English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 4: Al-Nisa — Women (Revealed at Madinah: 24 sections, 176 verses)



This chapter deals chiefly with the rights of women. The battle of Uhud, dealt with in the last chapter, had left a large number of orphans and widows among the Muslims, and this chapter opens with the subject of duties towards them followed by rights of women generally. During the battle of Uhud the hypocrites had deserted the Muslims, and this chapter then deals with the subject of hypocrisy. Following the battle of Uhud had come the final rupture with the Jews as they had sided with the enemy, and the chapter towards its end speaks of their transgressions against the Israelite prophets and their allegations against Jesus. This chapter was mainly revealed in 4 A.H.


List of Sections (Rukus):

  1. Duties of Guardians to Orphans (Verses 4:1–4:10)
  2. Law of Inheritance (Verses 4:11–4:14)
  3. Treatment of Women (Verses 4:15–4:22)
  4. What Women may be Taken in Marriage (Verses 4:23–4:25)
  5. Women’s Rights over their Earnings (Verses 4:26–4:33)
  6. Disagreement between Husband and Wife (Verses 4:34–4:42)
  7. Purification of the Soul (Verses 4:43–4:50)
  8. Kingdom Granted to Abraham’s Descendants (Verses 4:51–4:59)
  9. The Prophet must be Obeyed (Verses 4:60–4:70)
  10. Believers must Defend Themselves (Verses 4:71–4:76)
  11. Attitude of the Hypocrites (Verses 4:77–4:87)
  12. How to Deal with the Hypocrites (Verses 4:88–4:91)
  13. Murderer of a Muslim (Verses 4:92–4:96)
  14. Muslims who Remained with the Enemy (Verses 4:97–4:100)
  15. Prayer when Fighting (Verses 4:101–4:104)
  16. Hypocrites are Dishonest (Verses 4:105–4:112)
  17. Secret Counsels of the Hypocrites (Verses 4:113–4:115)
  18. Idolatry Condemned (Verses 4:116–4:126)
  19. Equitable Dealings with Orphans and Women (Verses 4:127–4:134)
  20. Hypocrisy Condemned (Verses 4:135–4:141)
  21. End of the Hypocrites (Verses 4:142–4:152)
  22. Transgression of the Jews (Verses 4:153–4:162)
  23. Previous Revelation and the Quran (Verses 4:163–4:171)
  24. Prophethood of Jesus (Verses 4:172–4:176)