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Monday, 26 June 2017
 

Surat Al-Nisaa -4- Medinian –Ayats 176 – Section – Seven– Verses 79-91

Whatever good [O man] reaches you, is from God, but whatever of evil befalls/happens to you, is from your own soul-yourself. And We have sent you [O’ Muhammad PPBUH] as a Messenger to [instruct all] mankind. And God sufficient as a Witness. (79)

مَا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِنْ نَفْسِكَ وَأَرْسَلْنَاكَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولًا وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا (79)

He who obeys the Messenger [Muhammad PPBUH], has indeed obeyed God, but if any turns away, then We have not sent you [O’ Muhammad PPBUH] to watch over their evil deeds. (80) 

مَنْ يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ وَمَنْ تَوَلَّى فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا (80)

They say:”We are obedient” {on their lips}, but when they leave you, a section of them meditate all night –planning- on things very different from what you told them. But God records their nightly plots. So keep clear of them, and put your trust in God. And God is Ever All-Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs. (81)

وَيَقُولُونَ طَاعَةٌ فَإِذَا بَرَزُوا مِنْ عِنْدِكَ بَيَّتَ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْهُمْ غَيْرَ الَّذِي تَقُولُ وَاللَّهُ يَكْتُبُ مَا يُبَيِّتُونَ فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا (81)

Do they not consider the Qur’an –with care? Had it been from other than God, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy /contradiction. (82)

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآَنَ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِنْدِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا (82)

And when there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they divulge it. If they only had referred it to the Messenger [PPBUH], 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 of God and Mercy upon you, you would have followed/fallen into the clutches of Satan; except a few of you. (83)

وَإِذَا جَاءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِنَ الْأَمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُوا بِهِ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَى أُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنْبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَاتَّبَعْتُمُ الشَّيْطَانَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا (83)

Then fight [O’ Muhammad PPBUH] in the Cause of God, you are not held responsible except for yourself. And incite the believers [to fight along with you], it may be that God will restrain the fury/evil might of the disbelievers. And God is the Strongest in Might, and stronger in punishment. (84) 

فَقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ لَا تُكَلَّفُ إِلَّا نَفْسَكَ وَحَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَسَى اللَّهُ أَنْ يَكُفَّ بَأْسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَاللَّهُ أَشَدُّ بَأْسًا وَأَشَدُّ تَنْكِيلًا (84)

Whosoever intercedes for a good cause, will have the reward thereof/becomes a partner therein, and whosoever intercedes for an evil cause, will have a share in its burden. And God is Ever All-Able to do/Have Power over all things- and an All-Witness to everything. (85)

مَنْ يَشْفَعْ شَفَاعَةً حَسَنَةً يَكُنْ لَهُ نَصِيبٌ مِنْهَا وَمَنْ يَشْفَعْ شَفَاعَةً سَيِّئَةً يَكُنْ لَهُ كِفْلٌ مِنْهَا وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُقِيتًا (85)

When a courteous greeting is offered to you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, at –at the least- return it with equal courtesy. Certainly, God is Ever a Careful Account Taker of all things. (86)

وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُمْ بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا (86)

[Allahu La Ilaha Illa Huwa] God! There is no God But He; of a surety He will gather you together on the Day of Resurrection/Judgment, about which there is no doubt. And who is truer in statement than God? (87)  

اللَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ لَيَجْمَعَنَّكُمْ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حَدِيثًا (87)

What is the matter with you? Why should be divided into two parties about the Hypocrites? God has upset/cast them for their evil deeds, would you guide those whom God has thrown out of the Way-and went astray. For those whom God has thrown out of the Way, you will never find for him any way of guidance. (88)

فَمَا لَكُمْ فِي الْمُنَافِقِينَ فِئَتَيْنِ وَاللَّهُ أَرْكَسَهُمْ بِمَا كَسَبُوا أَتُرِيدُونَ أَنْ تَهْدُوا مَنْ أَضَلَّ اللَّهُ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلَنْ تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلًا (88)

They wish that you should reject Faith as they did; and thus you shall be equal, on the same footing as they. So do not take friends from their ranks, until they flee/emigrate in the way of God (from what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever you find. And –in any case- take no friends or helpers from their ranks. (89)   

وَدُّوا لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ كَمَا كَفَرُوا فَتَكُونُونَ سَوَاءً فَلَا تَتَّخِذُوا مِنْهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ حَتَّى يُهَاجِرُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَخُذُوهُمْ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ وَجَدْتُمُوهُمْ وَلَا تَتَّخِذُوا مِنْهُمْ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرًا (89)

Except those who join a group between you and whom there is a treaty/accord [of peace], or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you, as well as fighting their own people. If God Had Willed indeed He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. Therefore, if they withdraw from you, and did not fight against you, and offer you guarantees of peace, then God had opened no way for you to fight them. (90)

إِلَّا الَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ إِلَى قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ مِيثَاقٌ أَوْ جَاءُوكُمْ حَصِرَتْ صُدُورُهُمْ أَنْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ أَوْ يُقَاتِلُوا قَوْمَهُمْ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَسَلَّطَهُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ فَلَقَاتَلُوكُمْ فَإِنِ اعْتَزَلُوكُمْ فَلَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ وَأَلْقَوْا إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ فَمَا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سَبِيلًا (90)

You will find others who wish to gain your confidence and have security from you, as well as that of their people. Every time they are sent back to temptation, they succumb/yield thereto. If they did not withdraw from you, or give {guarantees} of peace, besides restraining their hands; seize them, and slay them wherever you get them. In their case, We have provided you with a clear argument/warrant against them.(91)

سَتَجِدُونَ آَخَرِينَ يُرِيدُونَ أَنْ يَأْمَنُوكُمْ وَيَأْمَنُوا قَوْمَهُمْ كُلَّ مَا رُدُّوا إِلَى الْفِتْنَةِ أُرْكِسُوا فِيهَا فَإِنْ لَمْ يَعْتَزِلُوكُمْ وَيُلْقُوا إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ وَيَكُفُّوا أَيْدِيَهُمْ فَخُذُوهُمْ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثَقِفْتُمُوهُمْ وَأُولَئِكُمْ جَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانًا مُبِينًا (91)

COMMENTARY:
 (Verse 79)- To blame a man of God for our misfortunes is doubly unjust. For he comes to save us from misfortune, and it is because we flout him or pay no heed to him, that our own rebellion brings its own punishment. If we realize this truth we shall be saved from two sins: (1) the sin of injustice to God’s Messengers who come for our good, and not for our harm: (2) the sin of not realizing our own shortcomings or rebellion, and thus living in spiritual darkness. If the Message is from God that carries its own authority: “Enough is God for a witness”.
(Verse 80)- The Apostle was sent to preach, guide, instruct, and show the Way; not to drive people to good, or to detect all that was evil. That is not God’s Plan, which trains the human Will. The Apostle’s duty is therefore to convey the Message of God, in all the ways of persuasion that are open to him. If men perversely disobey that Message, they are not disobeying him, but they are disobeying God. In the same way those who obey the Message are obeying God. They are not obliging the Messenger; they are merely doing their duty.
(Verse 81)- If we give our trust to people who are not true, they are more likely to hinder than to help. But God is All-Good as well as All-Powerful, and all our affairs are best entrusted to His care. He is the best Guardian of all interests. Therefore we should not trust the lip professions of the Hypocrites, but trust in God. Nor should our confidence in God be shaken by any secret plots that enemies hatch against us. We should take all human precautions against them, but having done so, we should put our trust in God, Who Knows the inner working of events better than any human mind can conceive.
(Verse 82)- The unity of the Qur’an is admittedly greatest than any other sacred book. And yet how can we account for it except through the unity of God’s purpose and design? From a mere human point of view, we should have expected much discrepancy, because: (1) the Messenger [PPBUH] who promulgated it was not a learned man or philosopher; (2) it was promulgated at various times and in various circumstances, and (3) it is addressed to all grades of mankind. Yet, when properly understood, its various pieces fit together better than a jig-saw puzzle even when arranged without any regard to chronological order. There was just the One Inspirer and the One Inspired.
(Verse 83)- In times of war or public panic, thoughtless repetition of gossip is rightly restrained by all effective States. If false, such news may cause needless alarm: if true, it may frighten the timid and cause some misgivings even to the bravest, because the counterpart of it -the preparations made to meet the danger- is not known. Thoughtless news, true or false, may also encourage the enemy. The proper course is quietly to hand all news direct to those who are in a position to investigate it. They can then sift it and take suitable measures to checkmate the enemy. Not to do so, but to deal with news either thoughtlessly or maliciously, is to fall directly into the snares of Evil.
(Verse 84)- The courage of Muhammad [PPBUH] was as notable as his wisdom, his gentleness, and his trust in God. Facing fearful odds, he often stood alone, and took the whole responsibility on himself. But his example and visible trust in God inspired and roused the Muslims, and also –speaking purely from human point of view- restrained the fury of his enemies. When we consider that he was God’s inspired Messenger, to carry out His Plan, we can see that nothing can resist that Plan. If the enemy happens to have strength, power, or resources, God’s strength, power, and resources are infinitely greater. If the enemy is meditating punishment on the righteous for their righteousness, God’s punishment for such wickedness will be infinitely greater and effective.
(Verse 85)- In this fleeting world’s chances, God’s providences and justice may not always appear plain to our eyes. But we are asked to believe that if we help and support a good cause, we share in all its credit and in its eventual victory. And conversely, we cannot support a bad cause without sharing in all its evil consequences. If appearances seem against this faith, let us not be deceived by appearances. For God has power over all things.
(Verses 86-87)- The necessary correlative to the command to fight in a good cause is the command to cultivate sweetness and cordiality in our manners at all times. For fighting is an exceptional necessity while the sweetness of daily human intercourse is normal need. Further, we give kindness and courtesy without asking and return it if possible in even better terms than we received, or at least in equally courteous terms. For, we are all creatures of One God, and shall be brought together before Him.                              
(Verse 88)- When the desertion of the Hypocrites at Uhud nearly caused a disaster to the Muslim cause, there was great feeling among the Muslims of Al-Medina against them. One party wanted to put them to the sword; another to leave them alone. The actual policy pursued avoided both extremes, and determined by these verses. It was clear that they were a danger to the Muslim community if they were admitted into the counsels, and in any case they were a source of demoralization. But while every caution was used, no extreme measures were taken against them. On the contrary, they were given a chance of making good. If they made a sacrifice for the cause: “flee from what is forbidden”, their conduct purged their previous cowardice, and their sincerity entitled them to be taken back. But if they deserted the Muslim community again, they were treated as enemies, with the additional penalty of desertion which is enforced by all nations actually at war. Even so, a humane exception was made in the two cases specified in verse 90.
(Verse 89)- Flee: the verbal form from which the noun Hijrat=???? – is derived. Al-Bukhari interprets this rightly as fleeing from all that is forbidden. This would include Hijrat in the technical sense of leaving a place in which the practice of religion is not allowed. But it is more general. In times of war, if a man is willing to submit to discipline and refrain from infringing orders issued, he has proved his fidelity and may be treated as a member of the community at war. On the other hand if he by false pretences comes into the inner counsels merely to betray them, he may rightly be treated as a traitor or deserter and be punished for his treason or desertion; or if he escapes, he can be treated as an enemy and is entitled to no mercy. He is worse than an enemy; he has claimed to be of you in order to spy on you, and been all the time helping the enemy.   
(Verse 90)- Except: the exception refers to “seize them and slay them”, the death penalty for repeated desertion. Even after such desertion, exception is granted in two cases. One is where the deserter took asylum with a tribe with whom there was a treaty of peace and amity. Presumably such a tribe –even though outside the pale of Islam- might be trusted to keep the man from fighting against the forces of Islam; in the modern phrase, to disarm him and render him harmless. The second case for exemption is where the man from his own heart desires never to take up arms against Islam, though he does not wish to join the forces of Islam, to fight against a hostile tribe (perhaps his own) fighting against Islam. But he must make a real approach, giving guarantees of his sincerity. In the modern phrase he would be “on parole”. But this provision is much milder than that in modern military codes, which grant the privilege only to enemy prisoners, not to those who have deserted from the army granted them parole. The Hypocrites were in that position, but humanity as well as policy treated them with great leniency.     Approach or come: refers not to the physical act of coming, but to the mental attitude; the heart is mentioned for sincerity. When they sincerely promise not to fight against you, do not pursue them. Remember that if they had fought against you, your difficulties would have been increased. Their neutrality itself may be may be a great advantage to you. So as long as you are satisfied that they are sincere and their acts support their declaration of peace with you, you should not consider yourself justified in pursuing them and warring against them.
(Verse 91)- As opposed to the two classes of deserters to whom clemency may be shown, there is a class which is treacherous and dangerous and cannot be left alone. They try to wing your confidence, and are all the time in the confidence of the enemy. Every time they get a chance, they succumb to the temptation of double-dealing. The best way of dealing with them is to treat them as open enemies. Keep them not in your midst. If they give you guarantees of peace, and do not actually fight against you, then well and good. If not, they are deserters actively fighting in the ranks of the enemy. They have openly given you proof, and you can fairly seize and slay them in war as deserters and enemies.