Showing posts with label 4th Chapter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 4th Chapter. Show all posts

Monday 9 March 2020

Surah An Nisa: 4th Chapter of Quran (Exegesis Part-V)

Sürah An-Nisa' " ٱلنِّسَاء‎ " - The Women, is the fourth chapter of the Qur'an part of the Juz' 4-5 with 176 āyāt (verses) and 24 Ruku / sections. The title of the surah is mainly attributed to  numerous references to women throughout the chapter, including verses 4:34 and 4:127-130.

This Sürah closely connected chronologically with Sürah 3 Al i Imran  and the subject matter deals with social problems which Muslim community had to face immediately after Uhud.

The main object of this Sürah is to teach the Muslims the ways that unite a people and make them firm and strong. Introductions for the stability of family, which is the nucleus of community have been given. Then they have been urged to prepare themselves for defense. Side by side with these, they have been taught the importance of the propagation of Islam. Above all, the importance of the highest moral character in the scheme of consolidation of the Community has been impressed.

Owing to the length  of the Sürah and varied subjects discussed therein, the Sürah has been divided into six parts parts for better understanding, as already explained in the Overview.  We have already presented the first four parts. 

We now begin with the Part V ( verses 105-134).  The the Muslims have been enjoined to observe the highest standard of justice in order to make the Islamic Community firm and strong for defense. The Muslims are required to deal out strict justice even in case of the enemy, with whom they might be involved in war. They should also settle disputes between husband and wife with justice. In order to ensure this, they should keep their beliefs and deeds absolutely free from every kind of impurity and should become the standard bearers of justice. 

Let us now read the translation and exegesis / tafseer in English. For Arabic Text, please refer to the references given at the end and may also listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

Ruku / Section 16 [Verses 104-112]
Verse 104: Before proceeding on to the next topic, the Muslims have been exhorted to persevere in their fight without showing any kind of weakness. 

وَلَا تَهِنُوا فِي ابْتِغَاءِ الْقَوْمِ ۖ إِن تَكُونُوا تَأْلَمُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ يَأْلَمُونَ كَمَا تَأْلَمُونَ ۖ وَتَرْجُونَ مِنَ اللَّـهِ مَا لَا يَرْجُونَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا 

This refers to those unbelievers who adamantly opposed the cause of Islam and the establishment of the Islamic order.

It is astonishing that men of faith should not be prepared to endure the same degree of hardship for the sake of the Truth as unbelievers do for the sake of falsehood. This is strange insofar as the latter merely seek the transient benefits of worldly life whereas the faithful seek to please, and secure the proximity of the Lord of the Universe and look forward to everlasting rewards.

Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
Religion should be a source of strength and not of weakness in all our affairs. If we have to struggle hard and suffer hardships, those without faith have to do the same, with this difference, that the man of Faith is full of hope in Allah, whereas the man without Faith has nothing to sustain him.

Javed Ahmed Ghamidi's Explanation:
The actual word is: الۡقَوۡم. When it is used in this context, it refers to the enemy. Examples of such usage can be seen both in the Qur’an and in classical Arabic literature.

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

Verses 105-112 Establish justice based on Divine guidance and Warning against Slander and against falsely charging innocents:
اِنَّاۤ اَنۡزَلۡنَاۤ اِلَيۡكَ الۡكِتٰبَ بِالۡحَـقِّ لِتَحۡكُمَ بَيۡنَ النَّاسِ بِمَاۤ اَرٰٮكَ اللّٰهُ​ ؕ وَلَا تَكُنۡ لِّـلۡخَآئِنِيۡنَ خَصِيۡمًا ۙ‏ 
(105 )   Indeed, We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth so you may judge between the people by that which Allah has shown you. And do not be for the deceitful an advocate.
These and certain other verses which occur a little later on (see verses 113 ff.) deal with an important matter, related to an incident that took place around the time they were revealed. The incident involved a person called Tu'mah or Bashir ibn Ubayriq of the Banu Zafar tribe of the Ansar. This man stole an Ansari's coat of mail. While the investigation was in progress, he put the coat of mail in the house of a Jew. Its owner approached the Prophet (peace be on him) and expressed his suspicion about Tu'mah. But Tu'mah, his kinsmen and many of the Banu Zafar colluded to ascribe the guilt to the Jew. When the Jew concerned was asked about the matter he pleaded that he was not guilty. Tu'mah's supporters, on the other hand, waged a vigorous propaganda campaign to save Tu'mah's skin. They argued that the wicked Jew, who had denied the Truth and disbelieved in God and the Prophet (peace be on him), was absolutely untrustworthy, and his statement ought to be rejected outright. The Prophet (peace be on him) was about to decide the case against the Jew on formal grounds and to censure the plaintiff for slandering Banu Ubayriq, but before he could do so, the whole matter was laid bare by a revelation from God.

It is obvious that the Prophet (peace be on him) would have committed no sin if he had given judgement on the evidence before him. Judges are quite often faced with such situations. False evidence is given in order to obtain wrong verdicts. The time when this case came up for decision was a time of severe conflict between Islam and unbelief. Had the Prophet (peace be on him) issued a wrong judgement on the basis of the evidence before him, it would have provided the opponents of Islam with an effective weapon against the Prophet (peace be on him) as well as against the entire Islamic community, and even Islam itself. They could have spread the word that the Prophet (peace be on him) and his followers were not concerned about right and justice: it would have been claimed that they were guilty of the same prejudice and chauvinism against which they had themselves been preaching. It was specifically to prevent this situation that God intervened in this particular case.

In this and the following verse, the Muslims were strongly censured for supporting criminals for no other reason than either family or tribal solidarity and were told that they should not allow prejudice to interfere with the principle of equal justice for all. Man's instinctive honesty revolts against the idea of supporting one's own kin even when they are wrong, and denying others their legitimate rights.

Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
The Commentators explain this passage with reference to the case of Taima ibn Ubairaq, who was nominally a Muslim but really a Hypocrite, and given to all sorts of wicked deeds. He was suspected of having stolen a set of armour, and when the trial was hot, he planted the stolen property into the house of a Jew, where it was found. The Jew denied the charge and accused Taima, but the sympathies of the Muslim community were with Taima on account of his nominal profession of Islam. The case was brought to the Prophet, who acquitted the Jew according to the strict principle of justice, as "guided by Allah." Attempts were made to prejudice him and deceive him into using his authority to favour Taima. When Taima realized that his punishment was imminent he fled and turned apostate. The general lesson is that the righteous man is faced with all sorts of subtle wiles; the wicked will try to appeal to his highest sympathies and most honourable motives to deceive him and use him as an instrument for defeating justice. He should be careful and cautious, and seek the help of Allah for protection against deception and for firmness in dealing the strictest justice without fear or favour. To do otherwise is to betray a sacred trust; the trustee must defeat all attempts made to mislead him.

وَّاسۡتَغۡفِرِ اللّٰهَ​ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ كَانَ غَفُوۡرًا رَّحِيۡمًا​ ۚ‏  
( 106 )   And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.
وَلَا تُجَادِلۡ عَنِ الَّذِيۡنَ يَخۡتَانُوۡنَ اَنۡفُسَهُمۡ​ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَنۡ كَانَ خَوَّانًا اَثِيۡمًا ۙ​ ۚ‏  
( 107 )   And do not argue on behalf of those who deceive themselves. Indeed, Allah loves not one who is a habitually sinful deceiver.
Whoever commits a breach of trust with others in fact commits a breach of trust with his own self first. For the powers of his head and heart have been placed at his disposal as a trust, and by misusing them he is forcing those powers to support him in acts which involve a breach of trust. In doing so the person concerned suppresses his conscience, which God has placed as a sentinel over his moral conduct, with the result that it is rendered incapable of preventing him from acts of wrong and iniquity. It is only after a man has already carried out this cruel suppression of conscience within himself that he is able to commit acts of sin and iniquity outwardly.

يَّسۡتَخۡفُوۡنَ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَلَا يَسۡتَخۡفُوۡنَ مِنَ اللّٰهِ وَهُوَ مَعَهُمۡ اِذۡ يُبَيِّتُوۡنَ مَا لَا يَرۡضٰى مِنَ الۡقَوۡلِ​ؕ وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ بِمَا يَعۡمَلُوۡنَ مُحِيۡطًا‏ 
( 108 )   They conceal [their evil intentions and deeds] from the people, but they cannot conceal [them] from Allah, and He is with them [in His knowledge] when they spend the night in such as He does not accept of speech. And ever is Allah, of what they do, encompassing.
هٰۤاَنۡتُمۡ هٰٓؤُلَۤاءِ جَادَلۡـتُمۡ عَنۡهُمۡ فِى الۡحَيٰوةِ الدُّنۡيَا فَمَنۡ يُّجَادِلُ اللّٰهَ عَنۡهُمۡ يَوۡمَ الۡقِيٰمَةِ اَمۡ مَّنۡ يَّكُوۡنُ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَكِيۡلًا‏   
( 109 )   Here you are - those who argue on their behalf in [this] worldly life - but who will argue with Allah for them on the Day of Resurrection, or who will [then] be their representative?
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi's Explanation:
The actual word is: وَکِیۡل. When it is used with the preposition عَلٰی then in the Arabic language just as it means “a guardian and guarantor,” it also means “someone who is accountable and who takes responsibility.” The verse warns those who supported the Hypocrites because of their personal relationship with them. They would also try to find excuses to exonerate these Hypocrites from their blatant sins. Till verse 115, all the discourse answers them.

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

وَ مَنۡ يَّعۡمَلۡ سُوۡٓءًا اَوۡ يَظۡلِمۡ نَفۡسَهٗ ثُمَّ يَسۡتَغۡفِرِ اللّٰهَ يَجِدِ اللّٰهَ غَفُوۡرًا رَّحِيۡمًا‏  
( 110 )   And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself but then seeks forgiveness of Allah will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful.
The way to escape God’s punishment is not that other people should start backing and advocating the criminals; the right way in this regard is that the criminal himself should turn to God and confess his sin and seek His pardon.

وَمَنۡ يَّكۡسِبۡ اِثۡمًا فَاِنَّمَا يَكۡسِبُهٗ عَلٰى نَفۡسِهٖ​ؕ وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ عَلِيۡمًا حَكِيۡمًا‏  
( 111 )   And whoever commits a sin only earns it against himself. And Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.
Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
Kasaba = to earn, to gain, to work for something valuable, to lay up a provision for the future life. We do a day's labour to earn our livelihood: so in a spiritual sense, whatever good or evil we do in this life, earns us good or evil in the life to come. In verses 110-112 three cases are considered: (1) if we do ill and repent, Allah will forgive; (2) if we do ill and do not repent: thinking that we can hide it, we are wrong; nothing is hidden from Allah, and we shall suffer the full consequences in the life to come, for we can never evade our personal responsibility: (3) if we do ill, great or small, and impute it to another, our original responsibility for the ill remains, but we add to it something else; for we tie round our necks the guilt of falsehood, which converts even our minor fault into a great sin, and in any case brands us even in this life with shame and ignominy.

وَمَنۡ يَّكۡسِبۡ خَطِيۡٓـئَةً اَوۡ اِثۡمًا ثُمَّ يَرۡمِ بِهٖ بَرِيۡٓـئًـا فَقَدِ احۡتَمَلَ بُهۡتَانًا وَّاِثۡمًا مُّبِيۡنًا 
( 112 )   But whoever earns an offense or a sin and then blames it on an innocent [person] has taken upon himself a slander and manifest sin.
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi's Explanation:
Here another mischief of the Hypocrites is exposed. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:
… When these people were called to account for some mistake or act of injustice, then instead of confessing to it, they would blame some innocent person for the offence. The verse says that this attitude of absolving one self from God is also wrong. Through this calumny or lie, they can deceive the world but they cannot deceive God. In His eyes, such people will not only bear the burden of their own sin but also the additional burden of the sin of slander and falsehood. 
(Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 380)

Ruku / Section 17 [Verses 113-115]
Verses 113-115 Allah's special favors to the Prophet and Prohibition of secret counsel and its limited exception:

وَلَوۡلَا فَضۡلُ اللّٰهِ عَلَيۡكَ وَرَحۡمَتُهٗ لَهَمَّتۡ طَّآئِفَةٌ مِّنۡهُمۡ اَنۡ يُّضِلُّوۡكَ ؕ وَمَا يُضِلُّوۡنَ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡفُسَهُمۡ​ وَمَا يَضُرُّوۡنَكَ مِنۡ شَىۡءٍ ​ؕ وَاَنۡزَلَ اللّٰهُ عَلَيۡكَ الۡكِتٰبَ وَالۡحِكۡمَةَ وَعَلَّمَكَ مَا لَمۡ تَكُنۡ تَعۡلَمُ​ؕ وَكَانَ فَضۡلُ اللّٰهِ عَلَيۡكَ عَظِيۡمًا‏ 
( 113 )   And if it was not for the favor of Allah upon you, [O Muhammad], and His mercy, a group of them would have determined to mislead you. But they do not mislead except themselves, and they will not harm you at all. And Allah has revealed to you the Book and wisdom and has taught you that which you did not know. And ever has the favor of Allah upon you been great.
Even if some people succeeded in their design to obtain from the Prophet (peace be on him) a wrong judgement in their favour by presenting a false account of events, the real loss would have been theirs rather than the Prophet's (peace be on him). For the real criminals in the sight of God are the perpetrators of that fraud and not the Prophet (peace be on him) who might in good faith have delivered a verdict that actually did not conform to the facts. Whoever obtains a judgement in his favour by tricking the courts deludes himself into believing that by such tricks he can bring right to his side; right remains with its true claimant regardless of judgments obtained by fraud and deception. (See also Towards Understanding the Qur'an, vol. I, (Surah 2, n. 197.)

لَا خَيۡرَ فِىۡ كَثِيۡرٍ مِّنۡ نَّجۡوٰٮهُمۡ اِلَّا مَنۡ اَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ اَوۡ مَعۡرُوۡفٍ اَوۡ اِصۡلَاحٍۢ بَيۡنَ النَّاسِ​ ؕ وَمَن يَّفۡعَلۡ ذٰ لِكَ ابۡتِغَآءَ مَرۡضَاتِ اللّٰهِ فَسَوۡفَ نُـؤۡتِيۡهِ اَجۡرًا عَظِيۡمًا‏ 
( 114 )   No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right or conciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah - then We are going to give him a great reward.
 Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
Usually secrecy is for evil ends, or from questionable motives, or because the person seeking secrecy is ashamed of himself and knows that if his acts or motives became known, he would make himself odious. Islam therefore disapproves of secrecy and loves and enjoins openness in all consultations and doings. But there are three things in which secrecy is permissible, and indeed laudable, provided the motive be purely unselfish, to earn "the good pleasure of Allah": (1) if you are doing a deed of charity or beneficence, whether in giving material things or in helping in moral, intellectual, or spiritual matters; here publicity may not be agreeable to the recipient of your beneficence, and you have to think of his feelings; (2) where an unpleasant act of justice or correction has to be done; this should be done, but there is no virtue in publishing it abroad and causing humiliation to some parties or adding to their humiliation by publicity; (3) where there is a delicate question of conciliating parties to a quarrel; they may be very touchy about publicity but quite amenable to the influence of a man acting in private.

وَمَنۡ يُّشَاقِقِ الرَّسُوۡلَ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَـهُ الۡهُدٰى وَ يَـتَّبِعۡ غَيۡرَ سَبِيۡلِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ نُوَلِّهٖ مَا تَوَلّٰى وَنُصۡلِهٖ جَهَـنَّمَ​ؕ وَسَآءَتۡ مَصِيۡرًا
( 115 )   And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers - We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.
When, after revelation from God, the Prophet (peace be on him) delivered his verdict in favour of the innocent Jew rather than the dishonest Muslim, the latter was so seized by un-Islamic, egotistic and chauvinistic considerations that he left Medina, went straight to Makkah to join the ranks of the enemies of Islam and of the Prophet (peace be on him), and undertook open opposition. The verse alludes to that incident.

Ruku / Section 18 [Verses 116-126]
Verses 116-121 Shirk is and unforgivable sin and Pledge and Promises of Shaitan:

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يَغۡفِرُ اَنۡ يُّشۡرَكَ بِهٖ وَيَغۡفِرُ مَا دُوۡنَ ذٰ لِكَ لِمَنۡ يَّشَآءُ​ ؕ وَمَنۡ يُّشۡرِكۡ بِاللّٰهِ فَقَدۡ ضَلَّ ضَلٰلًاۢ بَعِيۡدًا‏
( 116 )   Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly gone far astray.
In this and the following verses we are asked to consider coolly, the end result of obsession with rage and anger, and what kind of people one chooses to identify with in place of the righteous people from whom one foolishly dissociates oneself.
اِنۡ يَّدۡعُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِهٖۤ اِلَّاۤ اِنٰـثًـا​ ۚ وَاِنۡ يَّدۡعُوۡنَ اِلَّا شَيۡـطٰنًا مَّرِيۡدًا ۙ‏  
( 117 )   They call upon instead of Him none but female [deities], and they [actually] call upon none but a rebellious Satan.
No one sets up Satan as his 'god' in the sense that he makes him the object of his ritual worship and declares him to be God in so many words. The way to make Satan one's god is to entrust one's reins to him and let oneself be drawn helplessly in whichever direction he wants; the relationship between the two is, then, that of worshiper and worshiped. This shows that either absolute, unreserved obedience to or blind following of anybody is tantamount to 'worshiping' him, so that whoever indulges in this kind of absolute obedience is guilty of worshiping a 'god' other than the One True God.

Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
The unity, power, and goodness of Allah are so manifest in nature and in the human mind when it is in accord with the universal spirit, that only the most abject perversion can account for the sin of religious treason. That sin arises from perverted ideas of sex or perverted ideas of self. The perversion of sex is to suppose that sex rules in religious matters. From it arise such horrible creations of the imagination as Kali, the blood-thirsty goddess of India, or Hecate, the goddess of revenge and hate in Greek mythology. Even in beautiful forms like Saraswati (the goddess of learning) or Minerva (the virgin goddess of sport and arts), to say nothing of Venus (the goddess of carnal pleasures), the emphasis laid on sex destroys a right view of religious nature. Perverted ideas of self are typified in the story of Satan, who was so puffed up with arrogance that he disobeyed Allah, and Allah cursed him. Both these perversions, if allowed lodgment, completely ruin our religious nature and deface Allah's handiwork. Hence it is not merely an outer sin but one that corrupts us through and through.

لَّـعَنَهُ اللّٰهُ​ ۘ وَقَالَ لَاَ تَّخِذَنَّ مِنۡ عِبَادِكَ نَصِيۡبًا مَّفۡرُوۡضًا ۙ‏ 
( 118 )   Whom Allah has cursed. For he had said, "I will surely take from among Your servants a specific portion.
This shows that Satan is determined to lay his claim to a portion of men's time, to their effort and labour, to their energies and capacities, to their material belongings, and to their offspring, and would somehow trick them into devoting a sizable portion of all these in his cause.

وَّلَاُضِلَّـنَّهُمۡ وَلَاُمَنِّيَنَّهُمۡ وَلَاٰمُرَنَّهُمۡ فَلَيُبَـتِّكُنَّ اٰذَانَ الۡاَنۡعَامِ وَلَاٰمُرَنَّهُمۡ فَلَيُغَيِّرُنَّ خَلۡقَ اللّٰهِ​ؕ وَمَنۡ يَّتَّخِذِ الشَّيۡطٰنَ وَلِيًّا مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ فَقَدۡ خَسِرَ خُسۡرَانًا مُّبِيۡنًا ؕ‏ 
( 119 )   And I will mislead them, and I will arouse in them [sinful] desires, and I will command them so they will slit the ears of cattle, and I will command them so they will change the creation of Allah." And whoever takes Satan as an ally instead of Allah has certainly sustained a clear loss.
The reference here is to a superstitious Arabian custom. It was customary among the Arabs that after a camel had given birth to five or ten young to slit her ears and let her go in the name of their deity; they considered it forbidden to put her to any work. Likewise, the male camel that had caused the birth of ten camels was consecrated to some deity. The slitting of ears symbolized this consecration.

To alter God's creation in some respect does not mean changing its original form. If that was meant, human civilization would have to be considered Satanic in its entirety. For civilization consists essentially of man's putting to use the resources endowed by God. Hence the alteration of God's creation, which is characterized as Satanic, consists in using a thing not for the purpose for which it was created by God. In other words, all acts performed in violation either of one's true nature or of the intrinsic nature of other things are the result of the misleading promptings of Satan. These include, for instance, sodomy, birth control, monasticism, celibacy, sterilization of either men or women, turning males into eunuchs, diverting females from the functions entrusted to them by nature and driving them to perform the functions for which men were created. These and numerous similar measures are enacted by Satan's disciples in this world, which amounts on their part, to saying that the laws of the Creator were faulty and that they would like to 'reform' them.

يَعِدُهُمۡ وَيُمَنِّيۡهِمۡ​ ؕ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ الشَّيۡـطٰنُ اِلَّا غُرُوۡرًا‏ 
( 120 )   Satan promises them and arouses desire in them. But Satan does not promise them except delusion.
Satanic operations are based on making attractive promises and raising high hopes. Whenever Satan wants to mislead men, whether individually or collectively, he tries to inspire them with Utopian expectations. In some he inspires expectations of ecstatic pleasure and outstanding success in their individual lives. He inspires others with prospects for achieving national glory. To still others he promises the well-being of mankind. He makes people feel confident that they can arrive at the ultimate truth without the aid of revealed knowledge. He deludes others into believing that God neither exists nor that there is any Life-after-Death. He comforts others with the belief that even if there is an After-life, they will be able to escape punishment through the intercession of certain persons. In short, Satan extends to different groups of people different promises and expectations with a view to seducing them.

اُولٰٓـئِكَ مَاۡوٰٮهُمۡ جَهَـنَّمُ وَلَا يَجِدُوۡنَ عَنۡهَا مَحِيۡصًا‏
( 121 )   The refuge of those will be Hell, and they will not find from it an escape.
Verses 122-124 Promise of Allah-who can be truer than Allah in promise?:

وَالَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَعَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ سَنُدۡخِلُهُمۡ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِىۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِهَا الۡاَنۡهٰرُ خٰلِدِيۡنَ فِيۡهَاۤ اَبَدًا​ ؕ وَعۡدَ اللّٰهِ حَقًّا​ؕ وَمَنۡ اَصۡدَقُ مِنَ اللّٰهِ قِيۡلً
( 122 )   But the ones who believe and do righteous deeds - We will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. [It is] the promise of Allah, [which is] truth, and who is more truthful than Allah in statement.
 لَـيۡسَ بِاَمَانِيِّكُمۡ وَلَاۤ اَمَانِىِّ اَهۡلِ الۡـكِتٰبِ​ؕ مَنۡ يَّعۡمَلۡ سُوۡٓءًا يُّجۡزَ بِهٖۙ وَ لَا يَجِدۡ لَهٗ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ وَلِيًّا وَّلَا نَصِيۡرًا‏ 
( 123 )   Paradise is not [obtained] by your wishful thinking nor by that of the People of the Scripture. Whoever does a wrong will be recompensed for it, and he will not find besides Allah a protector or a helper.
وَمَنۡ يَّعۡمَلۡ مِنَ الصّٰلِحٰتِ مِنۡ ذَكَرٍ اَوۡ اُنۡثٰى وَهُوَ مُؤۡمِنٌ فَاُولٰٓـئِكَ يَدۡخُلُوۡنَ الۡجَـنَّةَ وَلَا يُظۡلَمُوۡنَ نَقِيۡرًا‏  
( 124 )   And whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female, while being a believer - those will enter Paradise and will not be wronged, [even as much as] the speck on a date seed.
Verses 125-126 No one is better than a Muslim:

وَمَنۡ اَحۡسَنُ دِيۡنًا مِّمَّنۡ اَسۡلَمَ وَجۡهَهٗ لِلّٰهِ وَهُوَ مُحۡسِنٌ وَّاتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ اِبۡرٰهِيۡمَ حَنِيۡفًا​ ؕ وَاتَّخَذَ اللّٰهُ اِبۡرٰهِيۡمَ خَلِيۡلًا‏ 
( 125 )   And who is better in religion than one who submits himself to Allah while being a doer of good and follows the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth? And Allah took Abraham as an intimate friend.
Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
Abraham is distinguished in Muslim theology with the title of "Friend of Allah". This does not of course mean that he was anything more than a mortal. But his faith was pure and true, and his conduct was firm and righteous in all circumstances. He was the fountainhead of the present monotheistic tradition, the Patriarch of the prophetic line, and is revered alike by Jews, Christians and Muslims.

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

وَلِلّٰهِ مَا فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَمَا فِى الۡاَرۡضِ​ؕ وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ مُّحِيۡـطًا 
( 126 )   And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And ever is Allah, of all things, encompassing.
If man will neither submit to God nor stop acting in defiance of Him, he should bear in mind that he can never escape from God's grip,for His power encompasses him completely.

Ruku / Section 19 [Verses 127-134]

Verses 127-130 Establishment of justice for women:

وَيَسۡتَفۡتُوۡنَكَ فِى النِّسَآءِ ​ؕ قُلِ اللّٰهُ يُفۡتِيۡكُمۡ فِيۡهِنَّ ۙ وَمَا يُتۡلٰى عَلَيۡكُمۡ فِى الۡكِتٰبِ فِىۡ يَتٰمَى النِّسَآءِ الّٰتِىۡ لَا تُؤۡتُوۡنَهُنَّ مَا كُتِبَ لَهُنَّ وَتَرۡغَبُوۡنَ اَنۡ تَـنۡكِحُوۡهُنَّ وَالۡمُسۡتَضۡعَفِيۡنَ مِنَ الۡوِلۡدَانِ ۙ وَاَنۡ تَقُوۡمُوۡا لِلۡيَتٰمٰى بِالۡقِسۡطِ​ ؕ وَمَا تَفۡعَلُوۡا مِنۡ خَيۡرٍ فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ كَانَ بِهٖ عَلِيۡمًا‏ 
( 127 )   And they request from you, [O Muhammad], a [legal] ruling concerning women. Say, "Allah gives you a ruling about them and [about] what has been recited to you in the Book concerning the orphan girls to whom you do not give what is decreed for them - and [yet] you desire to marry them - and concerning the oppressed among children and that you maintain for orphans [their rights] in justice." And whatever you do of good - indeed, Allah is ever Knowing of it.
The actual query about women is not spelled out directly. The judgement pronounced a little later on in response to that query, however, makes it abundantly clear what the query was.

This is not a response to the query itself. Before attending to this, God once again emphasizes that people should implement His directives regarding orphans in general, and orphan girls in particular, as mentioned at the beginning of this surah see (verses 2 ff). above). This shows the importance of the rights of orphans in the sight of God. The protection of their rights, as we have pointed out, had already been stressed forcefully (see beginning of the surah, (verses 1-14). But that was not deemed sufficient. Hence, when problems of family life came up for discussion, the question of the well-being of orphans automatically arose even before answering the questions people raised.

This alludes to (verse 3 of this surah): 'And if you fear that you might not treat the orphans justly, then marry the women that seem good to you. '

The words of the text ( ) may be interpreted as: 'Whom you wish to marry (out of greed)' and also as 'Whom you do not wish to marry.' In explanation of this verse 'A'ishah states that, in those days, guardians of orphan girls who had any significant inheritance from their parents used to perpetrate many wrongs on their wards. If the girl was both rich and good looking, the guardian desired to marry her and exploit both her attractiveness and wealth without either having to make the bridal-due (mahr) or even having to undertake her maintenance. If the girl was ugly, the guardian would neither marry her nor allow her to get married, for she might thus get a husband who would support her claim to her legitimate rights. (See the commentary of Ibn Kathir on this verse. The tradition is quoted by Ibn Kathir from Bukhari. See also( n. 4 )above -Ed.)

The reference here is to the injunctions regarding the protection of the rights of orphans at the beginning of the surah see (verses 1 ff . and 11) ff. above).

Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
Again and again is it impressed on the community of Islam to be just in their dealings with women, orphans, children, and all whose weakness requires special consideration. The law about widows and orphans, inheritance, dower, and marriage had already been declared in iv. 2-35 and further instructions are now given on a further reference. It was not right that anyone should take advantage of their helpless position to deprive them of dower or of their portion in inheritance.

Cf. iv. 75. Both widows and orphans are to be helped because they are ordinarily weak, ill-treated, and oppressed. In communities which base their civil rights on brute strength, the weaker go to the wall, and public opinion expects nothing else. In Nietzsche's philosophy of the Superman that doctrine is stressed strongly, and some of the militarist nations in our own time seem inclined to support this reversion to our primitive instincts. Even in modern democracies of the saner sort, we are often told that it is the fate of minorities to suffer; strength of numbers here becomes the passport to power and privilege. Islam, while upholding sane manly views in general, enjoins the most solicitous care for the weak and oppressed in every way-in rights of property, in social rights, and in the right to opportunities of development. Spiritual strength or weakness does not necessarily go with physical or numerical strength.

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

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

The actual words are: لَا تُؤۡتُوۡنَہُنَّ مَا کُتِبَ لَہُنَّ (you do not give to them what has been prescribed for them). This refers to the conditions of dower and justice which have been regarded as essential in verses 3-4 of this surah in case one wished to marry the mothers of the orphans.

The actual words are: وَ مَا یُتۡلٰی عَلَیۡکُمۡ فِی الۡکِتٰبِ. In my opinion, they are coordinated to the genitive pronoun in فِیۡہِنَّ, and the word الۡکِتٰب refers to the Qur’an.

This is the verdict of God delivered in response to the question. For it, the Qur’anic words used are: وَ اَنۡ تَقُوۡمُوۡا لِلۡیَتٰمٰی بِالۡقِسۡطِ. The clause to which these words are coordinated to is suppressed. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained it. He writes:
… There is nothing in the discourse which can form the co-ordinate clause (ma‘tuf ‘alayh) of وَ اَنۡ تَقُوۡمُوۡا لِلۡیَتٰمٰی بِالۡقِسۡطِ. Hence it must necessarily be deemed as suppressed, and this suppression shall be determined in the light of the context. Thus before the words وَ اَنۡ تَقُوۡمُوۡا لِلۡیَتٰمٰی بِالۡقِسۡطِ, the suppression would be to the effect: give dowers to these women; deal with them justly. Only then will the clause وَ اَنۡ تَقُوۡمُوۡا لِلۡیَتٰمٰی بِالۡقِسۡطِ become appropriate to be coordinated to these suppressed words. The complete meaning would be: deal justly with these women and adhere to justice regarding the orphans. In other words, it has been elucidated in the verdict that just as the conditions of giving dower and dealing justly exist with regard to the general category of women, they also exist with regard to the mother of the orphans, and the directive of dealing justly with women in the verse وَاِنۡ خِفۡتُمۡ اَلَّا تُقۡسِطُوۡا and giving dower to women in the verse وَ اٰتُوا النِّسَآءَ صَدُقٰتِہِنَّ relate to the mother of the orphans whom Muslims wanted to marry but were not ready to either deal justly with them or to give them their dowers. In this way, this verse has explained the concise wording of verses 3-4 of this surah and by this verdict emphasized further the directives enshrined in them.
(Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 397)

وَاِنِ امۡرَاَةٌ خَافَتۡ مِنۡۢ بَعۡلِهَا نُشُوۡزًا اَوۡ اِعۡرَاضًا فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيۡهِمَاۤ اَنۡ يُّصۡلِحَا بَيۡنَهُمَا صُلۡحًا​ ؕ وَالصُّلۡحُ خَيۡرٌ​ ؕ وَاُحۡضِرَتِ الۡاَنۡفُسُ الشُّحَّ​ ؕ وَاِنۡ تُحۡسِنُوۡا وَتَتَّقُوۡا فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ خَبِيۡرًا‏ 
( 128 )   And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them - and settlement is best. And present in [human] souls is stinginess. But if you do good and fear Allah - then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.
 The actual response to the query begins here. In order to appreciate the response fully one would do well to consider the query itself. In the days of Ignorance a man was free to marry an unlimited number of women, who had virtually no rights. When the preliminary verses of the present surah were revealed (see especially( verse 3) this freedom was circumscribed

in two ways. First, the maximum number of wives was fixed at four. Second, justice (that is, equal treatment of wives) was laid down as a necessary condition for marrying more than one. This gives rise to the question whether a person is obligated by Islam to feel equally towards each of his wives, to love each to an equal degree, and treat them equally even in respect of sexual relationship. Such questions are especially relevant with regard to a husband one of whose wives might be, say, afflicted with either sterility, permanent sickness or who is incapable of sexual intercourse. Does justice demand that if he fails to live up to the standards of equality mentioned above that he should renounce his first wife in order to marry the second? Moreover, where the first wife is disinclined to agree to annulment of the marriage, is it appropriate for the spouses to make a voluntary accord between themselves, according to which the wife, towards whom the husband feels relatively less attracted, voluntarily surrenders some of her rights, prevailing upon her husband not to repudiate the marriage? Would such an act be against the dictates of justice? It is to questions such as these that these verses are addressed.

It is better for the spouses to come to a mutual understanding so that the wife may remain with the same man with whom she has already spent part of her life.

The 'selfishness' on the part of the wife is that even though she is conscious of the causes which have contributed to her husband's aversion towards her, she nevertheless expects from him the treatment that a husband accords to the wife that he loves. The 'selfishness' of the husband, on the other hand, lies in suppressing her unduly and curtailing her rights to an intolerable extent, merely because she is keen to continue to live with him even though she has lost her attraction for him.

Here, too, God urges the male, as He usually does in such matters, to be magnanimous. God urges a man to treat his wife, who has probably spent a considerable number of years with him as his companion, with kindliness and grace in spite of the aversion that he has come to feel for her. He also urges man to love God, for if He were to deprive him of His loving care and blessing in order to punish him for his shortcomings, what place would he have under the sun?

Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
To protect the woman's economic interests, various rules are prescribed for dower in marriage. But the sanctity of marriage itself is greater than any economic interests. Divorce is, of all things permitted, most hateful to Allah. Therefore if a breach between husband and wife can be prevented by some economic consideration, it is better to make that concession than to imperil the future of the wife, the children, and probably the husband also. Such concessions are permissible, in view of the love of wealth ingrained in unregenerate man, but a recommendation is made that we should practise self-restraint, and do what we can to come to an amicable settlement without any economic sacrifice on the part of the woman.

Javed Ahmed Ghamidi's Explanation:
The actual word is: نُشُوۡز. If it emanates from the husband, then it means that he refuses to deal with his wife in spite of regarding her to be his wife.

Here women are counselled that if they fear that husbands may show indifference to them or even think of parting ways with them because of their insistence to be treated equally, it is alright if a husband and wife settle for a compromise.Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:
… This means that a wife may show lenience to her husband in her demand for justice as well as payment of dower and maintenance to her in order to dispense with the imminent fear of separation. The verse goes on to say that in compromises and settlements rest the welfare of all because it is in the interest of both husband and wife that this relationship once established should continue forever, even if a lot of sacrifice has to be made to keep it intact. Continuing with words of counsel, the verse says that greed is an evil found in human beings that affects mutual relationships; the remedy for this malady is that either both should get ready to make some sacrifice or if one of them is ill enough by not being willing to do so, the other should take the initiative. So if the wife has to make some sacrifice to keep the family unit intact, it is better that she does so. In the end, the words: “but if you do good and practice self-restraint” of the verse urge the husband to adopt the way of sacrifice and selflessness and it is only befitting that he show magnanimity and piety in this regard. He should live up to his traditions of grit and character and instead of being a “receiver” from the woman, he should let her be the “receiver.” The Almighty has knowledge of every deed a person does and He will greatly reward pious deeds. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 399)
The actual words are: وَ اُحۡضِرَتِ الۡاَنۡفُسُ الشُّحَّ. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:
The word شُّحّ means both “stinginess” and “greed”. The first of these meanings implies that a person is miserly in fulfilling the rights of others. This trait is condemnable in all circumstances. However, greed can relate to a desire for a noble thing as well as for an evil one; it can be within bounds and it can also exceed bounds. Hence, the fact that whether it is good or evil is an additional thing. As per its positive aspect, it does occupy a status in human nature; however, most people are so overwhelmed by it that it becomes a malady. The words اُحۡضِرَتِ الۡاَنۡفُسُ الشُّحَّ refer to this very aspect of greed. 
(Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 398)

وَلَنۡ تَسۡتَطِيۡعُوۡۤا اَنۡ تَعۡدِلُوۡا بَيۡنَ النِّسَآءِ وَلَوۡ حَرَصۡتُمۡ​فَلَا تَمِيۡلُوۡا كُلَّ الۡمَيۡلِ فَتَذَرُوۡهَا كَالۡمُعَلَّقَةِ​ ؕ وَاِنۡ تُصۡلِحُوۡا وَتَتَّقُوۡا فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ كَانَ غَفُوۡرًا رَّحِيۡمًا‏ 
( 129 )   And you will never be able to be equal [in feeling] between wives, even if you should strive [to do so]. So do not incline completely [toward one] and leave another hanging. And if you amend [your affairs] and fear Allah - then indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.
This means that it is not possible for a man to accord complete equality of treatment to two or more wives under all circumstances and in all respects. It is possible that one is ugly, the other beautiful; one is old, the other young; one is permanently sick, the other healthy; one is irritable, the other good-tempered. These and other differences are likely to make a person less attracted to one and more to the other. In such circumstances, the Law does not demand that one should necessarily maintain absolute equality between the wives in respect of love, emotional attachment and sexual relationship. What it does demand is that if a husband does not repudiate the marriage despite aversion for his wife, either because of his own desire or out of consideration for the desire of his wife, he should at least maintain a good relationship short of which his wife begins to feel as if she is without a husband. In such circumstances, while it is natural that a person should prefer one wife to the other, this should not go to the extent that the woman remains, as it were, in a state of suspension, as if she were without a husband at all.

Some people point out that in this verse the Qur'an in one breath stipulates justice as the necessary condition for plurality of wives and in the other breath declares it to be impossible. On this ground they conclude that the Qur'an has itself revoked the permission to marry more than one wife. There is, however, absolutely no justification for such an inference. Such an inference would have been justified had the Qur'an merely said that 'You will not be able to treat your wives with (absolute) justice.' But this statement has been followed by the directive: ' ... do not allow yourselves to incline wholly to one, leaving the other in suspense.' This leaves no grounds at all for the blind followers of Christian Europe to force an interpretation of their liking on the verse.

If a man does not deliberately inflict any wrong and tries earnestly to be just in his dealings God will pardon whatever minor shortcomings take place.

Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
In this material world there are two principle causes of division between man and wife, money and "the other woman" or "the other man". Money was dealt with in the last verse. Here is the case of "the other woman". Legally more than one wife (up to four) are permissible on the condition that the man can be fair and just to all.

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

The implication is that one should try everything to save the family from dismemberment. This is what God wants. However, if owing to compelling circumstances, separation does take place, one should hope for the best from the Almighty. It is He who provides sustenance to His creatures and assists them in hardships. He would fully help both the husband and the wife and fulfill their needs through His grace. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:
… The implication is that efforts that reflect selflessness and sacrifice are required from both the husband and wife in order to keep this relationship intact; however, this reconciliation must be done with honour and integrity: just as it is not permissible for either the husband or wife to show vanity in this regard, it is also not permissible to show accommodation beyond a certain point. Although the words used are general, it is evident from the context that the wife is encouraged to adjust and adapt to the situation as much as is possible and also show selflessness to achieve this end. However, she should rest assured that if in spite of her efforts the family does not remain intact, the Almighty is the one who provides and sustains all. He will completely fulfill her needs from His treasures. 
(Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 400)

 وَاِنۡ يَّتَفَرَّقَا يُغۡنِ اللّٰهُ كُلًّا مِّنۡ سَعَتِهٖ​ ؕ وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ وَاسِعًا حَكِيۡمًا‏  
( 130 )   But if they separate [by divorce], Allah will enrich each [of them] from His abundance. And ever is Allah Encompassing and Wise.
Verses 131-134 Have fear of Allah in your dealings:

وَلِلّٰهِ مَا فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَمَا فِى الۡاَرۡضِ ​ؕ وَلَـقَدۡ وَصَّيۡنَا الَّذِيۡنَ اُوۡتُوا الۡكِتٰبَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِكُمۡ وَاِيَّاكُمۡ اَنِ اتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ​ؕ وَاِنۡ تَكۡفُرُوۡا فَاِنَّ لِلّٰهِ مَا فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَمَا فِى الۡاَرۡضِ​ؕ وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ غَنِيًّا حَمِيۡدًا‏ 
( 131 )   And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And We have instructed those who were given the Scripture before you and yourselves to fear Allah. But if you disbelieve - then to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And ever is Allah Free of need and Praiseworthy.
 Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
Notice the refrain: "To Allah belong all things in the heavens and on earth": repeated three times, each time with a new application. In the first instance it follows the statement of Allah's universal providence and love. If two persons, in spite of every sincere desire to love and comfort each other, fail to achieve that end, and have to separate, Allah's all-reaching bounty never fails, for He is the Lord of all things. In the second instance it is connected with Allah's Self-existence, Self-excellence, and independence of all creatures: all His commands are for our good, and they are given to all His creatures, according to their capacities. In the third instance, it is connected with His universal power; for He could destroy any individual or nation and create a new one without any loss to Himself; but He gives a chance to all again and again, and even rewards them beyond their own ambitions.

وَلِلّٰهِ مَا فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَمَا فِى الۡاَرۡضِ ​ؕ وَكَفٰى بِاللّٰهِ وَكِيۡلً
( 132 )   And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.
Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
Allah's existence is absolute existence. It does not depend on any other person or any other thing. And it is worthy of all praise, for it is all-good and comprises every possible excellence. It is necessary to stress this point in order to show that the moral law for man is not a mere matter of transcendental commands, but really rests on the essential needs of mankind itself. If therefore such schools of thought as Behaviourism proved their theories up to the hilt, they do not affect the position of Islam in the least. The highest ethical standards are enjoined by Islam, not as dogmatic imperatives, but because they can be shown to follow from the needs of man's nature and the results of man's experience.

 اِنۡ يَّشَاۡ يُذۡهِبۡكُمۡ اَيُّهَا النَّاسُ وَيَاۡتِ بِاٰخَرِيۡنَ​ؕ وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ عَلٰى ذٰلِكَ قَدِيۡرًا‏ 
( 133 )   If He wills, He can do away with you, O people, and bring others [in your place]. And ever is Allah competent to do that.
Yusuf Ali's Explanation:
Allah does not need us, but we need Him. Our hopes, our happiness, our success centre in Him; but He is Self-sufficient. He has the power to supersede us, but His goodness is ever seeking to give us every chance in this world as well as in the Hereafter.

 مَنۡ كَانَ يُرِيۡدُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنۡيَا فَعِنۡدَ اللّٰهِ ثَوَابُ الدُّنۡيَا وَالۡاٰخِرَةِ​ ؕ وَكَانَ اللّٰهُ سَمِيۡعًاۢ بَصِيۡرًا
( 134 )   Whoever desires the reward of this world - then with Allah is the reward of this world and the Hereafter. And ever is Allah Hearing and Seeing.
First, that people should not entertain the illusion that they have the power to make or mar the destinies of others, that if they were to withdraw their support, people would be left helpless. The fact is that the destinies of all lie in the Hand of God alone and He need not remain dependent upon any single person as the sole instrument for helping any particular creature. The resources of the Lord of the heavens and the earth are limitless and He also knows how to use those resources.

Second, that the followers of the Prophet (peace be on him) ought to heed the admonition that was made to them, just as it was made to the followers of the former Prophets: to fear God in all their actions. They are being told in effect that by following God's guidance they will secure their own well-being rather than be the source of any benefit to God, that they can do God no harm by disobeying Him, just as it did not lie in the power of the followers of the former Prophets to cause God any harm. The Lord of the Universe does not need people's obedience. If they disobey He may simply replace them with some other nation, and their dismissal will not diminish the majesty and splendour of His realm in the least.

Third, that God alone has the power to dispense the good of this world as well as that of the Hereafter, to lavish transient benefits as well as abiding felicity. It all depends on a man's nature and the extent of his ambition what kind of benefit he seeks from God. If a man is infatuated with the fleeting benefits of this world, and is prepared to sacrifice the benefits of the everlasting life, then God will grant him only the good of this world and he will have no share in the good of the Hereafter. God's benevolence is like a river which never dries up, a river which is both capable of, and geared to, providing abundant water to all who need their tillage watered. It is short-sighted and unambitious to want one's fields to be irrigated only once, and to be prepared thereafter to face the prospect of eternal drought. Anyone with breadth of vision would commit himself to submit to God and obey Him, thereby earning the well-being of both worlds.

The section ends with the assertion that God is All-Seeing and All-Hearing. This means that God is fully aware of the actions of His creatures, and is unlike those negligent sovereigns who are blind in lavishing their favours. God governs the universe with full knowledge and awareness. He has an eye on the capacities and ambitions of all human beings and knows their qualities exactly. He is fully aware of the purposes to which people devote their efforts and energies. Anyone who 'wilfully decides to be disobedient to God should therefore not cherish hopes of receiving the favours reserved for those who obey Him.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sürah An-Nisa' with English subtitles:

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary / exegesis of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Juzʼ / Part backwards for chapters in 30th Juzʼ / Part are shorter and easier to understand). 

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. [2]
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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Monday 2 March 2020

Surah An Nisa: 4th Chapter of Quran (Exegesis Part IV)

Sürah An-Nisa' " ٱلنِّسَاء‎ " - The Women, is the fourth chapter of the Qur'an part of the Juz' 4-5 with 176 āyāt (verses) and 24 Ruku / sections. The title of the sürah is mainly attributed to  numerous references to women throughout the chapter, including verses 4:34 and 4:127-130.

This Sürah closely connected chronologically with Sürah 3 Al i Imran  and the subject matter deals with social problems which Muslim community had to face immediately after Uhud.

The main object of this Sürah is to teach the Muslims the ways that unite a people and make them firm and strong. Introductions for the stability of family, which is the nucleus of community have been given. Then they have been urged to prepare themselves for defense. Side by side with these, they have been taught the importance of the propagation of Islam. Above all, the importance of the highest moral character in the scheme of consolidation of the Community has been impressed.

Owing to the length  of the Sürah and varied subjects discussed therein, the Sürah has been divided into six parts parts for better understanding, as already explained in the Overview.  We now begin with  the Part IV which generally and specifically deals with subjects as mentioned herein under:

In Part IV, Muslims have been exhorted to make preparation for defense and to fight bravely for the cause of Islam, without showing any kind of cowardice or weakness. They have also been warned to be on their guard against hypocrites. A line of demarcation has been drawn to distinguish the intentional shirkers from the helpless devotees. [Verses 71 - 100]

Here again instructions have been given for the offering of Salat during military campaigns and actual fighting. This is to impress the importance of Salat even at the time of fear and danger. [Verses 101 - 103]

Before proceeding on to the next topic, the Muslims have been exhorted to persevere in their fight without showing any kind of weakness. [Verse 104].  
Let us now read the translation and exegesis / tafseer of Part III in English. For Arabic Text, please refer to the references given at the end and may also listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

Ruku / Section 10 [Verses 71-76]
Verses 71-74 Be prepared for armed conflict (Jihad):

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا خُذُوا حِذْرَكُمْ فَانفِرُوا ثُبَاتٍ أَوِ انفِرُوا جَمِيعًا 
( 71 )   O you who have believed, take your precaution and [either] go forth in companies or go forth all together.
This discourse was revealed after the Battle of Uhud, when the tribes living around Medina had been greatly encouraged by the defeat of the Muslims. Thus dangers seemed to surround the Muslims on all sides. Day in and day out news poured in about the hostile intentions of one tribe after another. Reports came in of attacks mounted now in one area, and then in another. The Muslims were again and again the victims of treachery. Their preachers were invited to preach and then put to the sword. Beyond Medina, neither their lives nor their property was secure. Consequently the Muslims had to prepare themselves for a fierce struggle, for a tremendous, all-out effort to ensure that the Islamic movement would not be crushed.

Yusuf Ali explanation:
No fight should be undertaken without due preparations and precautions. When these are taken, we must go boldly forward. "Go forth" is therefore repeated for emphasis. But we must go forth in a collective spirit, and not in a selfish spirit-either in small parties or all together, as our Leader determines. We must not tarry like the doubter in the next two verses.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi explanation:
The actual word is: حِذۡر. It means “to safeguard oneself from some danger and calamity.” From this initial meaning it developed to mean a shield because it is used to protect oneself from enemy attacks. This is its special usage. However, in its general usage, it refers to arms. It is evident from the occasion and context of the discourse that here it is used in this very connotation.

Ie., in small groups to surprise the enemy in an attack. This form of attack is the same which in current times is referred to by the term “guerrilla warfare.”

And in this manner evade participating in battle and discourage others as well.

These words reveal their inner-selves. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… The implication is that if they do participate in any campaign because of their wretchedness, then the minimum requirement of faith and Islamic brotherhood is that they should feel happy on the God-granted success of the Muslims. However, they are not the least happy at this; in fact, just as on the success of any enemy a person feels jealous because he himself could not achieve it, in a similar manner, these people do not regard such a success to be their own success but that of their enemy and feel utterly deprived and frustrated. This is as if they have no relation with Islam and the Muslims. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 335)

  وَإِنَّ مِنكُمْ لَمَن لَّيُبَطِّئَنَّ فَإِنْ أَصَابَتْكُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالَ قَدْ أَنْعَمَ اللَّـهُ عَلَيَّ إِذْ لَمْ أَكُن مَّعَهُمْ شَهِيدًا 
( 72 )   And indeed, there is among you he who lingers behind; and if disaster strikes you, he says, "Allah has favored me in that I was not present with them."
Another meaning could be that such persons not only shirk the risks of fighting themselves but also go about spreading demoralization to discourage others from fighting in the name of God.

Yusuf Ali explanation:
The doubter detaches himself in thought and action from the community. If the general body has a reverse, he blesses Allah that he was not among them, instead of being ashamed of himself for desertion. If the general body wins a success, he does not rejoice for the common cause, but only regrets for himself that he was not there to share in the glory and the gains!

  وَلَئِنْ أَصَابَكُمْ فَضْلٌ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ لَيَقُولَنَّ كَأَن لَّمْ تَكُن بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُ مَوَدَّةٌ يَا لَيْتَنِي كُنتُ مَعَهُمْ فَأَفُوزَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا 
( 73 )   But if bounty comes to you from Allah, he will surely say, as if there had never been between you and him any affection. "Oh, I wish I had been with them so I could have attained a great attainment."
  فَلْيُقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ الَّذِينَ يَشْرُونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا بِالْآخِرَةِ ۚ وَمَن يُقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ فَيُقْتَلْ أَوْ يَغْلِبْ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا 
( 74 )   So let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. And he who fights in the cause of Allah and is killed or achieves victory - We will bestow upon him a great reward.
The point stressed here is that fighting in the cause of God cannot be conducted by people engrossed in the pursuit of worldly benefits. This is the task of those who seek to please God, who have complete faith in Him and in the Hereafter, who are prepared to sacrifice all opportunities of worldly success and prosperity, and of all worldly interests, hoping thereby to win God's good pleasure. Irrespective of what happens in the present world such sacrifices will not be wasted in the Hereafter. Jihad (struggle in the cause of God) is not for those who mainly care for worldly benefits.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
It is not every one,-least of all, poltroons and faint-hearted persons-who is fit to fight in the cause of Allah. To do so is a privilege, and those who understand the privilege are prepared to sacrifice all their interests in this life, and this life itself; for they know that it is the sacrifice of something fleeting and of little value, for the sake of something everlasting, and of immense value. Whether (in appearance) they win or lose, in reality they win the prize for which they are fighting,-viz., honour and glory in the sight of Allah. Note that the only alternatives here are Death or Victory! The true fighter knows no defeat.

Verses 75-76 Make Jihad to help the oppressed:

وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَـٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ نَصِيرًا 
( 75 )   And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, "Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?"
This refers to those wronged, persecuted men, women and children of Makkah and of the other tribes in Arabia who had embraced Islam, but were able neither to emigrate nor to protect themselves from the wrongs to which they were subjected. These helpless people suffered many forms of persecution, and prayed for deliverance from oppression.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Even from the human point of view the cause of Allah is the cause of justice, the cause of the oppressed. In the great persecution, before Makkah was won again, what sorrows, threats, tortures, and oppression, were suffered by those whose faith was unshaken? Muhammad's life and that of his adherents was threatened: they were mocked, assaulted, insulted and beaten; those within the power of the enemy were put into chains and cast into prison; others were boycotted, and shut out of trade, business, and social intercourse; they could not even buy the food they wanted, or perform their religious duties. The persecution was redoubled for the believing slaves, women, and children after the Hijrah. Their cry for a protector, and helper from Allah was answered when Muhammad the Chosen One brought freedom and peace to Makkah again.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
It is evident from this that the foremost as well as the most prominent form of war for the cause of God (qital fi sabilillah) is to help people who are being tormented because of their religion. By the words “city of the oppressors” of the verse, the reference is to the settlements where many men, women and children had embraced faith but were still in the clutches of their guardians and power lords and as such were unable to lead a life according to their religion without becoming a target of their oppression and cruelty.

The actual words are: مِنۡ لَّدُنۡکَ. They express the fact that though apparently there is no ray of hope, nothing is beyond God, Whenever He wants, He can open a way for His servants.

Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained what is evident from this complete verse. He writes:

The cruel disbelievers had made life so miserable for the Muslims on their native soil that their very homeland became a place of great hardship for them and in spite of the fact that love for the homeland is a natural thing, they had become so repulsed by it that they called it the city of the oppressors and would not even tolerate to be ascribed to it in any way.

Secondly, a homeland remains a homeland for the believers as long as there is peace for their religion and faith in it. If this is not the case, then such a place is not a homeland; it is a place of savage beasts, the dwelling place of snakes and the abode of devils.

Thirdly, such was the hopelessness that prevailed in those times that the oppressed Muslims were not able to see a way out of their hardship. They were relying solely on God’s help that He may open up a way for them irrespective of the apparent means and resources. In spite of these circumstances, Muslims stood their ground with resolve and determination. God be praised! What majesty was reflected in their perseverance. Even mountains could not have vanquished it.

If, somewhere, Muslims are oppressed in this manner, then jihad becomes obligatory for all other Muslims who are in a position to wage it. If they do not embark upon helping them, then this would be sheer hypocrisy. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 336)

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ الطَّاغُوتِ فَقَاتِلُوا أَوْلِيَاءَ الشَّيْطَانِ ۖ إِنَّ كَيْدَ الشَّيْطَانِ كَانَ ضَعِيفًا  
( 76 )   Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the cause of Taghut. So fight against the allies of Satan. Indeed, the plot of Satan has ever been weak.
The reference is to the leaders of the disbelievers of Arabia for whom the actual word used is الطَّاغُوۡت.

This lays down a clear verdict of God. To fight in the cause of God in order that His religion be established on earth is the task of men of faith, and whoever truly believes can never shirk this duty. To fight in the cause of taghut (authority in defiance of God) in order that the world may be governed by rebels against God is the task of unbelievers in which no believer can engage himself.

Satan and his comrades-in-arms ostensibly undertake tremendous preparations and contrive all kinds of ingenious machinations. True men of faith, however, should not be intimidated either by such preparations or by machinations. For, no matter what they do, they are doomed to fail.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir says, "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". Verse 4.74 - 4:75 Islam allows war in self-defence (Quran 22:39), to defend Islam (rather than to spread it), to protect those who have been removed from their homes by force because they are Muslims (Quran 22:40), and to protect the innocent who are being oppressed (Quran 4:75).

Ruku / Section 11 [Verses 77-87]
Verses 77-79 Fear Allah and not the people and There is no escape from death:

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ قِيلَ لَهُمْ كُفُّوا أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ فَلَمَّا كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقِتَالُ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُمْ يَخْشَوْنَ النَّاسَ كَخَشْيَةِ اللَّـهِ أَوْ أَشَدَّ خَشْيَةً ۚ وَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا لِمَ كَتَبْتَ عَلَيْنَا الْقِتَالَ لَوْلَا أَخَّرْتَنَا إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ قَرِيبٍ ۗ قُلْ مَتَاعُ الدُّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَالْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلًا 
( 77 )   Have you not seen those who were told, "Restrain your hands [from fighting] and establish prayer and give zakah"? But then when fighting was ordained for them, at once a party of them feared men as they fear Allah or with [even] greater fear. They said, "Our Lord, why have You decreed upon us fighting? If only You had postponed [it for] us for a short time." Say, The enjoyment of this world is little, and the Hereafter is better for he who fears Allah. And injustice will not be done to you, [even] as much as a thread [inside a date seed]."
This verse .can be interpreted in three ways, and each meaning is equally valid: First, that those who now shirked to fight in the cause of God were themselves initially eager to fight. They often approached the Prophet (peace be on him), saying that they were being wronged, beaten, persecuted and abused, that' their patience was exhausted, and that they wanted permission to fight. They had then been told to be patient and continue to purify their souls by observing Prayers and dispensing Zakah. At that time they had felt disconcerted by this counsel of patience. Later on, some of those very same people were to tremble at the first sight of the enemy and the dangers of warfare.

Second, that they remained highly 'religious' as long as they were asked merely to pray and pay Zakah, which entailed no risk to their lives. But as soon as that phase was over and they were asked to expose themselves to danger, they began to shiver with fear.

Third, that in the former times the same people had unsheathed their swords for trivial causes. They had fought for loot and plunder, and engaged in feuds motivated by animal impulses, so much so that feuding had almost become their national pastime. At that time they had been told to abstain from bloodshed and to reform themselves by observing Prayers and dispensing Zakah. When, later on, the same people were told that the time had come for them to fight in the cause of God, those who had shown themselves to be lions while fighting for their own selfish causes turned out to be as meek as lambs. The strong hands which had wielded the sword so firmly, and had used it so fiercely for the sake of either personal or tribal honour, or for Satan's sake, became almost paralyzed.

Each of these three meanings applies to a different kind of person, but the actual words of the verse seem to apply equally to all who shirked fighting in the cause of God.

Were they to serve the religion of God and spend their energy in that cause, they would surely be rewarded by Him.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Before the command for fighting was issued there were some who were impatient, and could scarcely be held back. They wanted fighting from human motives,- pugnacity, hatred against their enemies, the gaining of personal ends. Fighting from such motives is wrong at all times. When the testing time came, and they had to fight, not for their own hand, but for a Sacred Cause, in which there was much suffering and little personal gain, the Hypocrites held back and were afraid.

"Our natural term of life," they would say, "is short enough; why should we jeopardize it by fighting in which there is no personal gain?" The answer is begun in this verse and continued in the next. Briefly, the answer is: (1) in any case the pleasures of this world are short; this life is fleeting; the first thing for a righteous man to do is to emancipate himself from its obsessions; (2) to do your duty is to do right; therefore turn your attention mainly to duty; (3) when duty calls for self-sacrifice, be sure that Allah's call is never unjust, and never such as to exceed your capacity; and (4) if you fear death, you will not by fear escape death; it will find you out wherever you are; why not face it boldly when duty calls?

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
I.e., after witnessing the helplessness and cruelty faced by people living in the lands of the disbelievers, people would be induced to wage war and they would mention this sentiment of theirs to the Prophet (sws). At these instances, these Hypocrites in order to cast a false impression of their faith and sincerity would show more keenness and impatience to wage war but they would try to evade what actually needed to be done at that time.

The actual word is: قَالُوۡا. This is not an expression of their tongue; it actually depicts their mental situation. Such usage of this word is common in Arabic.

اَيۡنَ مَا تَكُوۡنُوۡا يُدۡرِكْكُّمُ الۡمَوۡتُ وَلَوۡ كُنۡتُمۡ فِىۡ بُرُوۡجٍ مُّشَيَّدَةٍ​ ؕ وَاِنۡ تُصِبۡهُمۡ حَسَنَةٌ يَّقُوۡلُوۡا هٰذِهٖ مِنۡ عِنۡدِ اللّٰهِ​ۚ وَاِنۡ تُصِبۡهُمۡ سَيِّئَةٌ يَّقُوۡلُوۡا هٰذِهٖ مِنۡ عِنۡدِكَ​ ؕ قُلۡ كُلٌّ مِّنۡ عِنۡدِ اللّٰهِ​ ؕ فَمَالِ ھٰٓؤُلَۤاءِ الۡقَوۡمِ لَا يَكَادُوۡنَ يَفۡقَهُوۡنَ حَدِيۡثًا‏ 
( 78 )   Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction. But if good comes to them, they say, "This is from Allah "; and if evil befalls them, they say, "This is from you." Say, "All [things] are from Allah." So what is [the matter] with those people that they can hardly understand any statement?
When such people encounter success and victory, they attribute it to the grace of God. They allow themselves to forget that this grace came to them through no one but the Prophet (peace be on him). When they are either beaten or face setbacks because of their own faults and weaknesses they gratuitously exonerate themselves and place the blame squarely on the Prophet (peace be on him).

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Hypocrites were inconsistent, and in this reflect unregenerate mankind. If a disaster happens, due to their own folly, they blame somebody else; but if they are fortunate, they claim reflected credit by pretending that Heaven has favoured them because of their own superior merits. The modern critic discards even this pretense, eliminates Heaven altogether, and claims all credit direct to himself, unless he brings in blind Chance, but that he does mostly to "explain" misfortune. If we look to the ultimate Cause of all things, all things come from Allah. But if we look to the proximate cause of things, our own merit is so small, that we can hardly claim credit for good ourselves with any fairness. In Allah's hand is all good: iii.26. On the other hand, the proximate cause of our evil is due to some wrong in our own inner selves; for never are we dealt with unjustly in the very least: iv. 77.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The actual words are: بُرُوۡجٍ مُّشَیَّدَۃٍ. The attribute refers to both the height and stability of the noun it qualifies. I have translated it keeping in view this aspect.

 مَّا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَمَا أَصَابَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ ۚ وَأَرْسَلْنَاكَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولًا ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّـهِ شَهِيدًا 
( 79 )   What comes to you of good is from Allah, but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself. And We have sent you, [O Muhammad], to the people as a messenger, and sufficient is Allah as Witness.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
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 Allah'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 Allah, that carries its own authority: "enough is Allah for a witness."

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
Ie., this ill befalls a person because of God’s permission but befalls because of some mistake or weakness within a person or to bring to surface the good and evil found in his nature.

Verses 80-81 Obedience of the Rasool / Prophet is in fact the obedience of Allah:

 مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّـهَ ۖ وَمَن تَوَلَّىٰ فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا
( 80 )   He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah; but those who turn away - We have not sent you over them as a guardian.
Such people are responsible for their own conduct. It is they rather than the Prophet (peace be on him) who will be censured. The task entrusted to the Prophet (peace be on him) was merely to communicate to them the ordinances and directives of God and he acquitted himself of it very well. It was not his duty to compel them to follow the right way, so that if they failed to follow the teachings communicated to them by the Prophet (peace be on him) the responsibility was entirely theirs. The Prophet (peace be on him) would not be questioned as to why they disobeyed.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Messenger was sent to preach, guide, instruct, and show the Way,-not to drive people to good. That is not Allah's Plan, which trains the human Will. The Messenger's duty is therefore to convey the Message of Allah, 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 Allah. In the same way those who obey the Message are obeying Allah. They are not obliging the Messenger: they are merely doing their duty.

وَيَقُولُونَ طَاعَةٌ فَإِذَا بَرَزُوا مِنْ عِندِكَ بَيَّتَ طَائِفَةٌ مِّنْهُمْ غَيْرَ الَّذِي تَقُولُ ۖ وَاللَّـهُ يَكْتُبُ مَا يُبَيِّتُونَ ۖ فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّـهِ وَكِيلًا 
( 81 )   And they say, "[We pledge] obedience." But when they leave you, a group of them spend the night determining to do other than what you say. But Allah records what they plan by night. So leave them alone and rely upon Allah. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
If we trust people who are not true, they are more likely to hinder than to help. But Allah 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 Hypocrites, but trust in Allah. Nor should our confidence in Allah 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 Allah, Who knows the inner working of events better than any human mind can conceive.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The actual word is: طَاعَة. This is an enunciative (khabar) whose inchoative (mubtada’) is suppressed. The reason is to emphasize the former.

The actual words are: بَیَّتَ طَآئِفَۃٌ مِّنۡہُمۡ. The real meaning of بَیَّتَ is “to do something at night.” However, in general usage, it means merely “to do something.” Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… There are many examples in Arabic in which words get stripped of their original meaning and are confined to a part of that original meaning. Thus اضحي and بات in general usage are used without being specified for the day and night. Here the implied meaning is that in the gatherings of the Prophet (sws) they submit to everything told, but once they depart from there, they, in their own gatherings, start to connive against the verses and directives they find against their desires and vested interests. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 346)

Verses 82-84 Proof of Al-Quran being the Divine revelation and report the important news to responsible persons:

 أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ ۚ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّـهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا 
( 82 )   Then do they not reflect upon the Qur'an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction.
The main reason for the attitude of the hypocrites and lukewarm believers was their lack of conviction that the Qur'an came from God. They did not believe that the Prophet (peace be on him) had received the messages and directives that he preached from God Himself. Hence, when they are censured for their hypocritical conduct, they are told that they do not reflect upon the Qur'an. For the Qur'an itself is a strong, persuasive testimony to its divine origin. It is inconceivable that any human being should compose discourses on different subjects under different circumstances and on different occasions, and that the collection of those discourses should then grow into a coherent, homogeneous and integrated work, no component of which is discordant with the others. It is also inconceivable that such a work would be permeated through and through with a uniform outlook and attitude, a work reflecting a remarkable consistency in the mood and spirit of its Author, and a work too mature ever to need revision.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The unity of the Qur'an is admittedly greater than that of any other sacred book. And yet how can we account for it except through the unity of Allah's purpose and design? From a mere human point of view, we should have expected much discrepancy, because (1) the Messenger 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 well even when arranged without any regard to chronological order. There was just the One Inspirer and the One Inspired.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The implication is that if they had reflected on the Qur’an, they would never have been doubtful about the prophet hood of Muhammad (sws). This is because it is not possible that for years a person should give speeches on a variety of topics in different situations and circumstances and when these speeches are compiled from the beginning to the end they form such a harmonious and congruous discourse that it has no contradiction of views and does not reflect any effects of mood change of the speaker and also does not depict any revision or change of views. Only the Qur’an has this characteristic and this is clear evidence to its divine origin. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… So sound and well-knit is every idea of the Qur’an, both in its principle and in the corollaries of these principles that even the formulate of Arithmetic and Geometry are not as sound and well-knit. So connected and linked are the beliefs it teaches that if any one of these beliefs is removed, the whole chain and sequence falls apart. The rituals of worship and other directives it gives spring from beliefs just as branches spring from a stem. The deeds and morals it instructs its followers to adopt emanate from the principles in a manner that natural and obvious consequences emanate from something. The system of life which comes into existence as a result of its overall teaching is like that of a lead-cemented wall in which each and every brick is attached to the other in a manner that it cannot be separated from the other except if a gap is created in the whole structure. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 347)

 وَإِذَا جَاءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِّنَ الْأَمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُوا بِهِ ۖ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَىٰ أُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ ۗ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّـهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَاتَّبَعْتُمُ الشَّيْطَانَ إِلَّا قَلِيلً
( 83 )   And when there comes to them information about [public] security or fear, they spread it around. But if they had referred it back to the Messenger or to those of authority among them, then the ones who [can] draw correct conclusions from it would have known about it. And if not for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy, you would have followed Satan, except for a few.
This was a period of turbulence and upheaval and rumour was rife. Occasionally, baseless and exaggerated reports circulated and seized the whole of Medina and its outlying areas with alarm and consternation. At other times some cunning enemy tried to conceal the dangers threatening the Muslims by spreading soothing reports. A specially keen interest in rumours was taken by those who simply relished anything out of the ordinary, and who did not consider this life-and-death struggle between Islam and Ignorance to be a matter of crucial importance, and who were not aware of the far-reaching consequences of rumour-mongering. As soon as they heard something, they ran about spreading it everywhere. This rebuke is addressed to such people. They are warned against spreading rumours and are directed to convey every report they receive to responsible quarters.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
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 misgiving 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.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
Such rumours produce very dangerous results even in general circumstances. It was war time when this verse was revealed; in such circumstances this danger is even more.

The actual word is: عَلِمَ. It also means to determine the context and background of something. Here it is used in this very meaning.

فَقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ لَا تُكَلَّفُ إِلَّا نَفْسَكَ ۚ وَحَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ عَسَى اللَّـهُ أَن يَكُفَّ بَأْسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ۚ وَاللَّـهُ أَشَدُّ بَأْسًا وَأَشَدُّ تَنكِيلًا 
( 84 )   So fight, [O Muhammad], in the cause of Allah; you are not held responsible except for yourself. And encourage the believers [to join you] that perhaps Allah will restrain the [military] might of those who disbelieve. And Allah is greater in might and stronger in [exemplary] punishment.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The courage of Muhammad was as notable as his wisdom, his gentleness, and his trust in Allah. Facing fearful odds, he often stood alone, and took the whole responsibility on himself. But his example and visible trust in Allah inspired and roused the Muslims, and also-speaking purely from a human point of view-restrained the fury of his enemies. When we consider that he was Allah'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, Allah's strength, power, and resources are infinitely greater. If the enemy is meditating punishment on the righteous for their righteousness. Allah's punishment for such wickedness will be infinitely greater and more effective.

Verses 85-87 Respond to greetings with even better greetings:

 مَّن يَشْفَعْ شَفَاعَةً حَسَنَةً يَكُن لَّهُ نَصِيبٌ مِّنْهَا ۖ وَمَن يَشْفَعْ شَفَاعَةً سَيِّئَةً يَكُن لَّهُ كِفْلٌ مِّنْهَا ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُّقِيتًا 
( 85 )   Whoever intercedes for a good cause will have a reward therefrom; and whoever intercedes for an evil cause will have a burden therefrom. And ever is Allah, over all things, a Keeper.
It is all a matter of choice and luck. One has the opportunity to struggle for the cause of God, and to urge others to strive for it in order to raise the banner of the Truth and be rewarded by God for so doing. Likewise, one also has the opportunity to expend one's energy trying to create misunderstanding among God's creatures and to demoralize people in their struggle for His cause thus incurring His chastisement.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In this fleeting world's chances Allah's providence 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 Allah has power over all things.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The actual words are: یَشۡفَعۡ شَفَاعَۃً سَیِّئَۃً. The word شَفَعَ means to join a thing to another. From this basic meaning, this word came to be used to support and second something and to speak in favour of it – whether that thing is good or evil. Thus the Qur’an has used the same word for both. It has called the first شَفَاعَۃً سَیِّئَۃً and the second شَفَاعَۃً سَیِّئَۃً.

 وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا 
( 86 )   And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet [in return] with one better than it or [at least] return it [in a like manner]. Indeed, Allah is ever, over all things, an Accountant.
At that time the relations between the Muslims and non-Muslims were strained to the limit. It was feared, therefore, that the Muslims might feel inclined to treat the latter discourteously. They are accordingly asked to pay at least as much respect and consideration to others as is paid to them - and preferably more. Good manners and courtesy are to be matched by the Muslims. In fact, the mission entrusted to the Muslims requires them to excel others in this respect. Harshness, irritability and bitterness are not becoming in a people whose main function is to preach a message and invite people to it; a people committed to guiding mankind towards righteousness. While harshness and bitterness may at best satisfy one's injured vanity, they are positively harmful to the cause that one seeks to promote.'

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
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 a 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 arc all creatures of One God, and shall be brought together before Him.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The actual words are: وَ اِذَا حُیِّیۡتُمۡ بِتَحِیَّۃٍ. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained them. He writes:

The real meaning of حَيَّاهُ تَحِيَّةٍ is to pray for someone’s life. The supplicative expression حَيَّاكَ اللّٰہُ originates from them. It means: “May God prolong your life.” Since the word salam and other supplicative words of similar meaning have this connotation or are close to it, they are included in the general meaning of تَحِيَّة. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 356)

Since this war campaign was being launched to help the oppressed Muslims who were under the hold and sway of the rejecters, the attacking Muslims were directed to regard their saying salam to be a sign of their Islam; they were to accept this salutation and respond to it in a better manner; their faith could be investigated later. At that time, it was more important that a sincere Muslim should not be killed by them.

  اللَّـهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ لَيَجْمَعَنَّكُمْ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ ۗ وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّـهِ حَدِيثًا 
( 87 )   Allah - there is no deity except Him. He will surely assemble you for [account on] the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt. And who is more truthful than Allah in statement.
Whatever the unbelievers, polytheists and atheists may do does not impair God's godhead. That God is the One and Absolute Lord of all is a fact which none can alter. And a Day will come when He will gather together all human beings and will make them see the consequences of their deeds, and no one will be in a position to escape His retribution. God therefore does not require His good creatures to maltreat, on His behalf, those who are lost in error. This is the link between the present verse and the one preceding it. The same verse also concludes the theme running through the last twenty verses or so (see verses 71 ff). The present verse outlines that a man can follow whichever course he deems fit, and expend his energy in any direction he likes, but ultimately all men will have to stand before the One True God for His judgement and will see the consequences of their deeds.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The actual words are: لَیَجۡمَعَنَّکُمۡ اِلٰی یَوۡمِ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ. Here the preposition اِلٰی after لَیَجۡمَعَنَّکُمۡ shows that a verb like “driving towards” or of similar meaning is suppressed here.

Ruku / Section 12 [Verses 88-91]
Verses 88-91 Fight against hypocrisy and hypocrites:

 فَمَا لَـكُمۡ فِىۡ الۡمُنٰفِقِيۡنَ فِئَـتَيۡنِ وَاللّٰهُ اَرۡكَسَهُمۡ بِمَا كَسَبُوۡا​ؕ اَ تُرِيۡدُوۡنَ اَنۡ تَهۡدُوۡا مَنۡ اَضَلَّ اللّٰهُ​ ؕ وَمَنۡ يُّضۡلِلِ اللّٰهُ فَلَنۡ تَجِدَ لَهٗ سَبِيۡلًا‏ 
( 88 )   What is [the matter] with you [that you are] two groups concerning the hypocrites, while Allah has made them fall back [into error and disbelief] for what they earned. Do you wish to guide those whom Allah has sent astray? And he whom Allah sends astray - never will you find for him a way [of guidance].
The problem of the hypocrites is discussed here. They had outwardly embraced Islam in Makkah and in other parts of Arabia, but instead of migrating to the Domain of Islam they continued co live among their own people who were unbelievers, taking part in all their hostile machinations against Islam and the Muslims. It was not easy for the Muslims to decide how to deal with such people. Some were of the opinion that since they professed Islam, performed Prayers, fasted and recited the Qur'an they could not be treated as unbelievers. Here God pronounces His judgement on this issue.

Unless the following is made clear at this point, the reader is likely to miss the real object of not only this verse but of all those verses in which believers who have failed to migrate are characterized as hypocrites. The fact is that after the Prophet (peace be on him) migrated to Medina the Muslims came to possess a piece of territory where they could fulfill the dictates of their faith. At that time all Muslims who suffered from the pressures and constraints imposed on them by the unbelievers, and who did not enjoy the freedom to practice their religion, were directed to migrate to Medina, the Domain of Islam. It was in these circumstances that all those believers who were in a position to migrate to Medina, but who failed to do so because their hearth and home, kith and kin, and their material interests were dearer to them than Islam, were declared hypocrites. Those who were not really in a position to migrate were reckoned as 'feeble' see( verse 98 below).

It is obvious that Muslims living in non-Islamic territories can be called hypocrites only when the Domain of Islam either extends a general invitation to all of them or at least leaves its doors open to them. In such circumstances, all Muslims who are neither engaged in trying to transform the non-Islamic territory into a Domain of Islam nor inclined to migrate to the latter despite their ability to do so, will be deemed hypocrites. But if the Domain of Islam neither invites them nor even keeps its doors open for them, then they obviously cannot be declared hypocrites merely because of their failure to migrate. Such persons would be considered hypocrites only if they did something too outrageous to be consistent with true faith.

God has returned them whence they came because of their duplicity, their excessive hankering after their material interests, and their preference for the good of this world over that of the Next. Those people had indeed tried to extricate themselves from the grip of unbelief and to advance towards Islam. To be a true Muslim calls for single-mindedness. It requires a willingness to sacrifice all interests and advantages that are in conflict with the interests of Islam. It requires a faith in the Hereafter strong enough to enable a man to cheerfully sacrifice all worldly advantages for the sake of his eternal happiness. Since those people lacked these qualities they retraced their steps. Could there be any doubt about the stuff they were made of?

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
When the desertion of the Hypocrites at Uhud nearly caused a disaster to the Muslim cause there was great feeling among the Muslims of 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 was determined by these verses. It was clear that they were a danger to the Muslim community if they were admitted into its 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," see next verse), 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 iv. 90.

 وَدُّوا لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ كَمَا كَفَرُوا فَتَكُونُونَ سَوَاءً ۖ فَلَا تَتَّخِذُوا مِنْهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ حَتَّىٰ يُهَاجِرُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَخُذُوهُمْ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّخِذُوا مِنْهُمْ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرًا 
(89 )   They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah. But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.
This is the verdict on those hypocritical confessors of faith who belong to a belligerent, non-Muslim nation and actually participate in acts of hostility against the Islamic state.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Flee: the verbal form which the noun hijrah is derived. Bukhari interprets this rightly as fleeing from all that is forbidden. This would include hijrah in the technical sense of leaving a place in which the practice of religion is not allowed. But it is more general. In time 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 pretenses 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.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The implication is that after this call to them for migration, migration has become a barometer of their faith and religion. If they are not prepared to migrate, then they shall be dealt in the same way as has been directed about the enemies of Islam and Muslims who have rejected the truth in spite of being convinced of it.

  إِلَّا الَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ إِلَىٰ قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُم مِّيثَاقٌ أَوْ جَاءُوكُمْ حَصِرَتْ صُدُورُهُمْ أَن يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ أَوْ يُقَاتِلُوا قَوْمَهُمْ ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّـهُ لَسَلَّطَهُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ فَلَقَاتَلُوكُمْ ۚ فَإِنِ اعْتَزَلُوكُمْ فَلَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ وَأَلْقَوْا إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ فَمَا جَعَلَ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سَبِيلًا 
( 90 )   Except for those who take refuge with a people between yourselves and whom is a treaty or those who come to you, their hearts strained at [the prospect of] fighting you or fighting their own people. And if Allah had willed, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you. So if they remove themselves from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not made for you a cause [for fighting] against them.
The exception here does not relate to the injunction that they should not be taken as friends and supporters, but to the injunction that the believers should seize and slay them. What is meant is that if a hypocrite takes shelter among an unbelieving people with whom the Muslims have an agreement he should not be pursued into that territory. It is not permissible for Muslims of the Islamic state to kill a hypocrite in some neutral territory even if he merits execution. This is because of the sanctity of the agreement concluded by the Muslims rather than the sanctity of the hypocrite's blood.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Except: the exception refers to "seize them and slay them", the death penalty for repeated desertion. Even after such desertion, exemption 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 granting them parole. The Hypocrites were in that position, but humanity as well as policy treated them with great leniency.

 سَتَجِدُونَ آخَرِينَ يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَأْمَنُوكُمْ وَيَأْمَنُوا قَوْمَهُمْ كُلَّ مَا رُدُّوا إِلَى الْفِتْنَةِ أُرْكِسُوا فِيهَا ۚ فَإِن لَّمْ يَعْتَزِلُوكُمْ وَيُلْقُوا إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ وَيَكُفُّوا أَيْدِيَهُمْ فَخُذُوهُمْ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثَقِفْتُمُوهُمْ ۚ وَأُولَـٰئِكُمْ جَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانًا مُّبِينًا
( 91 )   You will find others who wish to obtain security from you and [to] obtain security from their people. Every time they are returned to [the influence of] disbelief, they fall back into it. So if they do not withdraw from you or offer you peace or restrain their hands, then seize them and kill them wherever you overtake them. And those - We have made for you against them a clear authorization.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
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 win 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, 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.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
Ie., when the arrogant pressurize them, they join them in their mischief.

The actual word is: سُلْطَان. It means both “argumentation and reasoning” and “power and authority.” Other instances in which it is used in this second meaning are the verse 22 of Surah Ibrahim and verse 33 of Surah Bani Isra’il.

Ruku / Section 13 [Verses 92-96]
Verses 92-93 Punishment for killing a believer and laws of bloodwit:

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ أَن يَقْتُلَ مُؤْمِنًا إِلَّا خَطَأً ۚ وَمَن قَتَلَ مُؤْمِنًا خَطَأً فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُّؤْمِنَةٍ وَدِيَةٌ مُّسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِ إِلَّا أَن يَصَّدَّقُوا ۚ فَإِن كَانَ مِن قَوْمٍ عَدُوٍّ لَّكُمْ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُّؤْمِنَةٍ ۖ وَإِن كَانَ مِن قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُم مِّيثَاقٌ فَدِيَةٌ مُّسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِ وَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُّؤْمِنَةٍ ۖ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ تَوْبَةً مِّنَ اللَّـهِ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا
( 92 )   And never is it for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake. And whoever kills a believer by mistake - then the freeing of a believing slave and a compensation payment presented to the deceased's family [is required] unless they give [up their right as] charity. But if the deceased was from a people at war with you and he was a believer - then [only] the freeing of a believing slave; and if he was from a people with whom you have a treaty - then a compensation payment presented to his family and the freeing of a believing slave. And whoever does not find [one or cannot afford to buy one] - then [instead], a fast for two months consecutively, [seeking] acceptance of repentance from Allah. And Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.
The hypocritical confessors of Islam mentioned here are distinct from those whom the Muslims may kill. The reference here is to Muslims who are either residents of the Domain of Islam (Dar al-Islam) or to those who live in the Domain of War or of Unbelief (Dar al-Harb or Dar al-Kufr) but against whom there is no proof of actual participation in the hostile activities with the enemies of Islam. In the time of the Prophet (peace be on him) there were many people who had embraced Islam and yet, because of genuine difficulties, were living among tribes hostile to Islam. It occasionally happened that, in attacking a hostile tribe, the Muslims inadvertently killed fellow Muslims living in its midst.

Since the person killed was a believer, expiation of the sin required the emancipation of a Muslim slave.

The Prophet (peace be on him) had fixed the blood-money at either 100 camels, 200 oxen or 2,000 head of cattle. If someone wished to pay this in another form the amount would be determined with reference to the market value of the articles mentioned above. For instance, for those who wished to pay blood-money in cash, the fixed amount in the time of the Prophet (peace be on him) was 800 dinars (8000 dirhams). In the time of Caliph 'Umar the amount of blood-money was fixed at 1000 golden dinars (12000 silver dirhams). It should be noted, however, that this amount relates to an unintentional rather than a deliberate homicide. (Regarding blood-money for unintentional homicide and injury see Abu Da'ud, 'Diyat', 14-17; Tirmidhi, 'Diyat', 1; Nasa'i, 'Qasamah', 34; Ibn Majah, 'Diyat', 6; Malik b. Anas, Muwatta', "Uqul', 4; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 1, pp. 384 and 450; vol. 2, pp. 178, 183, 186, 217, 224; vol. 4, p. 275. See also Ibn Rushd, Bidayat al-Mujtahid, vol. 2, pp. 401 ff. - Ed.)

The legal injunctions embodied in this verse are as follows:

(1) If the victim was a resident of the Domain of Islam (Dar al-Islam) the killer is not only required to pay blood-money but also to emancipate a slave by way of expiation.

(2) If the victim was a resident of the Domain of War (Dar al-Harb) the killer is only required to emancipate a slave.

(3) If the victim was a resident of a non-Muslim country which had treaty relations with an Islamic state the killer is required to emancipate a slave and also to pay blood-money. The amount of the blood-money, however, depends on the terms stipulated in the treaty between the Muslims and the territory of the victim. (See Jassas, vol. 2, pp. 238 f f. and 240 ff. - Ed.)

This means that he should observe fasting uninterrupted for the entire period. If a man breaks his fast for just one day without a legally valid reason he will be required to resume fasting anew.

This shows that what has been prescribed is an act of repentance and expiation rather than a penalty inflicted on a criminal. Penalization is essentially devoid of the spirit of repentance and of the urge to self-reform. A penalty is suffered under duress, usually with resentment, and leaves behind repugnance and bitterness. On the contrary, what God wants is that the believer who has committed a sin should wash the stain of it from his soul by supererogatory worship, by acts of charity, and by a meticulous fulfillment of all the duties incumbent upon him. Such a person is required to turn to God in remorse and repentance so that his sin may be pardoned and his soul secured against the recurrence of similar errors.

The word kaffarah signifies that which either covers or hides something. To declare that certain acts of charity constitute kaffarah means that those acts overlay the sin and cover it up, just as stains on a wall are covered up when it is painted.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Life is absolutely sacred in the Islamic Brotherhood. But mistakes will sometimes happen, as did happen in the melee at Uhud, when some Muslims were killed (being mistaken for the enemy) by Muslims. There was no guilty intention: therefore there was no murder. But all the same, the family of the deceased was entitled to compensation unless they freely remitted it, and in addition it was provided that the unfortunate man who made the mistake should free a believing slave. Thus a deplorable mistake was made the occasion for winning the liberty of a slave who was a Believer, for Islam discountenances slavery. The compensation could only be paid if the deceased belonged to a Muslim society or to some people at peace with the Muslim society. Obviously it could not be paid if, though the deceased was a Believer, his people were at war with the Muslim society: even if his people could be reached, it is not fair to increase the resources of the enemy. If the deceased was himself an enemy at war, obviously the laws of war justify his being killed in warfare unless he surrendered. If the man who took life unintentionally has no means from which to free a believing slave or to give compensation, he must still by an act of strict self-denial (fasting for two whole months running) show that he is cognizant of the grave nature of the deed he has done and sincerely repentant. I take this to apply to all three cases mentioned: that is, where a Believer killed a Believer unintentionally and the deceased (1) belonged to the same community as you, or (2) belonged to a community at war with you, or (3) belonged to a community in alliance with you.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
This is one of the measures prescribed by Islam for the emancipation of slaves. In current times, slavery has been abolished. So if a person is not able to fast, he, in proportion to the price of a slave can liberate a prisoner(s) by paying off the fine imposed on him or in the same proportion pay off the debt of a Muslim.

The actual words are: دِیَۃٌ مُّسَلَّمَۃٌ اِلٰۤی اَہۡلِہٖ. Here دِیَۃ (diyat) means something which in general custom and usage is called “diyat”. And the words دِیَۃٌ مُّسَلَّمَۃٌ اِلٰۤی اَہۡلِہٖ simply mean that the family of the murdered person should be given what the general custom and linguistic usage term as “diyat.” The Qur’an has not prescribed any specific amount for diyat nor has it directed the Muslims to discriminate in this matter between a man or a woman, a slave or a free man and a Muslim or a non-Muslim. It has directed that diyat be given according to the customs and traditions of the society. The Prophet (sws) decided all the cases of diyat according to the custom of the Arabian society during his own times. The quantities of diyat which have been mentioned in our books of Hadith and fiqh are in accordance with this custom, which itself has its roots in the social conditions and cultural traditions of the Arabs. However, since then, the wheel of time has revolved through fourteen more centuries and the tide of time has sped past innumerable crests and falls. Social conditions and cultural traditions have undergone a drastic change. In present times, it is not possible to pay diyat in the form of camels nor is it a very wise step to fix the amount of diyat on this basis. The nature of عَاقِلَة (community/tribe) has completely changed and various forms of unintentional murder have come into existence which could never have been imagined before. We know that the guidance provided by the Qur’an is for all times and for every society. Hence, in this regard, it has directed us to follow the مَعْرُوْف (ma‘ruf: custom) which may change with time. By this Qur’anic directive, every society is to obey its customs, and since in our own society no law about diyat exists, those at the helm of our state can either continue with the above mentioned Arab custom or re-legislate in this regard; whatever they do, if the society accepts the legislation, it will assume the status of our ma‘ruf. Also, it is obvious that those in authority in any society can revise and re-structure the laws which are based on the ma‘ruf, keeping in view the collective good of the masses.

The law of unintentional murder stated in this verse is based on the following three clauses:

Firstly, if the murdered person is a Muslim citizen of a Muslim State or if he is not a Muslim but belongs to a nation with which a treaty has been concluded, it is necessary for the murderer who has not been forgiven to pay diyat to atone for his sin and repent before the Almighty and free a Muslim slave as well.

Secondly, if the murdered person is a Muslim and belongs to an enemy country, the murderer is not required to pay diyat; in this case, it is enough that he only free a Muslim slave.

Thirdly, in both these cases, if the criminal does not have a slave, he should consecutively fast for two months.

These are the directives as far as unintentional murder is concerned. But it is obvious that the directive of unintentionally injuring someone should also be no different. Hence, in this case also diyat shall have to be paid and fasts shall have to be observed considering the amount of diyat to be paid. For example, if the diyat of a certain type of wound is fixed at one-third of the diyat of murder, twenty fasts as atonement shall also be observed.

This part of the verse requires special deliberation. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained it. He writes:

… When the object is mentioned in this manner without a mention of the verb, the purpose is to lay special stress and emphasis on it. Here the directive of liberating a slave together with diyat and in the absence of a slave fasting for two consecutive months is stated. Now after this statement, it is emphasized that this laid out procedure is the repentance prescribed by the All-Knowing and Wise God. So neither should anyone consider it to be a burden nor disobey it. Killing a believer even though by mistake is a great sin. Paying diyat is not enough to expiate the sin; a slave shall additionally have to be liberated and if a person is not able to do so, then he must fast for two consecutive months so that the heart is washed of every stain of this sin. In other words, an expression of repentance merely by the tongue is not enough in this grave matter; certain deeds that corroborate this verbal repentance are also required. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 362)

 وَمَن يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِنًا مُّتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَغَضِبَ اللَّـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَعَنَهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ عَذَابًا عَظِيمًا  
( 93 )   But whoever kills a believer intentionally - his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
What is mentioned here is the punishment in the Hereafter. The legal consequences, enforceable by human society, are mentioned in ii. 178, under the rules of Qisas. That is, a life should be taken for a life destroyed, but this should be on a scale of equality: a single murder should not commit a whole tribe to a perpetual blood-feud, as in the days of ignorance. But if the heirs of the man slain accept reasonable compensation, this should be accepted, and the taking of a life for a life should be put a stop to. This course leads to the saving of life, and is commanded to men of understanding.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The punishment of intentionally murdering someone mentioned here is precisely the same as the one stated in the Qur’an for the most nefarious rejecters of the truth. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… In order to understand the reason for the severity of this punishment, it should be kept in consideration that the greatest right a Muslim has over another Muslim is sanctity of his life. If a Muslim takes the life of another Muslim, then this would mean that he has violated the greatest human right imposed on him which cannot even be atoned for. This is because the person whose right he has violated is no longer in this world and to expiate a violated human right it is essential to make up for the loss inflicted. Then, another aspect is also very important in this regard: this is the case of killing a Muslim who because of being trapped in a dar al-kufr or a dar al-harb was divested of the protection of the shari‘ah which a Muslim living in a Dar al-Islam has. If he had any hope for his religion and for himself, it was from the Muslims. If a Muslim now kills him and that too intentionally and at a place where he does not enjoy the protection of Islamic law, then obviously no one can be regarded to be more oppressed than such a slain person and no one can be regarded to be more oppressive than the slayer. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 2, 361)

Verse 94 Investigate properly before jumping to conclusion:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ فَتَبَيَّنُوا وَلَا تَقُولُوا لِمَنْ أَلْقَىٰ إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَامَ لَسْتَ مُؤْمِنًا تَبْتَغُونَ عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فَعِندَ اللَّـهِ مَغَانِمُ كَثِيرَةٌ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ كُنتُم مِّن قَبْلُ فَمَنَّ اللَّـهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَتَبَيَّنُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا
( 94 )   O you who have believed, when you go forth [to fight] in the cause of Allah, investigate; and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace "You are not a believer," aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You [yourselves] were like that before; then Allah conferred His favor upon you, so investigate. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.
In the early days of Islam the greeting as-salam 'alaykum ('peace be on you') was a distinguishing symbol of the Muslims. When a Muslim greeted another Muslim with this expression it signified that he was a member of the same community, that he was a friend and well-wisher, one who wished peace and security, from whom he need entertain no fear of hostility and towards whom, in return, he should not behave with hostility. The Islamic greeting occupied virtually the same position among Muslims as the passwords used by sentries to distinguish friend from foe. This was particularly important in those days because there were no distinctions in dress, language and so on by which Muslims could be conclusively marked off from their non-Muslim Arab compatriots.

The Muslims also encountered a strange problem on the battlefield. Whenever a Muslim was in danger of being harmed inadvertently by other Muslims during the fighting, he resorted to either the Islamic greeting (as-salam 'alaykum) or the Islamic creed There is no god save Allah' (ili-Jl^y) in order to indicate that he was their brother-in-faith. The Muslims, however, often suspected this to be merely a ruse of the enemy and therefore sometimes disregarded the utterance of the Islamic greeting or of the Islamic creed, and killed such people and seized their belongings as booty. Although whenever the Prophet (peace be on him) came to know of such incidents, he severely reproached the people concerned, it, nevertheless, continued to take place. In the end God solved the problem by revelation. The purport of the verse is that no one has the right summarily to judge those who profess to be Muslims, and assume them to be lying for fear of their lives. At least two possibilities exist: the claim may either be true or it may be false. The truth can only be ascertained by proper investigation. While it is impossible to investigate a person's case properly during fighting and this may enable him to save his life by lying, it is equally possible that an innocent, true believer might be put to death by mistake. The error of letting an unbeliever go unpunished is preferable to that of killing a true believer.

The Muslims are now told that there was a time when they were scattered among different tribes of unbelievers. They were, therefore, forced to conceal the fact of being Muslims since they feared that they would be subjected to persecution and hardship. In those days they had nothing else besides their verbal profession to testify to their faith. Later on, some time before these verses were revealed, God benevolently enabled the Muslims to develop a collective entity of their own and thus to raise the banner of Islam in the face of strong opposition from the unbelievers. That the Muslims should fail to appreciate the hardships which other Muslims were enduring, and which they themselves had endured until not long before, and not to treat them with consideration and forbearance, did not seem an adequate way of thanking God for His benevolence.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Go abroad: dharaba = to travel, to go for jihad, or for honest trade or other service, which if done with pure motives, counts as service in the cause of Allah. The immediate occasion was in connection with jihad, but the words are general, and can be applied to similar circumstances. In war (or in peace) we are apt to catch some worldly advantage by pluming ourselves on our superiority in Faith. In war perhaps we want to gain glory or booty by killing a supposed enemy. This is wrong. The righteous man, if he is really out in Allah's service, has more abundant and richer gifts to think of in the Hereafter.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The implication is that Muslims should not reject the faith of a person while showing greed for war booty. They have not waged this war to gain victory and war booty; their purpose is to help oppressed Muslims from the clasp of a cruel enemy. God has abundant booty for them which they will soon acquire; however, they must not take a step which endangers the life of a Muslim.

Verses 95-96 Ranks of Mujaheddin over Non-Mujaheddin:

لَّا يَسْتَوِي الْقَاعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُولِي الضَّرَرِ وَالْمُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ ۚ فَضَّلَ اللَّـهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ دَرَجَةً ۚ وَكُلًّا وَعَدَ اللَّـهُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ وَفَضَّلَ اللَّـهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا 
( 95 )   Not equal are those believers remaining [at home] - other than the disabled - and the mujaheddin, [who strive and fight] in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred the mujaheddin through their wealth and their lives over those who remain [behind], by degrees. And to both Allah has promised the best [reward]. But Allah has preferred the mujaheddin over those who remain [behind] with a great reward
 "Those who sit at home' (i.e. remain passive) does not refer either to those who had been ordered to fight but tried to look for excuses not to fight or to those who were individually obliged to take part in fighting because of the general summons of Jihad (fight in the cause of God) and yet shirked this duty. The reference here is to those who remained engrossed in personal concerns at a time when Jihad had become a collective obligation (fard bi al-kifayah). In the first case the person who fails to fight can only be a hypocrite, and God holds out no good promise for such a person unless there is good reason, for example, genuine disability. In the second case, however, what is required is the mobilization of a part rather than the entire military strength of the Islamic community. In such cases, if the recognized head (imam) of the Islamic community summons the people to come forward and undertake the expedition concerned, those who respond to that call are reckoned to be of superior merit to those who remain occupied with other pursuits however meritorious.

Fard bi al-kifayah signifies a collective duty of the Muslim community so that if some people carry it out no Muslim is considered blameworthy; but if no one carries it out all incur a collective guilt - Ed.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Allah's goodness is promised to all people of Faith. But there are degrees among men and women of Faith. There are people with natural inertia: they do the minimum that is required of them, but no more. There are people who are weak in will: they are easily frightened. There are people who are so strong in will and so firm in faith that they are determined to conquer every obstacle, whether in their own physical or other infirmities or in the external world around them. In a time of jihad, when people give their all, and even their lives, for the common cause, they must be accounted more glorious than those who sit at home, even though they have good will to the cause and carry out minor duties in aid. The special reward of such self-sacrifice is special forgiveness and mercy, as proceeding from the direct approbation and love of Allah.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
Here once again Muslims are urged to wage jihad for the cause of the oppressed among them; however, since this was not the case of a general appeal by the state for every one to participate in it, it was clarified that participating in it was a matter of reward; if true Muslims were not able to participate in it because of some legitimate excuse, then they would indeed be deprived of the great reward of jihad but for them too God has promised good. They were not like the Hypocrites who wanted to evade jihad. Thus they will be rewarded for their sincerity and good deeds.

  دَرَجَاتٍ مِّنْهُ وَمَغْفِرَةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا 
( 96 )   Degrees [of high position] from Him and forgiveness and mercy. And Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.
Ruku / Section 140 [Verses 97-100]
Verses 97-100 Oppressed should migrate if possible and Reward for migration in the cause of Allah:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ ظَالِمِي أَنفُسِهِمْ قَالُوا فِيمَ كُنتُمْ ۖ قَالُوا كُنَّا مُسْتَضْعَفِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ قَالُوا أَلَمْ تَكُنْ أَرْضُ اللَّـهِ وَاسِعَةً فَتُهَاجِرُوا فِيهَا ۚ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ مَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ ۖ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا 
( 97 )   Indeed, those whom the angels take [in death] while wronging themselves - [the angels] will say, "In what [condition] were you?" They will say, "We were oppressed in the land." The angels will say, "Was not the earth of Allah spacious [enough] for you to emigrate therein?" For those, their refuge is Hell - and evil it is as a destination.
The reference here is to those who stay behind along with the unbelievers, despite no genuine disability. They are satisfied with a life made up of a blend of Islamic and un-Islamic elements, even though they have had the chance to migrate to the Dar al-Islam and thus enjoy a full Islamic life. This is the wrong that they committed against themselves. What kept them satisfied with the mixture of Islamic and un-Islamic elements in their life was not any genuine disability but their love of ease and comfort, their excessive attachment to their kith and kin and to their properties and worldly interests. These concerns had exceeded reasonable limits and had even taken precedence over their concern for their religion see also( n. 116 )above).

Those people who had willingly acquiesced to living under an un-Islamic order would be called to account by God and would be asked: If a certain territory was under the dominance of rebels against God, so that it had become impossible to follow His Law, why did you continue to live there? Why did you not migrate to a land where it was possible to follow the law of God?

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The immediate occasion for this passage was the question of migration (hijrah) from places where Islam was being persecuted and suppressed. Obviously the duty of Muslims was to leave such places, even if it involved forsaking their homes, and join and strengthen the Muslim community among whom they could live in peace and with whom they could help in fighting the evils around them. But the meaning is wider. Islam does not say: "Resist not evil." On the contrary it requires a constant, unceasing struggle against evil. For such struggle it may be necessary to forsake home and unite and organize and join our brethren in assaulting and overthrowing the fortress of evil. For the Muslim's duty is not only to enjoin good but to prohibit evil. To make our assault we must be prepared to put ourselves in a position from which such assault would be possible, and Allah's earth is spacious enough for the purpose. "Position" includes not only local position, but moral and material position. For example, we must shun evil company where we cannot put it down, but organize a position from which we can put it down.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
The actual words are: اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ تَوَفّٰہُمُ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃُ. The word الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃ occurs in the plural. The purpose is to allude to the genre. In the Arabic language, at times, the plural is used in this manner as well.

This warning has been sounded because in spite of God’s appeal to them to migrate, these people because of their personal interests were trying to find excuses to evade it, and in this manner were inflicted with a type of hypocrisy. Thus for this very reason they have been called Hypocrites earlier.

It is evident from these verses that if it becomes difficult for a believer to worship the Almighty, he is persecuted for his religious beliefs and a stage comes when it becomes impossible for him to live as a declared Muslim, then his faith requires him to shift to another place where he can openly practice his faith.

  إِلَّا الْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ حِيلَةً وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ سَبِيلًا 
( 98 )   Except for the oppressed among men, women and children who cannot devise a plan nor are they directed to a way
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
If through physical, mental, or moral incapacity, we are unable to fight the good fight, we must nevertheless guard ourselves from it. Allah's gracious Mercy will recognize and forgive our weakness if it is real weakness, and not merely an excuse.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
It is evident from these verses that if it becomes difficult for a believer to worship the Almighty, he is persecuted for his religious beliefs and a stage comes when it becomes impossible for him to live as a declared Muslim, then his faith requires him to shift to another place where he can openly practice his faith.
  فَأُولَـٰئِكَ عَسَى اللَّـهُ أَن يَعْفُوَ عَنْهُمْ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ عَفُوًّا غَفُورًا 
( 99 )   For those it is expected that Allah will pardon them, and Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving.
  وَمَن يُهَاجِرْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ يَجِدْ فِي الْأَرْضِ مُرَاغَمًا كَثِيرًا وَسَعَةً ۚ وَمَن يَخْرُجْ مِن بَيْتِهِ مُهَاجِرًا إِلَى اللَّـهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ يُدْرِكْهُ الْمَوْتُ فَقَدْ وَقَعَ أَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّـهِ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا 
( 100 )   And whoever emigrates for the cause of Allah will find on the earth many [alternative] locations and abundance. And whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to Allah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him - his reward has already become incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.
It should be understood clearly that it is only permissible for a person who believes in the true religion enjoined by God to live under the dominance of an un-Islamic system on one of the following conditions. First, that the believer struggles to put an end to the hegemony of the un-Islamic system and to have it replaced by the Islamic system of life, as the Prophets and their early followers had done. Second, that he lacks the means to get out of his homeland and thus stays there, but does so with utmost disinclination and unhappiness.

If neither of these conditions exist, a believer who continues to live in a land where an un-Islamic order prevails, commits an act of continuous sin. To say that one has no Islamic state to go to does not hold water. For if no Islamic state exists, are there no mountains or forests from where one could eke out a living by eating leaves and drinking the milk of goats and sheep, and thus avoid living in a state of submission to unbelief.

Some people have misunderstood the tradition which says: 'There is no hijrah after the conquest of Makkah (Bukhari, 'Sayd', 10; 'Jihad', 1, 27, 194; Tirmidhi, 'Siyar', 33; Nasa'i, 'Bay'ah', 15, etc. - Ed.) This tradition is specifically related to the people of Arabia of that time and does not embody a permanent injunction. At the time when the greater part of Arabia constituted the Domain of Unbelief (Dar al-Kufr) or the Domain of War (Dar al-Harb), and Islamic laws were being enforced only in Medina and its outskirts, the Muslims were emphatically directed to join and keep together. But when unbelief lost its strength and elan after the conquest of Makkah, and almost the entire peninsula came under the dominance of Islam, the Prophet (peace be on him) declared that migration was no longer needed. This does not mean, however, that the duty to migrate was abolished for Muslims all over the world for all time to come regardless of the circumstances in which they lived.

Ruku / Section 15 [Verses 101-104]
Verses 101-104 Salat-al-Qasr, Shortening of Salah during travel and Salah in the state of war and Salah is obligatory at its prescribed times:

وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُوا مِنَ الصَّلَاةِ إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَن يَفْتِنَكُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ۚ إِنَّ الْكَافِرِينَ كَانُوا لَكُمْ عَدُوًّا مُّبِينًا 
( 101 )   And when you travel throughout the land, there is no blame upon you for shortening the prayer, [especially] if you fear that those who disbelieve may disrupt [or attack] you. Indeed, the disbelievers are ever to you a clear enemy.
Shortening Prayers (qasr) while travelling in peace-time consists of praying two rak'ahs at those appointed times when one is normally required to pray four rak'ahs. The form of qasr during a state of war has not been specified. Prayers should, therefore, be performed as circumstances permit. People should pray in congregation if possible, otherwise individually. If it is not possible to turn towards the qiblah, one may keep the direction in which one happens to be facing. One may even pray while seated either on the back of an animal or on a vehicle. If actual bowing and prostrating are not possible, they may be performed with hand signals. If absolutely necessary, one may even pray while walking. One may also pray even though one's clothes are soiled with blood. If, in spite of these relaxations, a man still fails to manage to perform a Prayer within the prescribed time, he may defer it, following the precedent set by the Prophet (peace be on him) during the Battle of the Ditch.

There is disagreement as to whether one should also perform the sunnah (recommended) Prayers, or confine oneself to the obligatory ones. It is established that the practice of the Prophet (peace be on him) was to keep up the sunnah connected with the fajr (morning) Prayers, and with the witr in the 'isha' (evening) Prayers. At the other prescribed times, he performed only the obligatory Prayers. He did, however, perform the nafl (supererogatory) Prayers whenever he had the chance to do so, sometimes even while he was mounted. For this reason 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar expressed the opinion that one ought not to perform the sunnah Prayers while travelling, except for the sunnah in the fajr Prayers. But a majority of scholars consider both the performance and the omission of these Prayers as equally permissible, leaving the matter entirely to the discretion of the individual. The opinion held by the Hanafi school, however, is that it is preferable for a traveler actually on the move to omit the sunnah Prayers, but when he makes an overnight stop and is at his ease (even though in the legal sense he may still be a traveler), their performance is preferable.

According to some eminent jurists, journeys on which one may resort to qasr are those characterized as being fi sabil Allah (in the cause of God), such as military expeditions, Pilgrimage, the quest for knowledge, and so on. This is the judgement of 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar, 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud and 'Ata'. On the other hand, Shafi'i and Ahmad b. Hanbal are of the view that such permission extends to all journeys undertaken for lawful purposes, though not to those undertaken for unlawful purposes: indeed, if one travels for illegitimate purposes, one has no right whatever to benefit from the relaxation of qasr. Hanafi jurists, however, do not connect qasr with the purpose of the journey; they consider it lawful on all journeys, regardless of the purposes for which they are undertaken. They hold that a traveller may be either rewarded or punished by God, depending on his purpose in travelling. That, however, has nothing to do with the permissibility of qasr. (See the commentaries on the verse by Qurtubi, Ibn Kathir and Jassas. See also Ibn Rushd, Biddy at al-Mujtahid, vol. 1, p. 163 - Ed.)

Other eminent jurists have inferred from the words: 'And there is no blame on you . . . ' that qasr is not obligatory for a traveller: it is merely permitted. A person may avail himself of it if he chooses, and he may also perform his Prayers normally if he so wishes. This is the view of Shafi'i, even though he considers qasr recommended and holds its omission to be tantamount to failure to adopt the preferable alternative. According to Ahmad b. Hanbal, however, while qasr is not obligatory, its omission falls under the category of disapproved acts. In Abu Hanifah's opinion, qasr is obligatory, and according to one report, Malik is of the same opinion. (See the commentaries on the verse by Qurtubi, Jassas and Ibn al-'Arabi. See also al-Fiqh 'aid al-Madhdhib al-Arba'ah, vol. 1, p. 471, and n. 1, pp. 471-3 and Ibn Rushd, vol. 1, p. 161 - Ed.) It is established by the Hadith that the Prophet (peace be on him) always shortened his Prayers during his journeys. There is no reliable tradition to the effect that the Prophet (peace be on him) ever prayed four full rak'ahs in these circumstances. Ibn 'Umar states that he accompanied the Prophet (peace be on him) as well as Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman on their journeys, and never saw any of them fail to shorten their Prayers. A number of authentic traditions which have come down from Ibn 'Abbas and several other Companions corroborate this. When 'Uthman prayed four rak'ahs in Mina on the occasion of Hajj, some Companions objected to his not shortening the Prayer. 'Uthman convinced them that he had not made any mistake in so doing by arguing that he had got married in Makka and he had heard from the Prophet (peace be on him) that the place a person married in was in a sense his home. In that respect he was, therefore, not a traveller. (See the commentaries on the verse by Qurtubi, Jassas and Ibn Kathir, and the chapters on 'Salat al-Qasr' in the major collections of Hadith - Ed.)

In opposition to these numerous traditions are two from 'A'ishah which indicate that it is equally valid both to shorten the Prayers and to do them in full. These traditions, however, have weak links in their transmission and are also opposed to the authenticated practice of 'A'ishah herself. It is also true that there are intermediary states between travel and non-travel. During a temporary stop, it is quite proper for a man to shorten his Prayers on some occasions and on others to complete them. It depends upon the circumstances. It is probably in this context that 'A'ishah states that the Prophet (peace be on him) sometimes shortened his Prayers and sometimes performed them in full.

The Qur'anic expression in the verse 'there shall be no blame' also occurs in the Qur'anic verse on the ritual of running between Safa and Marwah see (Surah al-Baqarah 2: 158). The actual words used in both verses apparently mean that these acts were not blameworthy even though the running, as we know, is part of the prescribed rites of Pilgrimage and is obligatory: We can appreciate the significance of both these Qur'anic verses if we remember that the purpose in each case is to dispel the misunderstanding that the acts concerned might either entail some sin or jeopardize a man's reward.

Another question in. regard to qasr is: What is the minimum travelling distance in which Prayers may be shortened? The Zahiri school recognizes no limit at all: any travelling validates the shortening of Prayers. According to Malik, however, one may not shorten Prayers if the distance involved is either less than forty-eight miles (seventy-seven kilometers) or involves travelling for less than a day and a night. This is also the opinion of Ahmad b. Hanbal and Ibn 'Abbas and a statement in support of it has also come down from Shafi'i. The Companion Anas considers it permissible to shorten Prayers if the travelling distance is fifteen miles. Awza'i, Zuhri and 'Umar consider one day's travelling to be sufficient; Hasan al-Basri says that the journey should be two days long, and Abu Yusuf says that it should be more than two days. According to Abu Hanifah, one may shorten the Prayers on any journey in which one has to travel for three days either on foot or by camel, i.e. a distance of eighteen farsakh. Ibn 'Umar, Ibn Mas'ud and 'Uthman agree with this view. (See the commentary on the verse by Qurtubi and Jassas. See also al-Fiqh 'aid al-Madhahib al-Arba'ah, vol. 1, pp. 472 ff. and Ibn Rushd, vol. 1, pp. 163 ff. - Ed.)

If one stops over en route to one's destination, how long may one stay in one place and still be allowed to shorten one's Prayers? On this question, too, a variety of opinions have been expressed. Ahmad b. Hanbal is of the opinion that if a man decides to stay for four days, he should perform his Prayers in full. Malik and Shafi'i are of the opinion that a man may not shorten his Prayers if he decides to stay at a place for more than four days. Awza'i and Abu Hanifah are respectively of the opinion that if a person intends to stay at a place for more than thirteen or fifteen days, he should pray in full. No categorical injunction has come down from the Prophet (peace be on him) on this matter. All jurists agree, however, that if a man has been held up somewhere and cannot proceed because of some constraint, he may shorten his Prayers indefinitely provided he is in a constant state of readiness to undertake the journey back to his home as soon as the constraint is removed. Instances are reported of Companions who continued to shorten their Prayers for two years in this kind of circumstance. Treating the situation of a prisoner as analogous to this, Ahmad b. Hanbal holds that he may shorten his Prayers throughout the period of his imprisonment. (For legal discussions on the questions discussed here see the commentaries on the verse by Ibn Kathir, Jassas, Qurtubi and Ibn al-'Arabi. See also Ibn Rushd, vol. 1, pp. 160-5 - Ed.)

The Zahiris and Khawarij have interpreted this to signify that the injunction of shortening Prayers is confined to war-time alone and that it is against the Qur'an to shorten Prayers while travelling in peace-time. But it is established by an authentic tradition that when 'Umar mentioned this misgiving to the Prophet (peace be on him), he said: "This is a charitable gift to you from God, so accept His charitable gift.' (Muslim, 'Salat al-Musafirin', 12; Abu Da'ud, 'Salat al-Safar', 1; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 3, pp. 129 and 190 - Ed.) It is more or less established by an overwhelmingly large number of traditions that the Prophet (peace be on him) shortened his Prayers in times of both war and peace. Ibn 'Abbas states categorically that the Prophet (peace be on him) left Madina with the intention of performing Pilgrimage to the Ka'bah, and during this journey he prayed two rak'ahs (instead of four) even though he could have nothing to fear except God. (See Nasa'i, 'Taqsir al-Salah', 1 - Ed.) It is for this reason that I have added the word 'especially' in brackets to the text of the translation:

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

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

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

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

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Verse 101 gives permission to shorten four Rakat prayers when people are on a journey: verses 102-104 deal with cases when they are in danger at war, in face of the enemy. The shortening of prayers in both cases is further governed as to details by the practice of the Messenger and his Companions. As to journeys, two questions arise: (1) what constitutes a journey for this purpose? (2) is the fear of an attack an essential condition for the shortening of the prayers? As to (1), it is best to leave the matter to discretion, having regard to all the circumstances of the journey, as in the case of the journeys which excuse a fast: see ii. 184, n. 190. The text leaves it to discretion. As to (2), the practice of the Prophet shows that danger is not an essential condition; it is merely mentioned as a possible incident. The Messenger usually shortened the prayers from four Rakats to two Rakats in Duhr (midday prayer), 'Asr (afternoon prayer) and Ishaa (night prayer): the other two are in any case short, Fajr (morning prayer) having two Rakats and Maghrib (evening prayer) having three.

 وَإِذَا كُنتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ الصَّلَاةَ فَلْتَقُمْ طَائِفَةٌ مِّنْهُم مَّعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُوا أَسْلِحَتَهُمْ فَإِذَا سَجَدُوا فَلْيَكُونُوا مِن وَرَائِكُمْ وَلْتَأْتِ طَائِفَةٌ أُخْرَىٰ لَمْ يُصَلُّوا فَلْيُصَلُّوا مَعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُوا حِذْرَهُمْ وَأَسْلِحَتَهُمْ ۗ وَدَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْ تَغْفُلُونَ عَنْ أَسْلِحَتِكُمْ وَأَمْتِعَتِكُمْ فَيَمِيلُونَ عَلَيْكُم مَّيْلَةً وَاحِدَةً ۚ وَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِن كَانَ بِكُمْ أَذًى مِّن مَّطَرٍ أَوْ كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰ أَن تَضَعُوا أَسْلِحَتَكُمْ ۖ وَخُذُوا حِذْرَكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا 
( 102 )   And when you are among them and lead them in prayer, let a group of them stand [in prayer] with you and let them carry their arms. And when they have prostrated, let them be [in position] behind you and have the other group come forward which has not [yet] prayed and let them pray with you, taking precaution and carrying their arms. Those who disbelieve wish that you would neglect your weapons and your baggage so they could come down upon you in one [single] attack. But there is no blame upon you, if you are troubled by rain or are ill, for putting down your arms, but take precaution. Indeed, Allah has prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating punishment.
These words have led Abu Yusuf and Hasan b. Ziyad to the view that Prayer in a state of insecurity was confined to the time of the Prophet (peace be on him) alone. There are numerous examples, however, where a Qur'anic injunction was addressed specifically to the Prophet (peace be on him), yet holds good for the succeeding periods. Moreover, it is established that many outstanding Companions also resorted to this form of Prayer, even after the death of the Prophet (peace be on him), and there are no reports of disagreement on this question among the Companions. (For discussion see Jassas, vol. 2, pp. 261-3 and Ibn Rushd, vol. 1, p. 169-Ed.)

135. This injunction regarding Prayer in a state of either fear or insecurity (salat al-khawf) refers to the time when an enemy attack is anticipated, but the fighting has not yet begun. When fighting is taking place the ruling of the Hanafi school is that Prayer may be deferred. Malik and Thawri are of the opinion that if it is not possible to bow and prostrate in Prayer, it is enough to perform these actions by means of signs. Shafi'i argues that should the need arise, one might even fight while still in the state of Prayer. It is an established fact that on four occasions during the Battle of the Ditch the Prophet (peace be on him) missed Prayers during the appointed times, but performed them subsequently in their correct sequence, even though the above-mentioned injunction regarding Prayer in the state of insecurity had already been revealed. (See Jassas, vol. 2, pp. 263 ff. - Ed.)

136. The actual form of congregational Prayer in the state of insecurity depends, to a large extent, on the actual state of the hostilities. The Prophet (peace be on him) prayed variously under different conditions. A Muslim commander may use his discretion and adopt whichever of the following forms of Prayer seems to him most in keeping with the actual circumstances of the conflict:

(1) That a group of soldiers may pray behind the Prayer-leader, while the rest take their positions against the enemy. When one rak'ah is completed, the first group may disperse to be replaced in the Prayer by those who were at battle-stations, and who now complete the second rak'ah behind the leader. In this way the soldiers will have prayed one rak'ah each, and the leader two rak'ahs.

(2) That a group of soldiers may pray first and then another group may pray one rak'ah each behind the leader. Subsequently, each of the two groups comes, in turn, to complete the Prayer by performing one rak'ah individually. In this way, each of the two groups will have prayed one rak'ah congregationally and one rak'ah individually.

(3) That a group may pray two rak'ahs behind the leader, recite tashahhud and finish the Prayer by reciting the salutation. Then the second group may join the Prayer behind the leader and complete it with him. Thus the Prayer-leader will have prayed four rak'ahs and each of the two groups will have prayed two.

(4) That a group may pray one rak'ah behind the leader. When the leader rises to pray the second rak'ah, those who have been following him may complete the second rak'ah by themselves, including the recitation of the tashahhud and salutation. Then the second group joins the Prayer while the leader is in the second rak'ah. After the leader has finished his second rak'ah and his followers have prayed their first, the latter may rise and complete their Prayer by performing the second rak'ah by themselves. In this case, the leader should prolong his standing in the second rak'ah of the Prayer. The first form has been reported by Ibn 'Abbas, Jabir b. 'Abd Allah and Mujahid. The second form has been reported by 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud and is the basis of the Hanafi ruling on this matter. The third form of the Prayer has been adopted by Shafi'i and Malik with slight modification. The basis of this ruling is a tradition from Sahl b. Abi Hathmah. There are certain other forms of Prayer in the state of insecurity, details of which can be found in larger works of Islamic Law.

137. This is to emphasize that the precautions recommended here are among the measures which ought to be adopted with a view to minimizing This tradition reports that the Prophet (peace be on him) led the Prayer of his Companions as prescribed for the state of insecurity. The Companions stood in two rows behind the Prophet (peace be on him). The Companions in the first row completed the first rak'ah with the Prophet (peace be on him), then rose and remained standing until those in the second row had prayed one rak'ah. The latter then rose and stepped forward and the ones standing ahead of them retreated behind them. Then the Prophet (peace be on him) prayed with this group one rak'ah, then sat down until the back raw had prayed one rak'ah. Then the Prophet (peace be on him) recited the salutation (marking the end of the Prayer). See Muslim. 'Salat al-Musafirin' - Ed. losses and ensuring good results. Victory and defeat ultimately depend, however, on the will of God; so even while taking these precautionary measures one should feel sure that God will humiliate those who are trying to extinguish His light.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The congregational prayer in danger in face of the enemy rests on the principle that the congregation should be divided into two parties; one party prays while the other watches the enemy, and then the second party comes up to prayers while the first falls back to face the enemy; either party does only one or two Rakats, or about half the congregational prayer; every precaution is taken to prevent a rush by the enemy; even while at prayers armour and arms need not be put off except when rain is likely to cause inconvenience to the wearer and damage to the arms, or when illness or fatigue causes the wearer's strength to fail. Details can be varied according to circumstances, as was actually done by the Prophet at different times.

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

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

 فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمُ الصَّلَاةَ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّـهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِكُمْ ۚ فَإِذَا اطْمَأْنَنتُمْ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ ۚ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَّوْقُوتًا
( 103 )   And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allah standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides. But when you become secure, re-establish [regular] prayer. Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
It means: "when ye have finished congregational prayers." It allows you to remember Allah individually in any posture possible during the danger. But when the danger is past, the full prayers should be offered at the stated times.

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

The Qur’an itself has referred to the concession in prayer timings. The words: اِنَّ الصَّلٰوۃَ کَانَتۡ عَلَی الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ کِتٰبًا مَّوۡقُوۡتًا (because the prayer is incumbent upon the Muslims at appointed times) require that words like “and pray at the appointed times” or similar to these be understood to be present before them as per the linguistic principles of Arabic. It is evident from this understood expression that besides shortening the prayer, people can also reduce its timings. Consequently, it was directed that once peace is restored Muslims should pray the full rak‘at and pray at the appointed times because prayer is incumbent upon the Muslims at appointed times.

وَلَا تَهِنُوا فِي ابْتِغَاءِ الْقَوْمِ ۖ إِن تَكُونُوا تَأْلَمُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ يَأْلَمُونَ كَمَا تَأْلَمُونَ ۖ وَتَرْجُونَ مِنَ اللَّـهِ مَا لَا يَرْجُونَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا 
( 104 )   And do not weaken in pursuit of the enemy. If you should be suffering - so are they suffering as you are suffering, but you expect from Allah that which they expect not. And Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.
This refers to those unbelievers who adamantly opposed the cause of Islam and the establishment of the Islamic order.

It is astonishing that men of faith should not be prepared to endure the same degree of hardship for the sake of the Truth as unbelievers do for the sake of falsehood. This is strange insofar as the latter merely seek the transient benefits of worldly life whereas the faithful seek to please, and secure the proximity of the Lord of the Universe and look forward to everlasting rewards.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Religion should be a source of strength and not of weakness in all our affairs. If we have to struggle hard and suffer hardships, those without faith have to do the same, with this difference, that the man of Faith is full of hope in Allah, whereas the man without Faith has nothing to sustain him.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi explanation:
The actual word is: الۡقَوۡم. When it is used in this context, it refers to the enemy. Examples of such usage can be seen both in the Qur’an and in classical Arabic literature.

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

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sürah An-Nisa' with English subtitles:

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary / exegesis of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Juzʼ / Part backwards for chapters in 30th Juzʼ / Part are shorter and easier to understand). 

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. [2]
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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