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Saturday, 17 June 2017

Surat Al-Nisaa -4- Medinian –Ayats 176 – Section – Six– Verses 64-77

We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed, in accordance with God’s Will/Leave. If they (Hypocrites) had only –when they were unjust to themselves- had come to you, and asked God’s Forgiveness, and the Messenger [PPBUH] had asked forgiveness for them, indeed they would have found God is Oft-returning, All-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (64)

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ رَسُولٍ إِلَّا لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَحِيمًا (64)

But no –by your Lord- they can have no Faith until they make you (O’ Muhammad PPBUH) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept them with full submission. (65)

فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا (65)

And if We had ordered them; saying:”kill yourselves, or leave your homes”, verily, a few of them would have done it; but if they had done what they were [actually] told, it would have been better for them, and would have gone farthest to strengthen their Faith. (66)    

وَلَوْ أَنَّا كَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَنِ اقْتُلُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ أَوِ اخْرُجُوا مِنْ دِيَارِكُمْ مَا فَعَلُوهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ مِنْهُمْ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ فَعَلُوا مَا يُوعَظُونَ بِهِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُمْ وَأَشَدَّ تَثْبِيتًا (66)

And indeed We should –then- have given them from Our Presence a great reward. (67)

وَإِذًا لَآَتَيْنَاهُمْ مِنْ لَدُنَّا أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا (67)

And indeed We should have guided them to the Straight Way. (68)

وَلَهَدَيْنَاهُمْ صِرَاطًا مُسْتَقِيمًا (68)

And whoso obeys God and the Messenger [Muhammad PPBUH], then they will be in the company of those on whom God has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets {who teach}, the Sincere lovers of Truth [who were the first and foremost to believe], the Martyrs/Witness who testify, and the righteous who do good. Ah! and how excellent these companions are/beautiful fellowship.    (69)

وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُولَئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَئِكَ رَفِيقًا (69)

Such is the Bounty from God, and sufficient is that God Knows-all, All-Knower. (70)

ذَلِكَ الْفَضْلُ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ عَلِيمًا (70)

O’ you who believe! Take your precautions, and either go forth in parties [on an expedition], or go forth all together. (71) 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا خُذُوا حِذْرَكُمْ فَانْفِرُوا ثُبَاتٍ أَوِ انْفِرُوا جَمِيعًا (71)

There are certainly among you men who would tarry/linger behind [from the battle], if a misfortune befalls you, he says:”Indeed God has favored me in that I was not present with them-Martyr-witness”. (72)     

وَإِنَّ مِنْكُمْ لَمَنْ لَيُبَطِّئَنَّ فَإِنْ أَصَابَتْكُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالَ قَدْ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيَّ إِذْ لَمْ أَكُنْ مَعَهُمْ شَهِيدًا (72)

But if good fortune/bounty [victory and booty] comes to you from God, he would surely say –as if there had never been ties of affection between you and him-:” Oh! I wish I had been with them, and then I would have achieved a great success-{a good share of booty}. 73

وَلَئِنْ أَصَابَكُمْ فَضْلٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ لَيَقُولَنَّ كَأَنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُ مَوَدَّةٌ يَا لَيْتَنِي كُنْتُ مَعَهُمْ فَأَفُوزَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا (73)

Let those [believers] fight in the Cause of God, who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter, to him that who fights for the Cause of God –whether he is slain, or gets victory- soon We shall give him a great valuable reward. (74) 

فَلْيُقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يَشْرُونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا بِالْآَخِرَةِ وَمَنْ يُقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَيُقْتَلْ أَوْ يَغْلِبْ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا (74)

And why should you not fight in the Cause of God, and for those who –being weak, and ill-treated and oppressed; men, women, and children, whose cry is:”Our Lord, rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors/ transgressors, and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help” (75) 

وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَل لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَل لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ نَصِيرًا (75)

Those who believe fight in the Cause of God, and those who reject Faith/disbelieve, fight in the cause of Evil/false god. So fight against the friends of the Satan, ever feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan. (76)

الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ الطَّاغُوتِ فَقَاتِلُوا أَوْلِيَاءَ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّ كَيْدَ الشَّيْطَانِ كَانَ ضَعِيفًا (76)

Have you not turned your vision and saw those who were told to hold back their hands [from fight], and perform regular prayers, and spend in regular charity/alms? But when [at length] the order for fighting was issued to them, behold! a section of them fear men as –or even more than they should have feared God. They said:”Our Lord- Why have You ordained for us to fight? Would You have granted us respite to our [natural] term/short period?” Say:”short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is the best for those who do right; and you will never be dealt with unjustly in the least” (77)      

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ قِيلَ لَهُمْ كُفُّوا أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآَتُوا الزَّكَاةَ فَلَمَّا كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقِتَالُ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِنْهُمْ يَخْشَوْنَ النَّاسَ كَخَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ أَوْ أَشَدَّ خَشْيَةً وَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا لِمَ كَتَبْتَ عَلَيْنَا الْقِتَالَ لَوْلَا أَخَّرْتَنَا إِلَى أَجَلٍ قَرِيبٍ قُلْ مَتَاعُ الدُّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَالْآَخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِمَنِ اتَّقَى وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلًا (77)

Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you are in fortresses/towers built up strong and high. And if some good befalls on them, they say:”this is from God”- But if some evil befalls them, they say:”This is from you [O’ Muhammad PPBUH]”. Say:”All things are from God” – But what has come to these people that they fail to understand any word/ a single fact? (78)    

أَيْنَمَا تَكُونُوا يُدْرِكُكُمُ الْمَوْتُ وَلَوْ كُنْتُمْ فِي بُرُوجٍ مُشَيَّدَةٍ وَإِنْ تُصِبْهُمْ حَسَنَةٌ يَقُولُوا هَذِهِ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ وَإِنْ تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ يَقُولُوا هَذِهِ مِنْ عِنْدِكَ قُلْ كُلٌّ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ فَمَالِ هَؤُلَاءِ الْقَوْمِ لَا يَكَادُونَ يَفْقَهُونَ حَدِيثًا (78)

(Verse 78)- 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 favored them because of their own superior merits. The modern critic discards even this pretence, 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 God. But if we look the proximate cause of things, our own merit is so small, that we can hardly claim credit for good to ourselves with any fairness. In God’s hand is all good: (Verse 26 Suarat Al-Imran 3). 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-(verse 77).
(Verses 64-65)- The test of the true Faith is not mere lip profession, but bringing all our doubts and disputes to the one in whom we profess faith. Further, when a decision is given we are not only to accept it, but find in our inmost souls no difficulty and no resistance, but on the contrary a joyful acceptance springing from the conviction of our own faith.
(Verses 66-67)- The highest in faith willingly sacrifice their lives, their homes, and all they hold dearest, in the cause of God. Those whose faith is not so strong are expected at least to do what a loyal member of any society does, submit his doubts and disputes to the head of the society and cheerfully accept his decision and submit to it. The contrast is between the Hypocrites –who will not even do this- and the really devoted men and women who would voluntarily sacrifice their lives.
(Verse 68)- Four advantages of obedience to God are mentioned in the order in which they will appeal to the beginner in the faith: (1) his own benefit “Best for them”: (2) strengthening of his faith, as he becomes more and more at home in the spiritual world: (3) reward from God’s own Presence, such intense conviction that no further arguments are needed: (4) The Straight Way, in which there is no doubt or difficulty whatever in our practical conduct.
(Verse 69)- A passage of the deepest spiritual meaning. Even the humblest man who accepts Faith and does well, become -at once- an accepted member of a great and beautiful spiritual Fellowship. It is a company which lives perpetually in the sunshine of God’s Grace. (This passage partly illustrates Surat Al-Fatiha 1). It is a glorious hierarchy, of which four grades are specified: (1) the highest is that of the Prophets and Apostles, who get plenary inspiration from God, and who teach mankind by example and precept. That rank in Islam is held by Muhammad Al-Mustafa [PPBUH]: (2) the next are those whose badge is sincerity and truth; they love and support the truth with their person, their means, their influence, and all that are theirs. That rank was held by the special Companions of Muhammad [PPBUH], among whom of the type was that of Master Abu-Bakr Al-Siddig:(3) The next are the noble army of Witnesses/Martyrs who testify to the truth. The testimony may be by martyrdom, as in the case of Imams Al-Hassan and Al-Husain. Or it may be by the tongue of the true preacher or the pen of the devoted scholar, or the life of the man devoted to service. (4) Lastly, there is the large company of Righteous people, the ordinary folk who do their ordinary business, but always in a righteous way. They are the rank and file of the beautiful Fellowship, in which each has his place and yet all feel that they derive glory from the common association.
(Verse 70)- If a generous General gives the private soldier the privilege of sitting with his comrades and officers –high and low- in one common Brotherhood, people may perhaps wonder; how may this be? If we are admitted to that Fellowship, we want to know no more. It is enough to us that God Knows our humility and our unworthiness, and with His full knowledge admits us to that glorious Fellowship!
(( Illustration to Verses 71-91; Keep together in your noble Brotherhood, share its joys and sorrows, strive and fight the good fight, and never fear; for this life is short, and the Hereafter is Eternal. Do not allow your selves to be drawn into unbelief and cowardice; maintain the Right. Protect yourselves against Hypocrites and Deserters, but pursue them not unrelentingly)).
(Verse 71)- 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.
(Verse 72)- The doubter detaches himself in thought and action from the community. If the general body has a reverse, he blesses God that he was not among them –instead of being ashamed of his own self 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 gains!
 (Verse 73)- Just a selfish man’s thought. Such men are far from being a source of strength to their community. They are no use in a fight, and the next verse by implication discards them.
(Verse 74)- It is not every one –least of all is poltroon and faint-hearted persons- who is fit to fight in the cause of God. 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, i.e. honor and glory in the sight of God. Note that the only alternatives here are Death or Victory! The true fighter knows no defeat.    
(Verse 75)- Al-Mustadha’fin=?????????? – one reckoned weak, and therefore ill-treated and oppressed; see verses 98 and 150 to come. Even from the human point of view the cause of God is the cause of justice, the cause of the oppressed. In the great persecution –before Mecca was won again- what sorrows, threats, tortures, and oppression, were suffered by those whose faith was unshaken? Muhammad’s [PPBUH] 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 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 Hjira=Emigration. Their cry for a protector and helper from God was answered when Muhammad [PPBUH]-the Chosen One- brought freedom and peace to Mecca again.
(Verse 76)- Awlia’=?????? = plural of Wali=????- friend, supporter, protector, patron; from the same root as Maula, as in verse 33.
(Verse 77)- 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, the love of plunder, 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 God’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?.