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Sunday, 20 August 2017
 

Surat Al-Nisaa -4- Medinian –Ayats 176 – Section – Eight– Verses 92-104

It is never should a Believer to kill a Believer, except that if it so happens by mistake (the compensation is due), and whosoever kills a Believer by mistake, it is ordained that he must set free a believing slave, and pay compensation (blood money= Diyya=دية) to the deceased’s family –unless they remit freely.  If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you, and he was a Believer, the freeing of a believing slave (is enough). And if he belonged to a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance, compensation [blood money=Diyya] should be paid to his family, and a believing slave be freed. And for those who find this (the penance of freeing slave) beyond their means, a fast for two consecutive months, by way of seeking repentance from God. And God is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise. (92)  

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ أَنْ يَقْتُلَ مُؤْمِنًا إِلَّا خَطَأً وَمَنْ قَتَلَ مُؤْمِنًا خَطَأً فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُؤْمِنَةٍ وَدِيَةٌ مُسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ إِلَّا أَنْ يَصَّدَّقُوا فَإِنْ كَانَ مِنْ قَوْمٍ عَدُوٍّ لَكُمْ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُؤْمِنَةٍ وَإِنْ كَانَ مِنْ قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ مِيثَاقٌ فَدِيَةٌ مُسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ وَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُؤْمِنَةٍ فَمَنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ تَوْبَةً مِنَ اللَّهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا (92)

And whoever kills a Believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein –forever- and the wrath and the curse of God are upon him, and a dreadful penalty/great punishment is prepared for him. (93)

وَمَنْ يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِنًا مُتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَعَنَهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ عَذَابًا عَظِيمًا (93)

O’ you who believe, when you go [to fight] in the cause of God, investigate carefully, and verify the truth, and do not say to anyone who greets/ salutes you:”you are not a Believer”, coveting the perishable goods of this worldly life; with God there are much more profits and spoils abundant. Even as thus he is now, you yourselves were before, till God conferred on you His favors; therefore, carefully investigate/ be cautious in discrimination. For God is Ever Well-Acquainted of all that you do. (94)    

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا إِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَتَبَيَّنُوا وَلَا تَقُولُوا لِمَنْ أَلْقَى إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَامَ لَسْتَ مُؤْمِنًا تَبْتَغُونَ عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فَعِنْدَ اللَّهِ مَغَانِمُ كَثِيرَةٌ كَذَلِكَ كُنْتُمْ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَمَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَتَبَيَّنُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا (94)

Not equal are those of the believers who sit [at home] and receive no hurt; except those who are disabled (by injury, or blindness, or lame),   and those who strive and fight in the cause of God, with their wealth/goods and their live/ person. God has granted a higher grade to those who strive and fight with their wealth/goods and lives/persons, than to those who sit [at home]. To all [in faith], God has promised goodness (Paradise), but God has preferred/ distinguished those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit {at home} by special/huge reward. (95)     

لَا يَسْتَوِي الْقَاعِدُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ غَيْرُ أُولِي الضَّرَرِ وَالْمُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنْفُسِهِمْ فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنْفُسِهِمْ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ دَرَجَةً وَكُلًّا وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْحُسْنَى وَفَضَّلَ اللَّهُ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ عَلَى الْقَاعِدِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا (95)

 

Degrees of higher grades specially bestowed from Him, and Forgiveness, and Mercy. For God is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful. (96) 

دَرَجَاتٍ مِنْهُ وَمَغْفِرَةً وَرَحْمَةً وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا (96)

 

Verily, when the angels take the souls of those who die in sin against their souls, they (the angels) say to them:”in what –plight- were you?” They reply:” we were weak and oppressed on the earth”. They [the angels] say:”was not the earth of God spacious enough for you to move/ emigrate yourself therein [away from evil]?” Such men will find their abode in Hell, what an evil refuge? (97)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ ظَالِمِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ قَالُوا فِيمَ كُنْتُمْ قَالُوا كُنَّا مُسْتَضْعَفِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا أَلَمْ تَكُنْ أَرْضُ اللَّهِ وَاسِعَةً فَتُهَاجِرُوا فِيهَا فَأُولَئِكَ مَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا (97)

 

Except those who are (really) weak and oppressed among men, women, and children, who have no means in their power to devise neither a plan, nor they are able to direct their way. (98)

إِلَّا الْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ حِيلَةً وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ سَبِيلًا (98)

 

For these there is hope that God will forgive; and God is Ever blot out sins, Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving. (99)

فَأُولَئِكَ عَسَى اللَّهُ أَنْ يَعْفُوَ عَنْهُمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَفُوًّا غَفُورًا (99)

 

(And) he who emigrates (forsakes his home) in the Cause of God, will find on earth many dwelling places, and plenty wide spacious to refuge. And whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to God and His Messenger [PPBUH] and death overtakes him, his reward is then becomes due and sure with God. And God is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful. (100)

وَمَنْ يُهَاجِرْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ يَجِدْ فِي الْأَرْضِ مُرَاغَمًا كَثِيرًا وَسَعَةً وَمَنْ يَخْرُجْ مِنْ بَيْتِهِ مُهَاجِرًا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ يُدْرِكْهُ الْمَوْتُ فَقَدْ وَقَعَ أَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا (100)

 

And when you [Muslims] travel through the earth/in the land, there is no blame on you if you shorten your prayers, if you fear that the Unbelievers may attack you/put you on trial. Verily, the Unbelievers are ever to you open enemies. (101)

وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ تَقْصُرُوا مِنَ الصَّلَاةِ إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَنْ يَفْتِنَكُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِنَّ الْكَافِرِينَ كَانُوا لَكُمْ عَدُوًّا مُبِينًا (101)

 

When you (O’ Messenger Muhammad, PPBUH) are among them, and stand to lead them in prayer, let one party of them stand up –in prayer – with you, taking their arms with them; when they finish their prostration, let them take their position in the rear, and let the other party come up which have not yet prayed, and let them pray with you taking all precautions, and bearing arms. The Unbelievers wish if you were negligent of your arms and your baggage, to assault you in a single rush. But there is no blame on you if you put away your arms because of the inconvenience of rain or because you are ill; but take every precaution for yourselves. Verily, God has prepared a humiliating torment for the Unbelievers. (102) * 

وَإِذَا كُنْتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ الصَّلَاةَ فَلْتَقُمْ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْهُمْ مَعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُوا أَسْلِحَتَهُمْ فَإِذَا سَجَدُوا فَلْيَكُونُوا مِنْ وَرَائِكُمْ وَلْتَأْتِ طَائِفَةٌ أُخْرَى لَمْ يُصَلُّوا فَلْيُصَلُّوا مَعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُوا حِذْرَهُمْ وَأَسْلِحَتَهُمْ وَدَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْ تَغْفُلُونَ عَنْ أَسْلِحَتِكُمْ وَأَمْتِعَتِكُمْ فَيَمِيلُونَ عَلَيْكُمْ مَيْلَةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِنْ كَانَ بِكُمْ أَذًى مِنْ مَطَرٍ أَوْ كُنْتُمْ مَرْضَى أَنْ تَضَعُوا أَسْلِحَتَكُمْ وَخُذُوا حِذْرَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابًا مُهِينًا (102)

 

When you finish the congregational prayers, celebrate God’s praises, standing, sitting down, or lying down on your sides; but when you are free from danger, then perform regular prayers. Verily, the prayers are enjoined on the believers at fixed/stated times. (103)

فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمُ الصَّلَاةَ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَى جُنُوبِكُمْ فَإِذَا اطْمَأْنَنْتُمْ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَوْقُوتًا (103)

 

And do not slacken/be weak in the pursuit of the enemy; if you are suffering hardships, they are suffering similar hardships, but you have hope from God, while they have none. And God is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise. (104)

وَلَا تَهِنُوا فِي ابْتِغَاءِ الْقَوْمِ إِنْ تَكُونُوا تَأْلَمُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ يَأْلَمُونَ كَمَا تَأْلَمُونَ وَتَرْجُونَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَرْجُونَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا (104)

 

(*Verse 102- Narrated Salih Khawwat or Sahl bin Abu Hathma concerning those who witnessed the {Fear Prayer} that was performed in the battle of Dhatur-Riqa’ = ??? ?????? -in the company of Allah’s Messenger PPBUH: One batch lined up behind him while another batch (lined up) facing the enemy. The Prophet [PPBUH] led the batch that was with him n one Rak’ah=???? -, and he stayed in the standing posture while that batch completed their (two Rak’ats) prayer by themselves and went away, lining up in the face of the enemy, while the other batch came and he (the Prophet PPBUH) offered his remaining Raka’ah with them, and then kept on sitting till they completed their prayer by themselves, and then he finished his prayer with Taslim=????? ))-[Sahih Al-Bukhari] .
(Illustration to verses 92-104- The lives of those who believe are sacred; if one is slain by mistake, full compensation should be made. Nor should a stranger –even in the time of war- be treated as an enemy, without the fullest investigation. Live not in place hostile to Islam, if you are able to migrate – and spacious is God’s earth. Devotion and prayer may be shortened in times of danger. Take every precaution for safety, but be bold and undaunted in fight).
COMMENTARY:  
(Verse 92)- Life is absolutely sacred in the Islamic Brotherhood. But mistakes will sometimes happen, as did happen at Uhud, when some Muslims were killed –being mistaken for the enemy- by Muslims. There was no guilty intention; therefore there was no murder. But all the same, the family of the deceased was entitled to compensation unless they freely remitted it, and in addition it was provided that the unfortunate man who made the mistake should free a believing slave. Thus a deplorable mistake was made the occasion for winning the liberty of a slave who was Believer, for Islam discountenances slavery. The compensation could only be paid if the deceased belonged to a Muslim society or to some people at peace with the Muslim society. Obviously it could not be paid if, though the deceased was a Believer, his people were at war with the Muslim society: even if his people could be reached. It is not fair to increase the resources of the enemy. If the deceased was himself an enemy at war, obviously the laws of war justify his being killed in warfare unless he surrendered. If the man who took the life unintentionally has no means from which to free a believing slave or to give compensation, he must still by an act of strict self-denial (fasting for two whole consecutive months) show that he is cognizant of the grave nature of the deed he has done and sincerely repentant. I take this to apply to all three cases mentioned: that is, where a Believer killed a Believer unintentionally and the deceased: (1) belonged to the same community as you, or: (2) belonged to a community at war with you, or: (3) belonged to a community in alliance with you.
(Verse 93)-  What is mentioned here is the punishment in the Hereafter, the spiritual consequences. The legal consequences, enforceable by human society, are mentioned in Suart Al-Bagara 2- verse 178, under the rules of Al-Qisas=??????. That is, a life should be taken for a life destroyed, but this should be on a scale of equality: a single murder should not commit a whole tribe to perpetual blood-feud, as in the days of ignorance. But if the heirs of the man slain accept reasonable compensation, this should be accepted and the taking of a life for a life should be put a stop to. This course leads to the saving of life, and is commanded to men of understanding.
(Verse 94)- Go abroad: Dharaba=??? =: to travel, to go abroad, either for Jihad, or for honest trade or other service, which if done with pure motives, counts as service in the Cause of God. The immediate occasion was in connection with Jihad, but the words are general, and can be applied to all circumstances in which a man falls through spiritual pride; he thinks he is not as other men are, but forgets that, for the grace of God he is himself a sinner! In war –or in peace- we are apt to catch some worldly advantage by pluming ourselves on our superiority in Faith. In war perhaps we want to gain glory or booty by killing a supposed enemy! In peace we make light of other people in order to steal some advantage or material gain! This is wrong. The righteous man, if he is really out in God’s service, has more abundant and richer gifts to think of in the spiritual world.
(Verses 95-96)-God’s goodness is promised to all people of Faith. But there are degrees among men and women of Faith. There are people with natural inertia; they do the minimum that is required of them, but no more. There are people who are weak in will, they are easily frightened. There are people who are so strong in will and so firm in Faith that they are determined to conquer every obstacle, whether in their own physical or other infirmities or in the external world around them. In a time of Jihad, when people give their all –even their lives- for the common cause, they must be accounted more glorious than those who sit at home, even though they have good-will to the cause and carry out minor duties in aid. The special reward of such self-sacrifice is high spiritual rank, and special forgiveness and mercy, as proceeding from the direct approbation and love of God.
(Verse 97)- The immediate occasion for this passage was the question of migration (HIJRAT) from places where Islam was being persecuted and suppressed. Obviously the duty of Muslims was to leave such places, even if it involved forsaking their homes, and join and strengthen the Muslim community among whom they could live in peace and with whom they could help in fighting the evils around them. But the meaning is wider. Islam does not say:”Resist not evil”, on the contrary it requires a constant, unceasing struggle against evil. For such struggle it may be necessary to forsake homes and unite and organize and join our brethren in assaulting and overthrowing the fortress of evil. For the Muslim’s duty is not only to enjoin good, but to prohibit evil. To make our assault, we must be prepared to put ourselves in a position from which such assault would be possible, and God’s earth is spacious enough for the purpose. “Position” includes not only local position, but moral and material position. For example, we must shun evil company where we cannot put it down, but organize a position from which we can put it down.
(Verses 98-99-100)- If through physical, mental, or moral incapacity, we are unable to fight the good fight, we must rest content with putting up with evil and just guarding ourselves from it. God’s gracious Mercy will recognize and forgive our weakness if it is real weakness, and not merely an excuse.
(Verse 101)- This verse gives permission to shorten congregational prayers when people are on a journey; verses 102-104 deal with cases when they are in danger at war, in face of the enemy. The shortening of congregational prayers in both cases is further governed as to details by practice of the Apostle [PPBUH] and his Companions. As to journeys, two questions arise: (1) what constitutes a journey for this purpose? (2) Is the fear of an attack is an essential condition for the shortening of the congregational prayers?  As to (1), it is best to leave the matter to discretion, having regard to all the circumstances of the journey, as in the case of the journeys which excuse a fast: see Surat Al-Bagara 2 verse 184. The text leaves it discretion. As to (2), the practice of the Apostle [PPBUH] shows that danger is not an essential condition; it is merely mentioned as a possible incident. The Apostle [PPBUH] usually shortened the prayers from four Rak’ats to two Rak’ats in Al-Zuhr (midday prayer), Asr (afternoon prayer) and Ish’a (night prayer), the other two are in any case short, Al-Fajr (morning prayer) having two Rak’ats and Al-Maghrib ((evening prayer) having three Rak’ats.
(Verse 103)- Two interpretations are possible: (1)”when you have finished congregational prayers”, or (2) “when –on account of extreme danger- you have to pass over congregational prayers altogether, even the shorter form indicated for time of danger”. I prefer the latter, as it accord better with the following sentence, which allows you to remember God individually in any posture possible during the danger. But when the danger is past, the full prayers should be offered at the stated times.
(Verse 104)- Religion should be a source of strength and not of weakness in all our affairs. If we have to struggle hard and suffer hardships, those without faith have to do the same, with this difference, that the man of Faith is full of hope in God, whereas the man without Faith has nothing to sustain him.