرْكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ]

(Let not the believers take the disbelievers as friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself). meaning, He warns you against His punishment if you fall into what He has prohibited. This is why Allah said here,

[أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَجْعَلُواْ للَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَاناً مُّبِيناً]

(Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest Sultan against yourselves) meaning, proof against you that warrants receiving His torment. Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that Ibn `Abbas commented;

[سُلْطَاناً مُّبِيناً]

(manifest Sultan), "The word Sultan in the Qur'an means proof. '' There is an authentic chain of narration for this statement, which is also the saying of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi and An-Nadr bin `Arabi.

133. The Hypocrites and the Friends of Disbelievers are in the Lowest Depth of the Fire, Unless they Repent

Allah then states that,

[إِنَّ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ فِى الدَّرْكِ الاٌّسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ]

(Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire;) on the Day of Resurrection due to their tremendous Kufr. Al-Walibi [`Ali bin Abi Talhah] said that Ibn `Abbas said,

[فِى الدَّرْكِ الاٌّسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ]

(in the lowest depths (grade) of the Fire;) means, in the bottom of the Fire. Other scholars said that the Fire has ever lower depths just as Paradise had ever higher grades. Ibn Jarir recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that,

[إِنَّ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ فِى الدَّرْكِ الاٌّسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ]

(Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths (grade) of the Fire), "Inside coffins of Fire that surround them, for they are closed and sealed in them.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that when Ibn Mas`ud was asked about the hypocrites, he said, "They will be placed in coffins made of fire and they will be closed in them in the lowest depth of the Fire.''

[وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ نَصِيراً]

(no helper will you find for them. ) to save them from their misery and painful torment. Allah then states that whoever among the hypocrites repents in this life, Allah will accept his repentance and sorrow, if his repentance were sincere and he then follows it by performing righteous deeds, all the while depending on his Lord. Allah said, a

[إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ وَأَصْلَحُواْ وَاعْتَصَمُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَأَخْلَصُواْ دِينَهُمْ للَّهِ]

(Except those who repent (from hypocrisy), do righteous good deeds, depend on Allah, and purify their religion for Allah) replacing showing off with sincerity, so that their good deeds will benefit them, even if they were minute.

[فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ]

(then they will be with the believers.) on the Day of Resurrection,

[وَسَوْفَ يُؤْتِ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَجْراً عَظِيماً]

(And Allah will grant to the believers a great reward.) Allah then states that He is too Rich to need anyone and that He only punishes the servants because of their sins,

[مَّا يَفْعَلُ اللَّهُ بِعَذَابِكُمْ إِن شَكَرْتُمْ وَءَامَنْتُمْ]

(Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him.) by correcting your actions and having faith in Allah and His Messenger ,

[وَكَانَ اللَّهُ شَـكِراً عَلِيماً]

(And Allah is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing.) Allah appreciates those who appreciate Him, and has knowledge of those whose hearts believe in Him, and He will give them perfect rewar.

[لاَّ يُحِبُّ اللَّهُ الْجَهْرَ بِالسُّوءِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ إِلاَّ مَن ظُلِمَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ سَمِيعاً عَلِيماً - إِن تُبْدُواْ خَيْراً أَوْ تُخْفُوهْ أَوْ تَعْفُواْ عَن سُوءٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوّاً قَدِيراً ]

(148. Allah does not like that the evil should be uttered in public except by him who has been wronged. And Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Knower.) (149. Whether you disclose a good deed or conceal it, or pardon an evil, verily, Allah is Ever Pardoning, All-Powerful.)

134. The Permission to Utter Evil in Public, For One Who Was Wronged

`Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas commented on the Ayah,

[لاَّ يُحِبُّ اللَّهُ الْجَهْرَ بِالسُّوءِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ]

(Allah does not like that the evil should be uttered in public) "Allah does not like that any one should invoke Him against anyone else, unless one was wronged. In this case, Allah allows one to invoke Him against whoever wronged him. Hence Allah's statement,

[إَلاَّ مَن ظَلَمَ]

(except by him who has been wronged.) Yet, it is better for one if he observes patience.'' Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented, "One should not invoke Allah (for curses) against whoever wronged him. Rather, he should supplicate, `O Allah! Help me against him and take my right from him.''' In another narration, Al-Hasan said, "Allah has allowed one to invoke Him against whoever wronged him without transgressing the limits.'' `Abdul-Karim bin Malik Al-Jazari said about this Ayah; "When a man curses you, you could curse him in retaliation. But if he lies about you, you may not lie about him.

[وَلَمَنِ انتَصَرَ بَعْدَ ظُلْمِهِ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَا عَلَيْهِمْ مِّن سَبِيلٍ ]

(And indeed whosoever takes revenge after he has suffered wrong, for such there is no way (of blame) against them. )'' Abu Dawud recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

المُسْتَبَّانِ مَا قَالَا، فَعَلَى الْبَادِئ مِنْهُمَا مَا لَمْ يَعْتَدِ الْمَظْلُوم

(Whatever words are uttered by those who curse each other, then he who started it will carry the burden thereof, unless the one who was wronged transgresses the limit.) Allah said,

[إِن تُبْدُواْ خَيْراً أَوْ تُخْفُوهْ أَوْ تَعْفُواْ عَن سُوءٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوّاً قَدِيراً ]

(Whether you disclose a good deed, or conceal it, or pardon an evil; verily, Allah is Ever Pardoning, All-Powerful.) Meaning when you, mankind, admit to a good favor done to you, or conceal it, and forgive those who wrong you, then this will bring you closer to Allah and increase your reward with Him. Among Allah's attributes is that He forgives and pardons His servants, although He is able to punish them. Hence Allah's statement,

[فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوّاً قَدِيراً]

(Verily, Allah is Ever Pardoning, All-Powerful.) It was reported that some of the angels who carry Allah's Throne praise Him saying, "All praise is due to You for Your forbearing even though You have perfect knowledge (in all evil committed).'' Some of them supplicate, "All praise is due to You for Your forgiving even though You have perfect ability (to punish).'' An authentic Hadith states,

مَا نَقَصَ مَالٌ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ، وَلَا زَادَ اللهُ عَبْدًا بِعَفْوٍ إِلَّا عِزًّا، وَمَنْ تَوَاضَعَ للهِ رَفَعَهُ الله

(No charity shall ever decrease wealth, and Allah will only increase the honor of a servant who pardons, and he who is humble for Allah's sake, then Allah will elevate his grade.)

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يُفَرِّقُواْ بَيْنَ اللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيقُولُونَ نُؤْمِنُ بِبَعْضٍ وَنَكْفُرُ بِبَعْضٍ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَّخِذُواْ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ سَبِيلاً - أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَـفِرُونَ حَقّاً وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَذَاباً مُّهِيناً - وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَلَمْ يُفَرِّقُواْ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ أُوْلَـئِكَ سَوْفَ يُؤْتِيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً ]

(150. Verily, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers and wish to make distinction between Allah and His Messengers saying, "We believe in some but reject others,'' and wish to adopt a way in between.) (151. They are in truth disbelievers. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating torment.) (152. And those who believe in Allah and His Messengers and make no distinction between any of them (Messengers), We shall give them their rewards; and Allah is Ever Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

135. Believing in Some Prophets and Rejecting Others is Pure Kufr

Allah threatens those who disbelieve in Him and in His Messengers, such as the Jews and Christians, who differentiate between Allah and His Messengers regarding faith. They believe in some Prophets and reject others, following their desires, lusts and the practices of their forefathers. They do not follow any proof for such distinction, because there is no such proof. Rather, they follow their lusts and prejudices. The Jews, may Allah curse them, believe in the Prophets, except `Isa and Muhammad, peace be upon them. The Christians believe in the Prophets but reject their Final and Seal, and the most honored among the prophets, Muhammad, peace be upon him. In addition, the Samirah (Samaritans) do not believe in any Prophet after Yuwsha` (Joshua), the successor of Musa bin `Imran. The Majus (Zoroastrians) are said to believe only in a Prophet called Zoroaster, although they do not believe in the law he brought them casting it behind them, and Allah knows best. Therefore, whoever rejects only one of Allah's Prophets, he will have disbelieved in all of them, because it is required from mankind to believe in every prophet whom Allah sent to the people of the earth. And whoever rejects one Prophet, out of envy, bias and personal whim, he only demonstrates that his faith in other Prophets is not valid, but an act of following desire and whim. This is why Allah said,

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ]

(Verily, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers...) Thus, Allah describes these people as disbelievers in Allah and His Messengers;

[وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يُفَرِّقُواْ بَيْنَ اللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ]

(and wish to make distinction between Allah and His Messengers) in faith,

[وَيقُولُونَ نُؤْمِنُ بِبَعْضٍ وَنَكْفُرُ بِبَعْضٍ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَّخِذُواْ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ سَبِيلاً]

(saying, "We believe in some but reject others,'' and wish to adopt a way in between.) Allah then describes them;

[أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَـفِرُونَ حَقّاً]

(They are in truth disbelievers.) meaning, their disbelief in the Prophet they claim to believe in is clear. This is because their claimed faith in a certain Messenger is not true, for had they truly believed in him, they would have believed in other Messengers, especially if the other Messenger has a stronger proof for his truthfulness. Or at least, they would have strived hard to acquire knowledge of the truth of the other Messenger. Allah said,

[وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَـفِرِينَ عَذَاباً مُّهِيناً]

(And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating torment.) This is just punishment for belittling the Prophets whom they disbelieved in, by ignoring what the Prophet brought to them from Allah, and because they are interested in the insignificant possessions of this world. Or, their behavior could be the result of their disbelief in the Prophet after they were aware of his truth, just as the Jewish rabbis did during the time of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah . The Jews envied the Messenger because of the great prophethood that Allah gave him, and as a consequence, they denied the Messenger, defied him, became his enemies and fought against him. Allah sent humiliation upon them in this life, that shall be followed by disgrace in the Hereafter,

[وَضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الذِّلَّةُ وَالْمَسْكَنَةُ وَبَآءُوا بِغَضَبٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ]

(And they were covered with humiliation and misery, and they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah.) in this life and the Hereafter. Allah's statement,

[وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَلَمْ يُفَرِّقُواْ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ]

(And those who believe in Allah and His Messengers and make no distinction between any of them,) This refers to the Ummah of Muhammad who believe in every Book that Allah has revealed and in every Prophet whom Allah has sent. Allah said,

[ءَامَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ]

(The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. All of them believe in Allah.) (2:285). Allah then states that He has prepared great rewards for them, tremendous favor and a handsome bounty,

[أُوْلَـئِكَ سَوْفَ يُؤْتِيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ]

(We shall give them their rewards;) because of their faith in Allah and His Messengers,

[وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً]

(and Allah is Ever Forgiving, Most Merciful.) for their sin, if they have any.

[يَسْأَلُكَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَـبِ أَن تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْهِمْ كِتَـباً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ فَقَدْ سَأَلُواْ مُوسَى أَكْبَرَ مِن ذلِكَ فَقَالُواْ أَرِنَا اللَّهِ جَهْرَةً فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّـعِقَةُ بِظُلْمِهِمْ ثُمَّ اتَّخَذُواْ الْعِجْلَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَـتُ فَعَفَوْنَا عَن ذلِكَ وَءَاتَيْنَا مُوسَى سُلْطَـناً مُّبِيناً - وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَهُمُ الطُّورَ بِمِيثَـقِهِمْ وَقُلْنَا لَهُمُ ادْخُلُواْ الْبَابَ سُجَّداً وَقُلْنَا لَهُمْ لاَ تَعْدُواْ فِى السَّبْتِ وَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُمْ مِّيثَـقاً غَلِيظاً ]

(153. The People of the Scripture (Jews) ask you to cause a book to descend upon them from heaven. Indeed, they asked Musa for even greater than that, when they said: "Show us Allah in public,'' but they were struck with a bolt of lightning for their wickedness. Then they worshipped the calf even after Al-Bayyinat had come to them. (Even) so We forgave them. And We gave Musa a clear proof of authority.) (154. And for their covenant, We raised over them the mount and (on the other occasion) We said: "Enter the gate prostrating (or bowing) with humility;'' and We commanded them: "Transgress not on the Sabbath (Saturday).'' And We took from them a firm covenant.)

136. The Stubbornness of the Jews

Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, As-Suddi and Qatadah said that the Jews asked the Messenger of Allah to cause a book to come down to them from heaven, just as the Tawrah was sent down to Musa. Ibn Jurayj said that the Jews asked the Messenger to cause books to come down to them addressed to so-and-so among them, testifying to the truth of what he was sent with. The Jews only asked for this because of their stubbornness, defiance, rejection and disbelief. The disbelievers of Quraysh also asked for similar things from the Prophet, as is mentioned in Surat Al-Isra',