4 - An Nisa (The women)

5 Tafsir(s) related to verse 4.82

Al-Jalalayn

What, do they not ponder, do they [not] contemplate, the Qur’ān?, and the marvellous truths contained in it. If it had been from other than God surely they would have found therein much inconsistency, [much] contradiction in meaning and irregularity in arrangement.

Al-Qushairi

What, do they not ponder the QurÌān? If it had been from other than God surely they would have found therein much inconsistency. * And when there comes to them an issue, be it of security, or of fear, they broadcast it. If they had referred it to the Messenger and to those in authority among them; those among them who are able to think it out (yastanbiṭūnahu), would have known it from them. And but for the bounty of God to you and His mercy, you would surely have followed Satan, except a few [of you].

'Pondering' (tadabbur) is an allusion to meanings acquired through diving into contemplations (afkār). The extraction of the jewels of meanings is through the intricacies of 'thinking it out' (istinbāṭ).

And when there comes to them an issue...: When they have been heedless of the Real, there is no one to whom they can transmit their secrets so they reveal the secret to each other. But for the believers, the Knower of their secrets is their Friend and Protector. They speak with Him about what comes to them and have no need to broadcast the secret to any created being. The Hearer of their whispered confidence is God and the Knower of their hidden affairs is God.

If they had referred it to the Messenger and to those in authority among them...: i.e., if they had brought their secrets to those who are intimate friends and those who are among the people of the story, they would have dispelled their doubts and would have helped them through the light of guidance and spiritual instruction.

And but for the bounty of God with His friends, they would have wandered in every wadi of separation just as those like them in outward form at that time.

Ibn Al Kathir

The Qur'an is True

Allah commands them to contemplate about the Qur'an and forbids them from ignoring it, or ignoring its wise meanings and eloquent words. Allah states that there are no inconsistencies, contradictions, conflicting statements or discrepancies in the Qur'an, because it is a revelation from the Most-Wise, Worthy of all praise. Therefore, the Qur'an is the truth coming from the Truth, Allah. This is why Allah said in another Ayah,

أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْءَانَ أَمْ عَلَى قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَآ

(Do they not then think deeply in the Qur'an, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)) Allah then said,

وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ

(Had it been from other than Allah,) meaning, had it been fraudulent and made up, as the ignorant idolators and hypocrites assert in their hearts,

لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ اخْتِلَـفاً

(they would surely, have found therein contradictions), discrepancies and inconsistencies,

كَثِيراً

(in abundance). However, this Qur'an is free of shortcomings, and therefore, it is from Allah. Similarly, Allah describes those who are firmly grounded in knowledge,

ءَامَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا

(We believe in it, all of it is from our Lord.)(3:7) meaning, the Muhkam sections (entirely clear) and the Mutashabih sections (not entirely clear) of the Qur'an are all true. So they understand the not entirely clear from the clear, and thus gain guidance. As for those in whose heart is the disease of hypocrisy, they understand the Muhkam from the Mutashabih; thus only gaining misguidance. Allah praised those who have knowledge and criticized the wicked. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Amr bin Shu`ayb said that his father said that his grandfather said, "I and my brother were present in a gathering, which is more precious to me than red camels. My brother and I came and found that some of the leaders of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah were sitting close to a door of his. We did not like the idea of being separate from them, so we sat near the room. They then mentioned an Ayah and began disputing until they raised their voices. The Messenger of Allah was so angry that when he went out his face was red. He threw sand on them and said to them,

«مَهْلًا يَا قَوْمِ، بِهَذَا أُهْلِكَتِ الْأُمَمُ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ، بِاخْتِلَافِهِمْ عَلى أَنْبِيَائِهِمْ، وَضَرْبِهِمِ الْكُتُبَ بَعْضَهَا بِبَعْضٍ، إِنَّ الْقُرْآنَ لَمْ يَنْزِلْ يُكَذِّبُ بَعْضُهُ بَعْضًا، إِنَّمَا يُصَدِّقُ بَعْضُهُ بَعْضًا، فَمَا عَرَفْتُمْ مِنْهُ فَاعْمَلُوا بِهِ، وَمَا جَهِلْتُمْ مِنْهُ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلى عَالِمِه»

(Behold, O people! This is how the nations before you were destroyed, because of their disputing with their Prophets and their contradicting parts of the Books with other parts. The Qur'an does not contradict itself. Rather, it testifies to the truth of itself. Therefore, whatever of it you have knowledge in, then implement it, and whatever you do not know of it, then refer it to those who have knowledge in it. )" Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr said, "I went to the Messenger of Allah one day. When we were sitting, two men disputed about an Ayah, and their voices became loud. The Prophet said,

«إِنَّمَا هَلَكَتِ الْأُمَمُ قَبْلَكُمْ بِاخْتِلَافِهِمْ فِي الْكِتَاب»

(Verily, the nations before you were destroyed because of their disagreements over the Book.) Muslim and An-Nasa'i recorded this Hadith.

The Prohibition of Disclosing Unreliable and Uninvestigated News

Allah said,

وَإِذَا جَآءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِّنَ الاٌّمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِ

(When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people);) chastising those who indulge in things before being sure of their truth, disclosing them, making them known and spreading their news, even though such news might not be true at all. In the introduction to his Sahih, Imam Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,

«كَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ كَذِبًا أَنْ يُحَدِّثَ بِكُلِّ مَا سَمِع»

(Narrating everything one hears is sufficient to make a person a liar.) This is the same narration collected by Abu Dawud in the section of Adab (manners) in his Sunan. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Al-Mughirah bin Shu`bah said that the Messenger of Allah prohibited, "It was said,'' and, "So-and-so said.'' This Hadith refers to those who often convey the speech that people utter without investigating the reliability and truth of what he is disclosing. The Sahih also records,

«مَنْ حَدَّثَ بِحَدِيثٍ وَهُوَ يُرَى أَنَّهُ كَذِبٌ، فَهُوَ أَحَدُ الْكَاذِبَيْن»

(Whoever narrates a Hadith while knowing it is false, then he is one of the two liars (who invents and who spreads the lie).) We should mention here the Hadith of `Umar bin Al-Khattab collected in the Two Sahihs. When `Umar was informed that the Messenger of Allah divorced his wives, he came from his house, entered the Masjid and found the people talking about this news. He could not wait and went to the Prophet to ask him about what had truly happened, asking him, "Have you divorced your wives'' The Prophet said, "No.'' `Umar said, "I said, Allahu Akbar...'' and mentioned the rest of the Hadith. In the narration that Muslim collected, `Umar said, "I asked, `Have you divorced them' He said, `No.' So, I stood by the door of the Masjid and shouted with the loudest voice, `The Messenger of Allah did not divorce his wives.' Then, this Ayah was revealed,

وَإِذَا جَآءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِّنَ الاٌّمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَى أُوْلِى الاٌّمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنْبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ

(When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people), if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly).) So I properly investigated that matter.'' This Ayah refers to proper investigation, or extraction of matters from their proper resources. Allah's statement,

لاَتَّبَعْتُمُ الشَّيْطَـنَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً

(you would have followed Shaytan except a few of you. ) refers to the believers, as `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas.

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

The main cause of the wrong attitude of the hypocrites and the people of weak faith, who had been warned in the foregoing verses, was that they had doubts that the Qur'an was from Allah. They could not believe that it was being sent down by Allah to the Holy Prophet and that the Commandments contained in it were directly coming from Him. That is why they are being admonished to consider the Qur'an by giving close attention to it, and to verify whether their doubts are genuine and whether it is from Allah or not. The Qur'an itself bears witness to the truth that it is from none other than Allah, for none else, however wise and intelligent he might be, could have gone on delivering addresses under different circumstances about variant topics so as to form a connected, balanced and coherent Book at the end of twenty-three years and that too, without showing any contradiction whatever from the beginning to the end, and without there arising any need to revise or make any change in it.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

(Will they not then ponder on the Qur'an?) do they not reflect on the Qur'an that its different parts are harmonious and support each other and it further contains that which the Prophet (pbuh) commands them? (If it had been from other than Allah) if this Qur'an had come from anyone other than Allah (they would have found therein much incongruity) much contradictions whereby its different parts are not harmonious.