The Quran

Commentaries for 4.66

An Nisa (The women) - النساء

4.66 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And if We had decreed for them) as We decreed for the Children of Israel: (Lay down your lives or go forth from your dwellings) empty handed, (but few of them) among the sincere ones, i.e. their leader Thabit Ibn Qays Ibn Shammas al-Ansari (would have done it) with a good disposition of the soul; (though if they) the hypocrites (did what they are exhorted) commanded (to do) of repentance and sincerity (it would be better for them) in the Hereafter than the condition they are in secret, (and more strengthening) and more real in this world;
4.66 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And had We prescribed for them: (the particle an, ‘that’, is explicative) ‘Slay yourselves’ or ‘Leave your habitations’, as We did for the Children of Israel, they would not have done it, that is, what has been prescribed for them, save a few (read nominative qalīlun, as a substitution; or read accusative qalīlan, as an exceptive clause) of them; yet if they had done what they were admonished to do, of obedience to the Messenger (s), it would have been better for them, and stronger in establishing, [a stronger] confirmation of their faith.
4.66 Kashani - Kashani
And had We prescribed, that is, [had] We made it obligatory, for them: 'Slay your souls', by curbing the caprice that is their [the souls' source of] life and by annihilating their attributes, or 'Leave your habitations', your stations, which are patience, trust, satisfaction and the like, because of their veiling [of the soul] from the affirmation of Oneness, as al-Ḥusayn b. Manṣūr [al-Ḥallāj], may God sanctify his spirit, said to Ibrāhīm b. Adham, may God have mercy on him, when he asked him about his state and [al-Ḥallāj] responded by saying, 'I wander the deserts and roam the open lands where there is neither water nor trees, and neither meadows nor rain: am I right in assuming a state of trust [in God] or notḍ', to which he [Ibrāhīm] replied, 'If you were to spend your entire life cultivating your belly: where [in all of that] is the annihilation in the Onenessḍ'; they would not have done it, save a few of them: and these [few] are the lovers [of God], those prepared for His encounter, the greatest in power, the smallest in number, as God says but few are they [Q. 38:24]; it would have been better for them, in terms of the perfection that would have been actualised for them upon the removal of the veil of the attributes of the soul by the assumption of the attributes of the Truth or by the arrival at the source of the union, and stronger in establishing, by making [them] upright in religion upon subsistence after the annihilation.
4.66-70 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Most People Disobey What They Are Ordered
Allah states that even if the people were commanded to commit what they were prohibited from doing, most of them would not submit to this command, for their wicked nature is such that they dispute orders. Allah has complete knowledge of what has not occured, and how it would be if and when it did occur. This is why Allah said,
وَلَوْ أَنَّا كَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَنِ اقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ
(And if We had ordered them (saying), "Kill yourselves (i.e. the innnocent ones kill the guilty ones)) until the end of the Ayah. This is why Allah said,
وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ فَعَلُواْ مَا يُوعَظُونَ بِهِ
(but if they had done what they were told,) meaning, if they do what they were commanded and refrain from what they were prohibited,
لَكَانَ خَيْراً لَّهُمْ
(it would have been better for them,) than disobeying the command and committing the prohibition,
وَأَشَدَّ تَثْبِيتاً
(and would have strengthened their conviction), stronger Tasdiq (conviction of faith), according to As-Suddi.
وَإِذاً لاّتَيْنَـهُمْ مِّن لَّدُنَّـآ
(And indeed We should then have bestowed upon them from Ladunna) from Us,
أَجْراً عَظِيماً
(A great reward), Paradise,
وَلَهَدَيْنَـهُمْ صِرَطاً مُّسْتَقِيماً
(And indeed We should have guided them to the straight way.) in this life and the Hereafter.
Whoever Obeys Allah and His Messenger Will Be Honored by Allah
Allah then said,
وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ وَالصَّـلِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقاً
(And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqin, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!) Consequently, whosoever implements what Allah and His Messenger have commanded him and avoids what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, then Allah will grant him a dwelling in the Residence of Honor. There, Allah will place him in the company of the Prophets, and those who are lesser in grade, the true believers, then the martyrs and then the righteous, who are righteous inwardly and outwardly. Allah then praised this company,
وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقاً
(And how excellent these companions are!) Al-Bukhari recorded that `A'ishah said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,
«مَا مِنْ نَبِيَ يَمْرَضُ إِلَّا خُيِّرَ بَيْنَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَة»
(Every Prophet who falls ill is given the choice between this life and the Hereafter.) During the illness that preceded his death, his voice became weak and I heard him saying,
مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ وَالصَّـلِحِينَ
(in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, the Prophets, the true believers (Siddiqin), the martyrs and the righteous) I knew then that he was being given the choice.'' Muslim recorded this Hadith. This Hadith explains the meaning of another Hadith; the Prophet said before his death;
«اللَّهُمَّ (فِي) الرَّفِيقِ الْأَعْلَى»
(O Allah! In the Most High Company) three times, and he then died, may Allah's best blessings be upon him.
The Reason Behind Revealing this Honorable Ayah
Ibn Jarir recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "An Ansari man came to the Messenger of Allah while feeling sad. The Prophet said to him, `Why do I see you sad' He said, `O Allah's Prophet! I was contemplating about something.' The Prophet said, `What is it' The Ansari said, `We come to you day and night, looking at your face and sitting by you. Tomorrow, you will be raised with the Prophets, and we will not be able to see you.' The Prophet did not say anything, but later Jibril came down to him with this Ayah,
وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ
(And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets), and the Prophet sent the good news to the Ansari man.'' This Hadith was narrated in Mursal form from Masruq, `Ikrimah, `Amir Ash-Sha`bi, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas. This is the version with the best chain of narrators. Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah recorded it with a different chain from `A'ishah, who said; "A man came to the Prophet and said to him, `O Messenger of Allah! You are more beloved to me than myself, my family and children. Sometimes, when I am at home, I remember you, and I cannot wait until I come and look at you. When I contemplate about my death and your death, I know that you will be with the Prophets when you enter Paradise. I fear that I might not see you when I enter Paradise.' The Prophet did not answer him until the Ayah,
وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ وَالصَّـلِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقاً
(And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets, the true believers, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!) was revealed to him.'' This was collected by Al-Hafiz Abu `Abdullah Al-Maqdisi in his book, Sifat Al-Jannah, he then commented, "I do not see problems with this chain.'' And Allah knows best. Muslim recorded that Rabi`ah bin Ka`b Al-Aslami said, "I used to sleep at the Prophet's house and bring him his water for ablution and his needs. He once said to me, `Ask me.' I said, `O Messenger of Allah! I ask that I be your companion in Paradise.' He said, `Anything except that' I said, `Only that.' He said,
«فَأَعِنِّي عَلى نَفْسِكَ بِكَثْرَةِ السُّجُود»
(Then help me (fulfill this wish) for you by performing many prostrations.)'' Imam Ahmad recorded that `Amr bin Murrah Al-Juhani said, "A man came to the Prophet and said, `O Allah's Messenger! I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that you are the Messenger of Allah, pray the five (daily prayers), give the Zakah due on my wealth and fast the month of Ramadan.' The Messenger of Allah said,
«مَـــنْ مَـــاتَ عَلى هَـــذَا كَانَ مَـــعَ النَّبِيِّيــنَ وَالصِّــدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّــهَدَاءِ يَـــــــــوْمَ الْقِيَـــــامَةِ،هَكَذا وَنَصَبَ أُصْبُعَيْهِ مَا لَمْ يَعُقَّ وَالِدَيْه»
(Whoever dies in this state will be with the Prophets, the truthful and martyrs on the Day of Resurrection, as long as - and he raised his finger - he is not disobedient to his parents.)'' Only Ahmad recorded this Hadith. Greater news than this is in the authentic Hadith collected in the Sahih and Musnad compilations, in Mutawatir form, narrated by several Companions that the Messenger of Allah was asked about the person who loves a people, but his status is not close to theirs. The Messenger said,
«الْمَرْءُ مَعَ مَنْ أَحَب»
(One is with those whom he loves.) Anas commented, "Muslims were never happier than with this Hadith.'' In another narration, Anas said, "I love the Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr and `Umar, and I hope that Allah will resurrect me with them, even though I did not perform actions similar to theirs.'' Allah said,
ذلِكَ الْفَضْلُ مِنَ اللَّهِ
(Such is the bounty from Allah) meaning, from Allah by His mercy, for it is He who made them suitable for this, not their good deeds.
وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ عَلِيماً
(and Allah is sufficient as All-Knower), He knows those who deserve guidance and success.
4.66-70 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
In verse 65, they have been admonished to submit gracefully and sincerely to the way of life brought by the Holy Prophet and to subordinate their desires and interests to his decision. In this verse they have been warned that if they cannot sacrifice even their small interests in following the Islamic Law, they can never be expected to make any bigger sacrifice. if they were asked to sacrifice their lives or leave their homes in the way of God, they would then discard totally the way of Faith and obedience and follow the ways of disbelief and disobedience instead.
That is, "If they had given up doubt, hesitation and indecision and obeyed and followed the Messenger without any mental reservation, their position would have become firm and stable and their thoughts, their morals and their affairs would have secured a strong and permanent foundation. In short, they would have enjoyed all those blessings that are obtained by following steadfastly a straight royal road. On the contrary, the one who wavers in indecision and irresolution, and sometimes takes one road and then another, without faith in either, his whole life passes without any achievement and becomes an object lesson of failure."
That is, if they had resolved to obey the Holy Messenger sincerely without harboring any doubts in their minds, the right way of life would have become very clear to them by the grace of Allah, and they would have clearly seen as to how they should employ their energy and effort so as to get further and further close to their real goal in life.
Siddiq is one who is upright and just: who is always actuated by truth and righteousness; who is fair and equitable in all his dealings; who always sides with truth and justice from the core of his heart; who opposes tooth and nail all that is unfair, without showing the least weakness; who is so pure and so unselfish that both friends and foes expect nothing but impartiality from him.
The literal meaning of shahid is "a witness".It implies the one who bears witness to the 'truth of his Faith by following it in all aspects of his life. A martyr also is a shahid because he willingly suffers death by fighting in the cause of Allah. By sacrificing his life for the cause he believes to be true, he gives a practical demonstration of the sincerity of his Faith. Those righteous people who are so trustworthy that their mere evidence for anything to be true is a sufficient proof of its genuineness are also shahid.
Salih is one who is upright in his beliefs, intentions, words and actions and adopts the right attitude in every aspect of life.
That is, "Undoubtedly the person who enjoys the company of such people in this world and rises with them in the Hereafter is really very fortunate." Unless one's feelings are totally deadened, one is bound to feel that the company of evil and immoral people is a painful torment even in this world and it would be.
4.66-68 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
And had We prescribed for them: “slay yourselves” or “Leave your habitations” they would not have done it save a few of them; yet if they had done what they were admonished to do it would have been better for them and a firmer position. And then We would have surely given them from Us a great wage. And We would have guided them to a straight path. [God] exposed the weakness of their sincerity akhbara ʿan suqmi ikhlāṣihim and the extent of their bankruptcy wa-quwwati iflāsihim and informed [the Prophet and the believers] of their failings by His knowledge. Although [God] let [the hypocrites] go their own way in many of the tests He said “If they had been inclined to serve and had put on the belt of obedience it would have been better for them than their persisting in their disbelief and pride. If they had done that We would have given them a great reward thawāb ʿaẓīm from Us and would have guided them on a straight path ṣirāṬ mustaqīm and rendered to them an enduring gift ʿaṬāÌ muqīm. In the explanation by allusion bayān al-ishāra this matter refers to opposing personal whims and sacrificing the lower selves by holding them back from familiar and comfortable things. It is leaving [your] habitations and parting from the familiar territories of desire for the present world.