The Quran

Commentaries for 4.54

An Nisa (The women) - النساء

4.54 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Or are they jealous) nay, they are jealous (of mankind) of Muhammad and his Companions (because of that which Allah of His bounty hath bestowed upon them?) the Scripture, prophethood and marrying many wives. (For We bestowed upon the house of Abraham) David and Solomon ((of old) the Scripture and Wisdom) knowledge, understanding and prophethood, (and We bestowed on them a mighty kingdom) We honoured them with prophethood and Islam and bestowed upon them sovereignty over the Children of Israel. David had 100 legitimate wives, and Solomon had 300 legitimate wives plus 700 concubines.
4.54 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
And We gave them a tremendous kingdom.
It has been said, “The tremendous kingdom is having an overview of the secrets of the creatures,” or it is “gazing upon the secrets of the empire such that nothing is hidden.”
This is why Abū ʿUthmān Maghribī said, “When someone responds to the Real, the empire responds to him.” In other words, when something appears to him in the empire, he is given news of it. Ibn al-Barqī was one of the great shaykhs of Egypt and possessed perspicacity. Once he became ill and was given medicine. He said, “I will not drink it, for some disaster has happened in the empire. Until I find out what happened, I will not drink it.” Thirteen days passed before news arrived that the Qarmatians and fallen on the Sanctuary, killed many people, and worked great destruction. Shaykh al-Islām Anṣārī said, “Servanthood cannot bear more than knowing some and not knowing some, for God says, 'He does not show His unseen to anyone except someone He approves as a messenger' [72:26-27]. 'And God will not inform you of the unseen' [3:179]. God
knows all-no one else.”
It has also been said that the tremendous kingdom is recognition of the tremendous King.
When someone recognizes Him, he has found the kingdom of both worlds.
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “O God, who is like me in becoming worthy for this work?
Enough for me is that I have the worth of Your companionship.”
Tell them to call me nothing but lord-
that's a name suited for Your serving boy.
4.54 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Or, nay, are they jealous of people, namely, of the Prophet (s), for the bounty that God has bestowed upon them, in the way of prophethood and abundance of women? In other words, they wish that he be deprived of such things, saying, ‘If he were truly a prophet, he would not be concerned with women’. For We gave the House of Abraham, his forefather, the likes of Moses, David and Solomon, the Book and wisdom, and prophethood, and We gave them a mighty kingdom: David had ninety–nine women, and Solomon had a thousand, free women and slavegirls.
4.53-55 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Envy and Miserly Conduct of the Jews
Allah asked the Jews if they have a share in the dominion. That is merely a statement of rebuke, since they do not have any share in the dominion. Allah then described them as misers,
فَإِذاً لاَّ يُؤْتُونَ النَّاسَ نَقِيراً
(Then in that case they would not give mankind even a Naqir.) Meaning, if they had a share in the sovereignty and dominion, they would not give anyone anything, especially Muhammad, even if it was the speck on the back of a date-stone, which is the meaning of Naqir according to Ibn `Abbas and the majority of the scholars. This Ayah is similar to another of Allah's statements,
قُل لَّوْ أَنتُمْ تَمْلِكُونَ خَزَآئِنَ رَحْمَةِ رَبِّى إِذًا لأمْسَكْتُمْ خَشْيَةَ الإِنفَاقِ
(Say: "If you possessed the treasure of the mercy of my Lord, then you would surely withold it out of fear of spending it.) meaning, for fear that what you have might end, although there is no such possibility here. This only demonstrates their greedy and stingy nature. This is why Allah said,
وَكَانَ الإنْسَـنُ قَتُورًا
(And man is ever Qatur) meaning Bakhil (stingy). Allah then said,
أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَى مَآ ءَاتَـهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ
(Or do they envy men for what Allah has given them of His Bounty) referring to their envy of the Prophet for the great prophethood that Allah entrusted him with. Their envy made them reject him, because he was an Arab and not from the Children of Israel. At-Tabarani recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that,
أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ
(Or do they envy men) means, "We are the worthy people, rather than the rest of the people.'' Allah said,
فَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَآ ءَالَ إِبْرَهِيمَ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَءَاتَيْنَـهُمْ مُّلْكاً عَظِيماً
(Then, We have already given the family of Ibrahim the Book and Al-Hikmah, and conferred upon them a great kingdom.) meaning, We gave the prophethood to the tribes of the Children of Israel, who are among the offspring of Ibrahim and sent down the Books to them. These Prophets ruled the Jews with the prophetic tradition, and We made kings among them. Yet,
فَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ ءَامَنَ بِهِ
(Of them were (some) who believed in it;) referring to Allah's favor and bounty (Prophets, Books, kingship),
وَمِنْهُمْ مَّن صَدَّ عَنْهُ
(and of them were (some) who rejected it) by disbelieving in it, ignoring it, and hindering the people from its path, although this bounty was from and for them, the Children of Israel. They disputed with their own Prophets; so what about you, O Muhammad, especially since you are not from the Children of Israel Mujahid said,
فَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ ءَامَنَ بِهِ
(Of them were (some) who believed in him,) "Muhammad,
وَمِنْهُمْ مَّن صَدَّ عَنْهُ
(and of them were (some) who rejected him.)'' Therefore, O Muhammad, the rejection of you because of their disbelief is even more severe and they are even further from the truth that you brought them. This is why Allah threatened them,
وَكَفَى بِجَهَنَّمَ سَعِيراً
(and enough is Hell for burning (them).), meaning, the Fire is a just punishment for them because of their disbelief, rebellion and defiance of Allah's Books and Messengers.
4.51-57 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Literally, jibt means an unreal, baseless and useless thing. In the Islamic terminology, sorcery, magic, divination, omen-taking and the like superstitious practices are called jibt. A Tradition of the Holy Prophet says, "Taking omens from the sounds of the birds and the footmarks of the animals and all other methods of divination are jibt." Thus jibt is the equivalent of superstition.
Please refer to E.N.'s 286 and 288, Al-Baqarah.
The Jewish Rabbis had gone so low in their opposition to Islam that' they regarded the followers of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) as more misguided than even the Arab Mushriks, and declared the latter to be more rightly guided though it was quite obvious to them that on one side there was the worship of One God without any tinge of shirk, and on the other, idolatry white had been. thoroughly condemned in the Bible.
That is, "Do they possess any portion of Divine Authority that they are sitting in judgment on the case to decide who is rightly guided and who is not?" "Had they any part in it, they would never have given a farthing to anyone else because they are so narrow minded that they are not even ready to acknowledge the Truth"
It may also imply: Do they possess the kingdom of a country from which others are demanding a share, and they are finding it hard to part with it? What is being demanded of them is merely the acknowledgment of the Truth, and this they are refusing on account of jealousy.
Here they are being rebuked for showing jealousy against the Holy Prophet and his followers because they were blessed with Allah's Bounty (Prophethood) for which they themselves were looking forward in spite of being unworthy of it. Instead of showing regret for their own unworthiness which caused the loss of the Bounty, they were showing resentment against the Holy Prophet who had by His Bounty brought about the greatest spiritual, moral and intellectual revolution in Arabia with its resulting leadership and greatness. It was their jealousy that was urging them to side with the mushrik, and to Criticize the Muslims.
"Mulk-i-azim " refers to the leadership and guidance of the world and to the superiority over other nations that is gained by putting into practice the knowledge and wisdom of the Divine Book.
It must be kept in mind that this is the answer to the jealous talk of the children of Israel. It implies this: "Why do you feel jealous of the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) and his followers? You are the descendants of the Prophet Abraham (upon whom be peace) and so are the children of Ishmael his descendants. We promised the Prophet Abraham that We would bestow leadership of the world upon those of his descendants who would follow the Book and the Wisdom sent dawn by Us. At first We sent down the Book and the Wisdom to you, who belong to one line of his descendants, but you proved incapable of this. Now We have sent down the same to the children of Ishmael the second line of.Abraham's descendants. They have accepted it, believed in it and followed it practically. Now answer for yourselves whether you have any ground of jealousy and resentment against the children of Ishmael.
4.53-55 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
Or have they a share in the kingdomḍ then they would not give the people a single date spot naqīr. Or are they jealous of people for the bounty that God has bestowed upon them. For We gave the House of Abraham the Book and wisdom and We gave them a mighty kingdom. And there are some of them who believe in him and some of them who bar [others] from him. Hell suffices for a blaze. When those prone to avarice receive abundance it only increases their distress at the comfort others receive. It is as if such a person drinks water sparingly drop by drop yet gulps down and even drains the very water of his life. Or are they jealous of people... Indeed out of jealousy they reject the choice of the Real سبحانه [who has chosen] whom He will for His friends and they do notapproach them withreverence. The way sunna of Godسبحانهwith His friends entails [His] elevation and protection of their honor. The custom of disbelievers is to question and doubt the [divine] power of deliberation so there are some who believe and accept [the friends of God] and some who reject and deny. The punishment of God is sufficient as an avenger to them. And We gave them a mighty kingdom: The mighty kingdom mulk is true knowledge maʿrifa of the King. It is said that it is dominion mulk over the lower self. It is said that it is standing above the secrets of the realm mamlaka so that nothing is hidden. It is said that it is the viewing of the secrets of creation from on high.