The Quran

Commentaries for 4.170

An Nisa (The women) - النساء

4.170 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(O mankind!) O people of Mecca (The messenger) Muhammad (hath come unto you with the Truth) with the declaration of Allah's divine Oneness and the Qur'an (from your Lord. Therefore believe) in Muhammad and the Qur'an; ((it is) better for you) than that which you are in now. (But if ye disbelieve) in Muhammad and the Qur'an, (still, lo! Unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth) they are all His bondsmen and bondswomen. (Allah is ever Knower) of those who believe and those who do not, (Wise) in that He ordained that they should not worship other than Him.
4.170 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
O people, the Messenger has come to you with the truth from your Lord, so have faith; that is better for you. But if you disbelieve, to God belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth.
The allusion of the verse is that the threshold of Lordhood and the majesty of Unity has no need for the obedience of the obedient. He is pure of the worship of the creatures in heaven and earth. If all that is creation-the spheres and heavens, the existing things and the things coming to nothingness-went back to the concealment of nonexistence, that would not harm His purity and lordhood. There is no need for them to be joined with Him. The beauty of His Unity is His eternity, and the majesty of His eternity is His solitariness.
There is a sound hadith from Abū Dharr Ghifārī, from God's Messenger, from God, that He said, “O My servants, I have forbidden Myself to do wrong, and all of it is forbidden to you. So My servants, do not wrong each other! Surely you are the ones who err by night and day, and I am the one who forgives sins and does not care. So ask forgiveness of Me, and I will forgive you. “O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you and the men of you and the jinn of you
had the heart of the most godwary man among you, that would add nothing to My kingdom. O
My servants, if the first of you and the last of you and the men of you and the jinn of you had the heart of the most depraved man among you, that would diminish nothing from My kingdom. O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you and the men of you and the jinn of you were to ask from Me and I were to give every man among them what he asked for, that would diminish nothing from Me, except as the ocean is diminished when a needle is dipped into it once.”
But if you disbelieve, to God belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. He is saying, “If all creatures were to put aside the activity of servants and loosen the belt of obedience, they would not be able to go outside of servanthood, nor could they lift away from themselves the bonds of slavehood in respect of creation.
Thus the exalted Qur'an gives this report: “None is there in the heavens and the earth that comes not to the All-Merciful as a servant” [19:93]. But there is a difference between a servant upon whom the name of servanthood has fallen in respect of creation and a servant upon whom it has fallen in respect of caressing and gentleness. Who took His servant by night [17:1]. The servants of the All-Merciful [25:63]. Give good news to My servants [39:17]. Surely My servants, thou hast no ruling power over them [15:42]: These are the ones accepted by the Presence, and those are the ones driven away by severance. Not everyone who is a servant is caressed by gentleness or in the bond of love. Do you know who the true servant is? The one adorned with beneficence and generous giving, who has a cup full of the wine of love in the presence of union and the session of intimacy.
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “O God, my beauty lies in servanthood. Otherwise, what is my tongue that it should remember You? My good fortune is that I am remembered by You. Otherwise, what value does my remembrance have for me?”
4.170 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
O people, of Mecca, the Messenger, Muhammad (s), has now come to you with the truth from your Lord; so believe, in him and seek what, it is better for you, than that which you are presently seeking. And if you disbelieve, in him, then surely to God belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth, as possessions, creatures and servants, and your disbelief will not harm Him; and God is ever Knowing, of His creation, Wise, in what He does with them.
4.166-170 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
إِنَّآ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ
(Verily, We have inspired you...) emphasized the Prophet's prophethood and refuted the idolators and People of the Scripture who denied him. Allah said,
لَّـكِنِ اللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ إِلَيْكَ
(But Allah bears witness to that which He has sent down unto you,) meaning, even if they deny, defy and disbelieve in you, O Muhammad, Allah testifies that you are His Messenger to whom He sent down His Book, the Glorious Qur'an that,
لاَّ يَأْتِيهِ الْبَـطِلُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلاَ مِنْ خَلْفِهِ تَنزِيلٌ مِّنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ
(Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise.) Allah then said,
أَنزَلَهُ بِعِلْمِهِ
(He has sent it down with His knowledge,) The knowledge of His that He willed His servants to have access to. Knowledge about the clear signs of guidance and truth, what Allah likes and is pleased with, what He dislikes and is displeased with, and knowledge of the Unseen, such as the past and the future. This also includes knowledge about His honorable attributes that no sent Messenger or illustrious angel can even know without Allah's leave. Similarly, Allah said,
وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِمَا شَآءَ
(And they will never compass anything of His knowledge except that which He wills.) and,
وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِهِ عِلْماً
(but they will never compass anything of His knowledge.) Allah's statement,
وَالْمَلَـئِكَةُ يَشْهَدُونَ
(and the angels bear witness.) to the truth of what you came with and what was revealed and sent down to you, along with Allah's testimony to the same,
وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ شَهِيداً
(And Allah is All-Sufficient as a Witness.) Allah said,
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَصَدُّواْ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ قَدْ ضَلُّواْ ضَلَـلاَ بَعِيداً
(Verily, those who disbelieve and prevent (others) from the path of Allah, they have certainly strayed far away.) For they are disbelievers themselves and do not follow the truth. They strive hard to prevent people from following and embracing Allah's path. Therefore, they have defied the truth, deviated, and strayed far away from it. Allah also mentions His judgment against those who disbelieve in His Ayat, Book and Messenger, those who wrong themselves by their disbelief and hindering others from His path, committing sins and violating His prohibitions. Allah states that He will not forgive them;
وَلاَ لِيَهْدِيَهُمْ طَرِيقاً
(nor will He guide them to a way (that is, of good).)
إِلاَّ طَرِيقَ جَهَنَّمَ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَداً
(Except the way of Hell, to dwell therein forever...) and this is the exception. Allah then said,
يأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَآءَكُمُ الرَّسُولُ بِالْحَقِّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ فَـَامِنُواْ خَيْراً لَّكُمْ
(O mankind! Verily, there has come to you the Messenger with the truth from your Lord, so believe in him, it is better for you.) This Ayah means, Muhammad has come to you with guidance, the religion of truth and clear proof from Allah. Therefore, believe in what he has brought you and follow him, for this is better for you. Allah then said,
وَإِن تَكْفُرُواْ فَإِنَّ للَّهِ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ
(But if you disbelieve, then certainly to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth.) Allah is far too rich than to need you or your faith, and no harm could ever affect Him because of your disbelief. Allah said in another Ayah,
وَقَالَ مُوسَى إِن تَكْفُرُواْ أَنتُمْ وَمَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَنِىٌّ حَمِيدٌ
(And Musa said: "If you disbelieve, you and all on earth together, then verily, Allah is Rich (Free of all needs), Owner of all praise.'') Allah said here,
وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً
(And Allah is Ever All-Knowing,) He knows those who deserve to be guided, and He will guide them. He also knows those who deserve deviation, and He leads them to it,
(All-Wise) in His statements, actions, legislation and all that He decrees.
4.170 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That is, "You will harm none but yourselves by your disbelief and disobedience, for you can do no harm to the Master of the heavens and the earth."
That is, "Your Allah is fully aware of everything: you cannot do mischief with impunity in His Kingdom; He is also Wise: He knows how to deal with those who disobey His Commands."
4.170 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
O people the Messenger has now come to you with the truth from your Lord; so believe it is better for you. And if you disbelieve then surely to God belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth; and God is ever Knowing Wise. He states that He سبحانه is not in need of them. If they believe they will have acquired good fortune for themselves fa-ḥuẓūẓu anfusihim iktasabūhā. If they disbelieve they will have drawn their afflictions upon themselves fa-balāyāhum li-anfusihim ijtalabūhā. The Realتعالى is beyond being described by the adornment of anyone's consent li-wifāqi aḥadin or the deficiency of anyone's opposition li-khilāfi aḥadin. And if you disbelieve then surely to God belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth means that they may abandon the practice of servanthood in their actions but they cannot abandon the reality of their being His servants as created beings. God most high said “There is none in the heavens and the earth but he comes to the Compassionate One as a servant” [19:93].