Bismillahi, Wal Ahamdulillahi, Was-salatu was-salamu ‘ala Rasulillah, sal-lal-lahu ‘alyhi wa sallam

In the name of Allah, and exaltations be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah, (peace and blessings be upon him).

Structure:

  • Verses 1-36 : Social observances of righteousness
    • 1 Unity of humanity, the command of fearing Allah, and worth of ties of kinship
    • 2 Rules related to orphans and their guardians
    • 3 Restrictions on the number of wives
    • 4 Marriage and the rights of women
    • 5-6 Rules related to the weak-minded and their guardians
    • 7-12 Laws of inheritance
    • 13-16 Rewards of the obedient and punishment of the disobedient
    • 17-18 Repentance
    • 19-25 Rights of women
    • 26-28 Major aspects of Allah’s bounties
    • 29-33 Inviolability of people’s wealth and souls
    • 34-36 Laws of family and social solidarity
  • Verse 37-59 : Worship related issues
    • 37-42 Warning against stinginess and showing off
    • 43 Some prerequisites for the validity of prayer
    • 44-55 A negative example
    • 56-57 Reward of punishment
    • 58-59 Trustworthiness, justice and obedience to Allah and His Messenger
  • Verse 60-104 : Strive for protecting rights of the weak
    • 60-68 The hypocrites claims and positions
    • 69-70 Position of the faithful
    • 71-84 Fighting and faults on the part of the hypocrites
    • 85-87 Intercession for good or evil causes and responding to greetings
    • 88-91 Instructions on the way of dealing with hypocrites
    • 92-93 Killed by mistake and intended murder
    • 94-100 Unbiased fights
    • 101-104 Shortening the prayer and how to offer it in war
  • Verse 105-136 : Fairness
    • 105-109 Judging between people according to Allah’s just laws
    • 110-113 Allah’s infinite mercy and great favour
    • 114-121 Dangers of misuse of the tongue, shirk, and Satan
    • 122-126 Reward is not obtained by man’s wishful thinking
    • 127-130 Doing justice to women and orphans
    • 131-136 Allah’s Oneness and His command to keep firm on true belief
  • Verse 137-176 : Categories of people
    • 137-149 The hypocrites attributes and ruling on the public mention of evil
    • 150-152 The disbeliever’s deeds and their recompense
    • 153-162 Children of Israel
    • 163-166 Unity of Allah’s Messengers and their calls
    • 167-170 Danger of persistence in disbelief
    • 171-173 Christians and the prohibition of excess in religion
    • 174-175 Reward of the true believers who firmly adhere to Allah
    • 176 A social observance of righteousness

Revelation:

  • Madani Surah
  • 176 verses
  • Consists of several discourses that were revealed on different occasions
  • Instructions about the devision of inheritance
  • safeguarding the rights of the orphans were revealed during the Battle of Uhud
    • 70 muslims were martyred (v:1-28)
  • By the end of 3 AH, a last warning to the Jews (v.47) was given before the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir was expelled from Madinah in 4 AH.

Key Themes and Messages:

  • Restrictions on the number of wives
  • Marriage and the rights of women
  • Law of inheritance: women are awarded the right to inherit
  • Acceptable and unacceptable repentance
  • Mahram relations – relatives that are prohibited for marriage
  • Commandment about ‘arbitration’ in family disputes
  • Second commandment related to the prohibition of drinking (First was in 2:219)
  • The one who disputes the decision of the Prophet is not a believer
  • Devine law that obedience of the Prophet is in fact the obedience of Allah
  • Allah commands to respond greetings with better greetings
  • Laws about manslaughter, murder and bloodwit
  • Salat Al-Qasr: permission to shorten prayer whilst travelling
  • Salat Al-Khauf: performing prayer in a state of emergency (war)
  • Salah (prayers) are obligatory at prescribed timings
  • Prohibition of ‘secret counsels’ and its exceptions
  • Decree pf Allah that He will never forgive a polytheist
  • Commandment to be firm in the path of justice and bear true witness
  • Hypocrites will be in the lowest depth of Hellfire 
  • Jesus was neither killed nor crucified
  • Jesus was a prophet of Allah and his worshipper
  • The Quran carries the same Message that was sent to Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa and Isa
  • Commandments relating to family and community life

Selected Verses:

4:25 On patience

… وَأَن تَصْبِرُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ …

… but to be patient is better for you …

4:47 People of the Book are invited to believe

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ آمِنُوا بِمَا نَزَّلْنَا مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَكُم مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّطْمِسَ وُجُوهًا فَنَرُدَّهَا عَلَىٰ أَدْبَارِهَا أَوْ نَلْعَنَهُمْ كَمَا لَعَنَّا أَصْحَابَ السَّبْتِ وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ مَفْعُولًا

O you who were given the Scripture, believe in what We have sent down [to Muhammad], confirming that which is with you, before We obliterate faces and turn them toward their backs or curse them as We cursed the sabbath-breakers. And ever is the decree of Allah accomplished.

4:48 Shirk (associating others with Allah) : an unforgivable sin

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَىٰ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا

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 fabricated a tremendous sin.

4:75 Permission to fight against those who persecute others

وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ نَصِيرًا

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?”

4:80 Obeying the Messenger

مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ وَمَن تَوَلَّىٰ فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا

He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah ; but those who turn away – We have not sent you over them as a guardian.

4:86 Replying to greetings

وَإِذَا حُيِّيتُم بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوا بِأَحْسَنَ مِنْهَا أَوْ رُدُّوهَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَسِيبًا

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.

4:90 If rivals offer peace, they should not be harmed

إِلَّا الَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ إِلَىٰ قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُم مِّيثَاقٌ أَوْ جَاءُوكُمْ حَصِرَتْ صُدُورُهُمْ أَن يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ أَوْ يُقَاتِلُوا قَوْمَهُمْ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَسَلَّطَهُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ فَلَقَاتَلُوكُمْ فَإِنِ اعْتَزَلُوكُمْ فَلَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ وَأَلْقَوْا إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ فَمَا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سَبِيلًا

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.

4:171 Christians and Jesus

يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَا تَغْلُوا فِي دِينِكُمْ وَلَا تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْحَقَّ إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَىٰ مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَلَا تَقُولُوا ثَلَاثَةٌ انتَهُوا خَيْرًا لَّكُمْ إِنَّمَا اللَّهُ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ سُبْحَانَهُ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا

O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, “Three”; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.

Virtues:

Abdullah ibn Masud said, “The Messenger of Allah asked me to recite the Qur’an.” He said “Messenger of Allah, [how] should I recite to you whereas it has been sent down to you? He [the Prophet] said, “I desire to hear it from some-one else.” “So I recited Surat an-Nisa [4] till I reached the verse: “How then shall it be when We shall bring from every people a witness and bring you against them as a witness?” [4:41]. I lifted my head or a person touched me in my side, and so I lifted my head and saw his tears falling [from the Prophet’s eyes].

Source: Muslim no. 800a – [Sahih]

Supplications:

وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَل لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ نَصِيرًا

4:75 : 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?”

Sources:

Online:

Altafsir.com (Tafsir)
Alim.org (Tafsir)
Sunnah.com (For Hadith references)
islamawakened.com (For Quranic text, transliteration, and translation)

Books:
Tafsir Al Jalalayn Jalalu’d-Din as-Suyuti (Author), Jalalu’d-Din Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Mahalli
Journey through the Qur’an – Sharif Hasan al-Banna

One thought on “4. An-Nisa: The Women

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