The Quran

Commentaries for 4.149

An Nisa (The women) - النساء

4.149 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(If ye do good) if you answer in a good manner (openly or keep it secret) and not be contemptuous, (or forgive evil) or overlook a transgression, (lo! Allah is Forgiving) of the person who has been wronged, (Powerful) to punish the transgressor.
4.149 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
If you show, manifest, good, in the way of pious deeds, or conceal it, [if] you do it in secret, or pardon evil, injustice, then surely God is ever Pardoning, Powerful.
4.148-149 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Permission to Utter Evil in Public, For One Who Was Wronged
`Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas commented on the Ayah,
لاَّ يُحِبُّ اللَّهُ الْجَهْرَ بِالسُّوءِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ
(Allah does not like that the evil should be uttered in public) "Allah does not like that any one should invoke Him against anyone else, unless one was wronged. In this case, Allah allows one to invoke Him against whoever wronged him. Hence Allah's statement,
إَلاَّ مَن ظَلَمَ
(except by him who has been wronged.) Yet, it is better for one if he observes patience.'' Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented, "One should not invoke Allah (for curses) against whoever wronged him. Rather, he should supplicate, `O Allah! Help me against him and take my right from him.''' In another narration, Al-Hasan said, "Allah has allowed one to invoke Him against whoever wronged him without transgressing the limits.'' `Abdul-Karim bin Malik Al-Jazari said about this Ayah; "When a man curses you, you could curse him in retaliation. But if he lies about you, you may not lie about him.
وَلَمَنِ انتَصَرَ بَعْدَ ظُلْمِهِ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَا عَلَيْهِمْ مِّن سَبِيلٍ
(And indeed whosoever takes revenge after he has suffered wrong, for such there is no way (of blame) against them. )'' Abu Dawud recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«المُسْتَبَّانِ مَا قَالَا، فَعَلَى الْبَادِئ مِنْهُمَا مَا لَمْ يَعْتَدِ الْمَظْلُوم»
(Whatever words are uttered by those who curse each other, then he who started it will carry the burden thereof, unless the one who was wronged transgresses the limit.) Allah said,
إِن تُبْدُواْ خَيْراً أَوْ تُخْفُوهْ أَوْ تَعْفُواْ عَن سُوءٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوّاً قَدِيراً
(Whether you disclose a good deed, or conceal it, or pardon an evil; verily, Allah is Ever Pardoning, All-Powerful.) Meaning when you, mankind, admit to a good favor done to you, or conceal it, and forgive those who wrong you, then this will bring you closer to Allah and increase your reward with Him. Among Allah's attributes is that He forgives and pardons His servants, although He is able to punish them. Hence Allah's statement,
فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوّاً قَدِيراً
(Verily, Allah is Ever Pardoning, All-Powerful.) It was reported that some of the angels who carry Allah's Throne praise Him saying, "All praise is due to You for Your forbearing even though You have perfect knowledge (in all evil committed).'' Some of them supplicate, "All praise is due to You for Your forgiving even though You have perfect ability (to punish).'' An authentic Hadith states,
«مَا نَقَصَ مَالٌ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ، وَلَا زَادَ اللهُ عَبْدًا بِعَفْوٍ إِلَّا عِزًّا، وَمَنْ تَوَاضَعَ للهِ رَفَعَهُ الله»
(No charity shall ever decrease wealth, and Allah will only increase the honor of a servant who pardons, and he who is humble for Allah's sake, then Allah will elevate his grade.)
4.148-149 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The moral instructions contained in this verse are of the highest standard. The Muslims have been taught to practice virtue or at least to show forbearance even in the face of. revocation. At the time of its revelation, the hypocrites, the Jews and the idolaters were all engaged in opposing Islam by all possible means and were maltreating its followers in every conceivable way. Therefore it was but natural that the Muslims should be tilled with feelings of anger and hatred. When Allah noticed the storm of emotion rising in their hearts, he warned them that He did not like that they give vent to their feelings, though they were wronged and therefore justified, if in retaliation they gave expression to their bitter feelings. They were taught that they, as Muslims, were expected to go on doing good openly and secretly or at least refrain from doing evil for evil. They were instructed, "You should try to mold your character after that of your Allah, Who is so Forbearing that He does not withhold His provisions even from the most wicked culprits and shows forbearance to the most sinful offenders. You should, therefore, have a big heart and show forbearance even in the most critical and provocative situations."
4.149 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
If you show good or conceal it or pardon evil then surely God is ever Pardoning Powerful. If you show good taking on the good manners found in the law takhalluqan bi-ādābi al-sharīʿa or conceal recognizing the truth in the precepts of the deeper reality taḥaqquqan bi-aḥkāmi al-ḥaqīqa or pardon evil adopting from God what He has entrusted you with in the most beautiful ways of behaving then surely God is ever Pardoning of your defects li-ʿuyūbikum Powerful in causing you to attain what you love ʿalā taḥsīli maḥbūbikum and causing you to recognize the true nature of what you seek wa-taḥqīqi maṬlūbikum. It is said that if you show good you will be an example for humankind in what you practice and in what you propose to others who might be guided from the way of your practice. If you conceal it content with only His knowing it and safeguard yourselves from the evils of affectation and trust that those of you who act for Him will be seen and known by Him or pardon evil that is you abandon what your lower selves call you to-then God will grant you His pardon for what you do. He [also] has the power to afflict you with that which the oppressor is afflicted with. This then is a warning to them about being heedless in witnessing the favor minna and a way of alerting them to the fact that they should seek refuge from being deprived of protection ʿiṣma and seek refuge from being abandoned so that they fall into discord fitna and trial miḥna. It is said [the verse means] if you show good acting well toward people or conceal it praying for them in secret or pardon evil even if you have been wronged [then surely God is ever Pardoning Powerful]. It is said concerning those who act well toward you show them good outwardly. Those who spare you from their evil be loyal in friendship and pray for them inwardly. Those who act badly toward you pardon them with generosity and graciousness. You will find pardon from God according to what you yourself do for surely your sins are more numerous. He has the power to give you in favor and blessings that which you cannot attain by taking vengeance or revenge.