Have they any share in the dominion of God?

 

 Translation (only) of An Nisa Ayah 41 to 60

(4:40) Indeed Allah wrongs none, not even as much as an atom’s weight. Whenever a man does good, He multiplies it two-fold, and bestows out of His grace a mighty reward.

(4:41) Consider, then, when We shall bring forward witnesses from every community, and will bring you (O Muhammad!) as a witness against them all.

 (4:42) Those who disbelieved, and disobeyed the Messenger will wish on that Day that the earth were leveled with them. They will not be able to conceal anything from Allah.

 

(4:43) Believers! Do not draw near to the Prayer while you are intoxicated® until you know what you are saying® nor while you are defiled” – save when you are traveling – until you washed your selves.® If you are either ill or traveling or have satisfied a want of nature or have had contact with women® and can find no water, then betake yourselves to pure earth, passing with it lightly over your face and your hands.2Surely Allah is All-Relenting, All-Forgiving.

 

(4:44) Have you not seen those to whom a portion of the Book was given? They purchased error for themselves, and wish that you too lose the right way?

 

(4:45) Allah knows your enemies better and Allah suffices as a protector and Allah suffices as a helper.

 

(4:46) Among those who have become Jews there are some who alter the words from their context,2 and make a malicious play with their tongues and seek to revile the true faith. They say: ‘We have heard and we disobey (sami’na wa ‘asayna),# ‘Do hear us, may you turn dumb’ (isma’ ghayr musma’)2 and ‘Hearken to us’ (ra’ina). It would indeed have been better for them and more upright if they had said: ‘We have heard and we obey’ (sami’na wa ata’na) and: ‘Do listen to us, and look at us (with kindness)’ (wa isma’ wa unzurna). But Allah has cursed them because of their disbelief. Scarcely do they believe.

 

(4:47) O you who have been granted the Book! Do believe in what We have (now) revealed, which confirms the revelation which you already possess.” Do this before We alter countenances, turning them backward or lay a curse upon them as We cursed the Sabbath-men.% Bear in mind that Allah’s command is done.

 

(4:48) Surely Allah does not forgive that a partner is ascribed to Him, although He forgives any other sins for whomever He wills. He who associates anyone with Allah in His divinity has indeed forged a mighty lie and committed an awesome sin.

 

(4:49) Have you not seen those who boast of their righteousness, even though it is Allah Who grants righteousness to whomsoever He wills? They are not wronged even as much as the husk of a date-stone (if they do not receive righteousness).

 

(4:50) See how they forge lies about Allah! This in itself is a manifest sin.

 

(4:51) Have you not seen those to whom a portion of the Book was given? They

believe in baseless superstitions*and taghut (false deities), and say about the unbelievers that they are better guided than those who believe.

 

 (4:52) Such are the ones whom Allah has cursed; and he whom Allah curses has none to come to his help.

 

(4:53) Have they any share in the dominion (of Allah)? Had that been so, they would never have granted people even as much as the speck on a date-stone.

 

 (4:54) Do they envy others for the bounty that Allah has bestowed upon them? (Let them bear in mind that) We bestowed upon the house of Abraham the Book and Wisdom and We bestowed upon them a mighty dominion

 

 (4:55) whereupon some of them believed, and others turned      away. (Those who turn away), Hell suffices for ablaze.

 

 

(4:56) Surely We shall cast those who reject Our signs into the Fire; and as often as their skins are burnt out, We shall give them other skins in exchange that they may fully taste the chastisement. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.

 

(4:57) And those who believe and do good deeds, We shall cause them to enter the Gardens beneath which rivers flow. There they shall abide forever. There they shall have spouses purified and there We shall cause them to enter a shelter with plenteous
shade.

 

(4:58) Allah commands you to deliver trusts to those worthy of them; and when you judge between people, to judge with justice.8 Excellent is the admonition Allah gives you. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.

 

 (4:59) Believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those from among you who are invested with authority, and then if you were to dispute among yourselves about anything refer it to Allah and the Messenger if you indeed believe in Allah and the Last Day; that is better and more commendable in the end.%

 

(4:60) (O Messenger!) Have you not seen those who claim to believe in the Book which has been revealed to you and in the Books revealed before you, and yet desire to submit their disputes to the judgment of taghut (the Satanic authorities who decide independently of the Law of Allah), whereas they had been asked to reject And Satan seeks to make them drift far away from the right way.

 

(4:61) When they are told: ‘Come to that which Allah has revealed, and come to the Messenger, you will notice the hypocrites turning away from you in aversion.

 

(4:62) But what happens when some misfortune visits them because of their own misdeeds? Then, they come to you swearing by Allah,2 saying: ‘We wanted nothing but to do good and to bring about conciliation (between the two parties).

 

(4:63) As for them, Allah knows what is in their hearts. Leave them alone, admonish them, and say to them penetrating words — themselves.

 

(4:64) (And tell them that) We never sent a Messenger but that he should be obeyed by the leave of Allah.% If whenever they wronged themselves they had come to you praying to Allah for forgiveness and had the Messenger prayed for their forgiveness, they would indeed have found Allah All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.

(4:65) But no, by your Lord, they cannot become true believers until they seek your arbitration in all matters on which they disagree among themselves, and then find not the least vexation in their hearts over what you have decided, and accept it in willing submission.

Translation along with Commentary

(4:40) Indeed Allah wrongs none, not even as much as an atom’s weight. Whenever a man does good, He multiplies it two-fold, and bestows out of His grace a mighty reward.

 

(4:41) Consider, then, when We shall bring forward witnesses from every community, and will bring you (O Muhammad!) as a witness against them all.

The Prophet of each age will stand as a witness before God against his people; he will testify that he conveyed to them the true way of life, and showed them the right outlook and the fundamentals of moral conduct revealed to him by God. The testimony of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) will be to the same effect, and the Qur’an indicates that he will stand as a witness to the period beginning with his advent as a Prophet right through to the Day of Judgment. (See Towards Understanding the Qur’an, vol. I, (Surah 3, n. 69.)

(4:42) Those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger will wish on that Day that the earth were leveled with them. They will not be able to conceal anything from Allah.

 

(4:43) Believers! Do not draw near to the Prayer while you are intoxicated® until you know what you are saying® nor while you are defiled” – save when you are traveling – until you washed your selves.® If you are either ill or traveling or have satisfied a want of nature or have had contact with women® and can find no water, then betake yourselves to pure earth, passing with it lightly over your face and your hands. Surely Allah is All-Relenting, All-Forgiving.

65.This is the second in the chronological sequence of injunctions concerning intoxicants.

We came across the first injunction in (Surah al-Bagarah 2: 219). In that verse God merely indicated that drinking wine was a great sin, making it clear that it was reprehensible in His sight. This was quite enough to make some Muslims give up liquor altogether, though many others still took intoxicating drinks: they sometimes stood up to pray while still under the influence of alcohol, so that they even made mistakes in their recitations. This second injunction was probably revealed at the beginning of 4 A.H., making it forbidden, thenceforth, to pray in a state of intoxication. This led people to alter their drinking times.

They drank only at those hours when there was no fear of their remaining under the influence of intoxicants when the time for Prayer came. The injunction embodying unconditional prohibition of intoxicants was revealed not long afterwards. See (Surah al- Ma’idah 5: 90-1.)

 

It should also be borne in mind that the word used in the verse is derived from sukr, which embraces not merely intoxicating liquors but everything which causes intoxication. The injunction contained in the verse is valid even now, for though the use of intoxicants as such has been completely prohibited, praying in a state of intoxication is a graver sin.

 

66,It is on this basis that the Prophet (peace be on him) directed anyone who is under the influence of sleep, and dozes off again and again during the Prayer, to stop praying and go to bed. (Ibn Kathir, vol. 4, p. 494-Ed.) Some people argue, on the basis of this verse, that the Prayer of one who does not understand the Arabic text of the Qur’an will not be accepted.

Apart from taking things too far such a conclusion is not supported by the words in the text.

The expression used by the Qur’an is neither ( ) nor even (). On the contrary, the expression is () (ie. until you know what you are saying, rather than ‘until you understand’ what you are saying). What is required is that while praying one should at least be conscious enough to know what one is uttering in the Prayer.

67.The term janabah denotes the state of major ritual impurity, and is derived from the root meaning: ‘to ward off’. The word ajnabi, meaning foreigner or stranger, is also derived from the same root. In Islamic terminology, janabah denotes the state of ritual impurity (in both male and female) which results from the act of intercourse or from seminal emission (either from sexual stimulation or from a wet dream).

68.One group of jurists and Qur’anic commentators interpret this verse to mean that one should not enter a mosque in the state of major ritual impurity (janabah), unless out of necessity. This is the opinion of ‘Abd Allah b. Mas’ud, Anas b. Malik, Hasan al-Basri, Ibrahim al-Nakha’i and others. Another group thinks that the reference here is to travel. In the opinion of this group, if a traveler is in the state of major ritual impurity he may resort to tayammum (i.e. symbolic ablution attained through wiping the hands and face with clean earth). See (Surah_al-Ma’idah 5: 6 and _alson. 70_) below – Ed.) This group considers it permissible to stay in the mosque in this state provided one has performed ablution. This is the view of ‘Ali, Ibn ‘Abbas, Sa’id b. Jubayr and some other authorities. The opinion that a traveller in the state of major impurity may perform ablution if he is unable to take a bath is supported by consensus, but while some authorities infer it from traditions others base it on the Qur’anic verse mentioned above. (See Jassas, vol. 2, pp. 201-6; and Ibn Kathir’s commentary on this verse – Ed.)

69.There is disagreement as to what is meant here by the verb lamastum, which literally means ‘you touched’. ‘Ali, Ibn ‘Abbas, Abu Musa al-Ash’ari, Ubayy b. Ka’b, Sa’id b. Jubayr, Hasan al-Basri and several other leading jurists are of the opinion that it signifies sexual intercourse. Abu Hanifah and his school, and Sufyan al-Thawri follow this view. But ‘Abd Allah b. Mas’ud and ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar hold that it signifies the act of touching, the mere placing of one’s hand on a woman’s body. This is the opinion adopted by Shafi’i. Other jurists take an intermediate position. Malik, for instance, is of the opinion that if a man and a woman touch each other with sexual desire, their ablution is nullified, and if they want to perform the Prayer they are obliged to renew their ablution. He sees nothing objectionable, however, in the mere fact of a man touching a woman’s body, or vice versa, provided the act is not motivated by sexual desire. (See Ibn Kathir’s commentary on this verse – Ed.-)

70.The detailed rules of tayammum are as follows: A man who either needs to perform ablution or take a bath to attain the state of purity for ritual Prayer may resort to tayammum provided water is not available to him. Only then may he perform the Prayer. Permission to resort to tayammum, rather than make ablution with water or take a bath, is also extended to invalids whose health is likely to be harmed by the use of water. We have tried to convey both shades of meaning in the translation of the verse by using the expression ‘have had contact with’ instead of ‘touched’ – Ed. Tayammum literally means ‘to turn to, to aim at, to head for, to intend’. The relevance of the term in the Islamic religious context is that when water is either not available or when its use is likely to cause harm one should ‘turn to’ clean earth.

There is some disagreement among jurists about the manner of performing tayammum.

According to some, one should strike one’s palms on the clean earth, then gently wipe one’s face, then strike one’s hands again and gently wipe one’s hands and arms up to the elbows.

This is the view of Abu Hanifah, Shafi’i, Malik and the majority of jurists. Among the Companions and Successors, ‘Ali, ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar, Hasan al-Basri, Sha’bi, Salim b. ‘Abd Allah and many others are of the same opinion. Other jurists are of the view that it is sufficient to strike one’s palms once on the clean earth, then wipe one’s face and one’s hands up to the wrist; it is not necessary to wipe the arms between the wrist and the elbow. This is the opinion of ‘Ata’, Makhul, Awza’i, and Ahmad b. Hanbal, and is generally followed by the Ahl al-Hadith. (Cf. Qurtubi, Ahkam al-Qur’an, vol. 5, pp. 239-41.) 

Tayammum is not necessarily performed by striking one’s palms on earth proper. It is sufficient to strike the palms on anything which either has dust over it or anything consisting of the dry elements of the earth. It may be asked how one attains purity by striking one’s palms on the earth and then wiping one’s hands and face with them. In fact tayammum is a useful psychological device to keep the sense of ritual purity and the sanctity of Prayer alive in man’s mind even when water – the principal agent of purification – is not available. The value of tayammum is that even if a man is unable to use water – and no one knows how long this situation may persist – his sensitivity to cleanliness and purity will endure. He will continue to observe the regulation laid down by the Law in respect of cleanliness and purity, and the distinction between the states in which one may and may not perform the Prayer will not be erased.

(4:44) Have you not seen those to whom a portion of the Book was given? They purchased error for themselves, and wish that you too lose the right way?

 

7.The Qur’an often characterizes the scholars of the People of the Book as those who ‘were given a portion of the Book’. The reason for the use of this expression, in the first place, is that they caused a part of the divine revelation to be lost. Moreover, they had detached themselves from the spirit and purpose of the divine revelation which was available to them.

Their concern with the Scripture was confined to verbal discussions, arguments about legal minutiae, and speculation about subtle and involved philosophical and_ theological questions. This had so alienated even their religious leaders and scholars from the true concept of religion that they lost true religious devotion and piety.

(4:45) Allah knows your enemies better and Allah suffices as a protector and Allah suffices as a helper.

 

(4:46) Among those who have become Jews there are some who alter the words from their context,2 and make a malicious play with their tongues and seek to revile the true faith. They say: ‘We have heard and we disobey (sami’na wa ‘asayna),# ‘Do hear us, may you turn dumb’ (isma’ ghayr musma’)2 and ‘Hearken to us’ (ra’ina). It would indeed have been better for them and more upright if they had said: ‘We have heard and we obey’ (sami’na wa ata’na) and: ‘Do listen to us, and look at us (with kindness)’ (wa isma’ wa unzurna). But Allah has cursed them because of their disbelief. Scarcely do they believe.

 

72.It is to be noted that this expression means ‘they became Jews’, rather than ‘they were Jews’. For, originally, they were nothing but Muslims, just as the followers of every Prophet are Muslims. Only later on did they become merely ‘Jews’.

73.This signifies three things. First, they tampered with the text of the Scripture. Second, that they misinterpreted the Scripture and thereby distorted the meanings of the verses of the Book. Third, that they came and stayed in the company of the Prophet (peace be on him) and his Companions and listened to the conversations which took place there, then went among other people and misreported what they had heard. They did this with the malicious intent of bringing the Muslims into disrepute and thereby preventing people from embracing Islam.

 

74.When the ordinances of God are announced to them, they loudly proclaim: ‘Yes, we have heard’, (sami’na), but then they whisper: ‘And we disobeyed’ (‘asayna). Or else they pronounce ata’na (‘we obey’) with such a twist of the tongue that it becomes indistinguishable from ‘asayna.

 

75.Whenever they wanted to say something to the Prophet (peace be on him) they would say, ‘isma” (listen), but added to this the expression, ‘ghayr musma” which had several meanings. It could either be a polite expression, meaning that he was worthy of such deep respect that one should say nothing to his dislike or it could have a malicious implication, meaning that he did not deserve to be addressed by anybody. It also meant the imprecation: ‘May God turn you deaf. ‘ 

76.For an explanation of this see Towards Understanding the Qur’an, Refer vol. I, (Surah 2, n. 108).

(4:47) O you who have been granted the Book! Do believe in what We have (now) revealed, which confirms the revelation which you already possess.” Do this before We alter countenances, turning them backward or lay a curse upon them as We cursed the Sabbath-men.% Bear in mind that Allah’s command is done.

 

(4:48) Surely Allah does not forgive that a partner is ascribed to Him, although He forgives any other sins for whomever He wills. He who associates anyone with Allah in His divinity has indeed forged a mighty lie and committed an awesome sin.

 

79.Although the People of the Book claimed to follow the Prophets and the Divine Books they had, in fact, fallen prey to polytheism.

 

 

80.The purpose of this verse is not to tell the man that he may commit any sin as long as he does not associate others with God in His divinity. The object is rather to impress upon those who had begun to regard polytheism as a trivial matter that it constitutes the most serious offence in God’s sight, an offence so serious that while other sins may be pardoned this will not. Jewish religious scholars were meticulous about questions of subsidiary importance, and devoted all their time to pondering over legal subtleties which their jurists had painstakingly elaborated by far-fetched deductions. Yet they treated polytheism so lightly that they neither abstained from it themselves nor tried to prevent their people from falling a prey to polytheistic ideas and practices nor found anything objectionable in establishing cordial relations with the polytheists nor in supporting them.

(4:49) Have you not seen those who boast of their righteousness, even though it is Allah Who grants righteousness to whom so ever He wills? They are not wronged even as much as the husk of a date-stone (if they do not receive righteousness).

(4:50) See how they forge lies about Allah! This in itself is a manifest sin.

 

(4:51) Have you not seen those to whom a portion of the Book was given? They believe in baseless superstitions*and taghut (false deities),82 and say about the unbelievers that they are better guided than those who believe.%

 

81.Jibt signifies ‘a thing devoid of any true basis and bereft of all usefulness’. In Islamic terminology the various forms of sorcery, divination and soothsaying, in short all superstitions, are termed jibt. It is reported in a tradition that, ‘to divine things from the cries of animals, or the traces of animals’ paws, or the flight of birds, constitutes jibt. Thus, jibt may be roughly translated as ‘superstition’. (See Abu Da’ud, Tibb’, 23; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 3, p. 477 and vol. 5, p. 60 – Ed.)

 

82.For explanation see Towards Understanding the Qur’an, vol. I, (Surah 2, nn. 286 and 288).

 

83.The obstinacy of the Jewish religious scholars had, reached such a       point that they brazenly declared the followers of Muhammad      (peace be on him) to be in greater error than even the polytheists of Arabia. This was despite the fact that they knew that the Muslims stood for absolute monotheism while their opponents believed in that undisguised polytheism which has been so vehemently denounced throughout the Bible.

(4:52) Such are the ones whom Allah has cursed; and he whom Allah curses has none to come to his help.

 

(4:53) Have they any share in the dominion (of Allah)? Had that been so, they would never have granted people even as much as the speck on a date-stone.*

 

84.The Jews, who had judged the Muslims to be in error, are asked if they have some share in God’s authority which entitles them to judge who is rightly guided and who is not. If the Jews really had any share in that authority, no one would receive so much as a penny from them, for their hearts are too small to even acknowledge the truth, let alone credit others with righteousness and goodness. This verse can also be understood somewhat differently so as to pose the following question to the Jews: ‘Is it a matter of your possessing some dominion which you are reluctant to share with others?’ Obviously, the question was merely one of acknowledging the Truth, and they were too grudging to credit others with it.

 

(4:54) Do they envy others for the bounty that Allah has bestowed upon them? (Let them bear in mind that) We bestowed upon the house of Abraham the Book and Wisdom, and We bestowed upon them a mighty dominion,

 

85.By implication, this query accurately portrays the state of mind of the Jews. They saw the Muslims being endowed with the grace and reward of God which they, notwithstanding their own unworthiness had expected to fall to their share. By virtue of the advent of a great Prophet among the ummis of Arabia, a spiritual, moral and intellectual revolution had taken place which totally changed their practical life and ultimately led them to greatness and glory. It is this which aroused their spite and envy, and which was reflected in their unjustifiable remarks about the Muslims.

 

86.This ‘mighty dominion’ refers to the position of world leadership and authority which a people attain by virtue of receiving the knowledge in the Book of God and acting according to its dictates.

(4:55) whereupon some of them believed, and others turned away.%2 (Those who turn away), Hell suffices for a blaze.

87.This is in response to the malicious remarks of the Israelites. What is being said is that they had no reason to feel jealous since both the Israelites and Ishmaelite’s were offspring of the same Abraham. Now, the leadership of the world had been promised only to those children of Abraham who followed the Book and Wisdom revealed by God. The Book and Wisdom had been sent down earlier to the Israelites, and to their discredit they had turned away from them. The same Book and Wisdom had now been made available to the Ishmaelites and they had decided to greet it with faith and gratitude.

 

(4:56) Surely We shall cast those who reject Our signs into the Fire; and as often as their skins are burnt out, We shall give them other skins in exchange that they may fully taste the chastisement. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.

 

(4:57) And those who believe and do good deeds, We shall cause them to enter the Gardens beneath which rivers flow. There they shall abide forever. There they shall have spouses purified and there We shall cause them to enter a shelter with plenteous shade.

 

(4:58) Allah commands you to deliver trusts to those worthy of them; and when you judge between people, to judge with justice.8 Excellent is the admonition Allah gives you. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.

 

88.Here the Muslims are forewarned against the evils which had afflicted the Israelites. One of the fundamental mistakes committed by the Israelites was that in the time of their degeneration they had handed over positions of trust (i.e. religious and political leadership) to incompetent, mean, immoral, dishonest and corrupt people. The result was that corruption spread throughout the nation. The Muslims are directed to take heed of this, and to entrust positions of responsibility only to those who are capable of shouldering the burdens of such positions. The other major weakness of the Israelites was that they completely lost their sense of justice. In their pursuit of either personal or national interests, honesty and good faith were often sacrificed. The Muslims, in the time of the Prophet (peace be on him), were themselves subjected to gross injustice at their hands. On the one side were the Prophet (peace be on him) and his followers, to whose purity of life and conduct the Jews were themselves witnesses. On the other side were those who worshipped idols, buried their daughters alive, married their step-mothers and circumambulated the Ka’bah naked. Despite this, these so-called People of the Book felt no shame in declaring that the latter were closer to righteousness than the Muslims. After informing the Muslims of the iniquity of the Jews, God now warns them against committing similar injustices. They should rather declare what is right in the face of friend and foe alike, and judge between people with equity and justice.

 

(4:59) Believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those from among you who are invested with authority; and then if you were to dispute among yourselves about anything refer it to Allah and the Messenger® if you indeed believe in Allah and the Last Day; that is better and more commendable in the end.%

89.This verse is the cornerstone of the entire religious, social and political structure of Islam, and the very first clause of the constitution of an Islamic state. It lays down the following principles as permanent guidelines:

(1) In the Islamic order of life, God alone is the focus of loyalty and obedience. A Muslim is the servant of God before anything else, and obedience and loyalty to God constitute the center and axis of both the individual and collective life of a Muslim. Other claims to loyalty and obedience are acceptable only insofar as they remain secondary and subservient, and do not compete with those owed to God. All loyalties which may tend to challenge the primacy of man’s loyalty to God must be rejected. This has been expressed by the Prophet (peace be on him) in the following words: ‘There may be no obedience to any creature in disobedience to the Creator.’ (Muslim, ‘Iman’, 37; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 3, p. 472 – Ed.)

 

(2) Another basic principle of the Islamic order of life is obedience to the Prophet (peace be on him). No Prophet, of course, is entitled to obedience in his own right. Obedience to Prophets, however, is the only practical way of obeying God, since they are the only authentic means by which He communicates His injunctions and ordinances to men. Hence, we can obey God only if we obey a Prophet. Independent obedience to God is not acceptable, and to turn one’s back on the Prophets amounts to rebellion against God. The following tradition from the Prophet (peace be on him) explains this: ‘Whoever obeyed me, indeed obeyed God; and whoever disobeyed me, indeed disobeyed God.’ (Bukhari, ‘Jihad’, 109; ‘T’tisam’, 2; Muslim, ‘Amarah’, 32, 33; Nasa’i, ‘Bay’ah’, 27; etc. – Ed.) We shall see this explained in more detail a little further on in the Qur’an.

(3) In the Islamic order of life Muslims are further required to obey fellow Muslims in authority. This obedience follows, and is subordinate to, obedience to God and the Prophet (peace be on him). Those invested with authority (ulu al-amr) include all those entrusted with directing Muslims in matters of common concern. Hence, persons ‘invested with authority’ include the intellectual and political leaders of the community, as well as administrative officials, judges of the courts, tribal chiefs and regional representatives. In all these capacities, those ‘invested with authority’ are entitled to obedience, and it is improper for Muslims to cause dislocation in their collective life by engaging in strife and conflict with them. This obedience is contingent, however, on two conditions: first, that these men should be believers; and second, that they should themselves be obedient to God and the Prophet (peace be on him). These two conditions are not only clearly mentioned in this verse they have also been elucidated at length by the Prophet (peace be on him) and can be found in the Hadith. Let us consider, for example, the following traditions: A Muslim is obliged to heed and to obey an order whether he likes it or not, as long as he is not ordered to carry out an act of disobedience to God (ma’siyah). When ordered to carry out an act of disobedience- to God, he need neither heed nor obey.

There is no obedience in sin; obedience is only in what is good (ma’ruf). (For these traditions see Bukhari, ‘Ahkam’, 4; Jihad’, 108; Muslim, ‘Amarah’, 39; Tirmidhi, ‘Jihad’, 29; Ibn Majah, ‘Jihad’, 40; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 2, pp. 17 and 142 – Ed.) There will be rulers over you, some of whose actions you will consider good and others abominable. Who even disapproves of their abominable acts will be acquitted of all blame, and whoever resents them he too will remain secure (from all blame); not so one who approves and follows them in their abominable acts. They (i.e. the Companions) asked:

‘Should we not fight against them?’ The Prophet (peace be on him) said: ‘No, not as long as they continue to pray.’ (See Bukhari, ‘Jihad’, 108 – Ed.) This means that their abandonment of Prayer will be a clear sign of their having forsaken obedience to God and the Prophet (peace be on him). Thereafter it becomes proper to fight against them. In another tradition the Prophet (peace be on him) says: Your worst leaders are those whom you hate and who hate you; whom you curse and who curse you. We asked: ‘O Messenger of God! Should we not rise against them?’ The Prophet (peace be on him) said: ‘No, not as long as they establish Prayer among you: not as long as they establish Prayer among you.’ (See Muslim, ‘Amarah’, 65, 66; Tirmidhi, ‘Fitan’, 77; Darimi, ‘Rigaq, 78; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 6, pp. 24, 28 – Ed.) In this tradition the position is further clarified. The earlier tradition could have created the impression that it was not permissible to revolt against rulers as long as they observed their Prayers privately. But the latter tradition makes it clear that what is really meant by ‘praying’ is the establishment of the system of congregational Prayers in the collective life of Muslims. This means that it is by no means sufficient that the rulers merely continue observing their Prayers: it is also necessary that the system run by them should at least be concerned with the establishment of Prayer. This concern with Prayer is a definite indication that a government is essentially an Islamic one. But if no concern for establishing Prayer is noticed, it shows that the government has drifted far away from Islam making it permissible to overthrow it. The same principle is also enunciated by the Prophet (peace be on him) in another tradition, in which the narrator says: ‘The Prophet (peace be on him) also made us pledge not to rise against our rulers unless we see them involved in open disbelief, so that we have definite evidence against them to lay before God’ (Bukhari and Muslim).

(4) In an Islamic order the injunctions of God and the way of the Prophet (peace be on him) constitute the basic law and paramount authority in all matters. Whenever there is any dispute among Muslims or between the rulers and the ruled the matter should be referred to the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and all concerned should accept with sincerity whatever judgment results. In fact, willingness to take the Book of God and the Sunnah of His Messenger as the common point of reference, and to treat the judgment of the Qur’an and the Sunnah as the last word on all matters, is a central characteristic which distinguishes an Islamic system from un-Islamic ones. Some people question the principle that we should refer everything to the Book of God and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be on him). They wonder how we can possibly do so when there are numerous practical questions involved, for example, rules and regulations relating to municipal administration, the management of railways, and postal services and so on which are not treated at all in these sources. This doubt arises, however, from a misapprehension about Islam. The basic difference between a Muslim and a non-Muslim is that whereas the latter feels free to do as he wishes, the basic characteristic of a Muslim is that he always looks to God and to His Prophet for guidance, and where such guidance is available, a Muslim is bound by it. On the other hand, it is also quite important to remember that when no specific guidance is available, a Muslim feels free to exercise his discretion because the silence of the Law indicates that God Himself has deliberately granted man the freedom to make his decision.

 

90.Since the Qur’an is not merely a legal code, but also seeks to instruct, educate, admonish and exhort, the earlier sentence which enunciates a legal principle is followed by another which explains its underlying purpose and wisdom. Two things are laid down. First, that faithful adherence to the above four principles is a necessary requirement of faith. Anyone who claims to be a Muslim and yet disregards the principles of Islam involves himself in across self-contradiction. Second, the well-being of Muslims lies in basing their lives on those principles. This alone can keep them on the straight path in this life, and will lead to their salvation in the Next. It is significant that this admonition follows immediately after the section which embodies comments about the moral and religious condition of the Jews.

Thus the Muslims were subtly directed to draw a lesson from the depths to which the Jews had sunk, as a result of their deviation from the fundamental principles of true faith just mentioned. Any community that turns its back upon the Book of God and the guidance of His Prophets willingly follow rulers and leaders who are heedless of God and His Prophets, and that obeys its religious and political authorities blindly without seeking authority for their actions either in the Book of God or in the practice of the Prophets, will inevitably fall into the same evil and corruption as the Israelites.

(4:60) (O Messenger!) Have you not seen those who claim to believe in the Book which has been revealed to you and in the Books revealed before you, and yet desire to submit their disputes to the judgment of taghut (the Satanic authorities who decide independently of the Law of Allah), whereas they had been asked to reject and Satan seeks to make them drift far away from the right way.

 

91.Taghut clearly signifies here a sovereign who judges things according to criteria other than the law of God. It also stands for a legal and judicial system which acknowledges neither the sovereignty of God nor the paramount authority of the Book of God. This verse categorically proclaims that to refer disputes to the judgement of a court of law which is essentially taghut contravenes the dictates of a believer’s faith. In fact, true faith in God and His Book necessarily requires that a man should refuse to recognize the legitimacy of such courts. According to the Qur’an, belief in God necessitates repudiation of the authority of taghut. To try to submit both to God and to taghut at the same time is hypocrisy.

 

(4:61) When they are told: ‘Come to that which Allah has revealed, and come to the Messenger, you will notice the hypocrites turning away from you in aversion.

 

29.This shows that the hypocrites were inclined to refer to the Prophet (peace be on him) those cases in which they expected a favorable decision. When they feared an adverse judgment they refused to refer to the Prophet (peace be on him). This continues to be the practice of many hypocrites even now. Whenever they feel that Islamic Law would further their interests they turn to it but when they feel it would militate against them they refer their disputes to whichever legal systems and courts of law, customs and usages they anticipate most likely to give them a favorable decision.

 

(4:62) But what happens when some misfortune visits them because of their own misdeeds? Then, they come to you swearing by Allah,2 saying: ‘We wanted nothing but to do good and to bring about conciliation (between the two parties).

 

93.This may mean that when Muslims become aware of their hypocritical activities and they feel afraid of being caught, censured, and eventually punished, the hypocrites resort to every stratagem, including oaths, in order to assure people that they are true believers.

 

(4:63) As for them, Allah knows what is in their hearts. Leave them alone, admonish them, and say to them penetrating words — themselves.

 

(4:64) (And tell them that) We never sent a Messenger but that he should be obeyed by the leave of Allah.% If whenever they wronged themselves they had come to you praying to Allah for forgiveness, and had the Messenger prayed for their forgiveness, they would indeed have found Allah All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate.

 

94.This is to impress upon us that Prophets are not sent so that people may pay lip-service to their Prophethood, and then obey whoever they wish. The purpose of sending Prophets is that people should follow the laws of God as brought and expounded by them rather than laws devised by man, and that they should obey the commands of God as revealed to the Prophets to the exclusion of the commands of others.

 

(4:65) But no, by your Lord, they cannot become true believers until they seek your arbitration in all matters on which they disagree among themselves, and then find not the least vexation in their hearts over what you have decided, and accept it in willing submission.

 

95.The application of the injunction embodied in this verse is not confined to the life-time of the Prophet (peace be on him). It will remain in force until the Day of Judgment. The guidance the Prophet (peace be on him) proclaimed on God’s behalf, and the manner in which he followed God’s direction and inspiration, will forever remain the universal touchstone for Muslims. In fact, recognition of that guidance as the final authority is the criterion of true belief. This principle was pronounced by the Prophet (peace be on him) in the following words: ‘None of you can become a believer until his desires become subservient to what I have brought (i.e. my teachings).’ (Cited by al-Nawawi in al-Arba’in, see the tradition no. 41, transmitted on their authority of Abu al-Qasim Isma’il b. Muhammad al-Isfahani, Kitab al-Hujjah with the opinion that it is a ‘good’ and ‘sound’ tradition, with a sound chain of transmission – Ed.)

 

 

By Tariq Saleem

I am a student of Quran and keen to make dawah for inviting peoples to save there selves from hellfire. This life is very short then the eternal life after death every body has to think about it and do some research to walk on a true path.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: