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)

Section 12 (Verses 4:88–4:91): How to Deal with the Hypocrites



فَمَا لَکُمۡ فِی الۡمُنٰفِقِیۡنَ فِئَتَیۡنِ وَ اللّٰہُ اَرۡکَسَہُمۡ بِمَا کَسَبُوۡا ؕ اَتُرِیۡدُوۡنَ اَنۡ تَہۡدُوۡا مَنۡ اَضَلَّ اللّٰہُ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یُّضۡلِلِ اللّٰہُ فَلَنۡ تَجِدَ لَہٗ سَبِیۡلًا ﴿۸۸﴾

4:88 Why should you, then, be two parties in relation to the hypocrites while Allah has made them return (to disbelief) for what they have earned? Do you desire to guide him whom Allah leaves in error? And whomsoever Allah leaves in error you cannot find a way for him.

وَدُّوۡا لَوۡ تَکۡفُرُوۡنَ کَمَا کَفَرُوۡا فَتَکُوۡنُوۡنَ سَوَآءً فَلَا تَتَّخِذُوۡا مِنۡہُمۡ اَوۡلِیَآءَ حَتّٰی یُہَاجِرُوۡا فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ ؕ فَاِنۡ تَوَلَّوۡا فَخُذُوۡہُمۡ وَ اقۡتُلُوۡہُمۡ حَیۡثُ وَجَدۡتُّمُوۡہُمۡ ۪ وَ لَا تَتَّخِذُوۡا مِنۡہُمۡ وَلِیًّا وَّ لَا نَصِیۡرًا ﴿ۙ۸۹﴾

4:89 They long that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved so that you might be on the same level; so do not take from among them friends until they flee (their homes) in Allah’s way. Then if they turn back (to hostility), seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take no friend nor helper from among them,

اِلَّا الَّذِیۡنَ یَصِلُوۡنَ اِلٰی قَوۡمٍۭ بَیۡنَکُمۡ وَ بَیۡنَہُمۡ مِّیۡثَاقٌ اَوۡ جَآءُوۡکُمۡ حَصِرَتۡ صُدُوۡرُہُمۡ اَنۡ یُّقَاتِلُوۡکُمۡ اَوۡ یُقَاتِلُوۡا قَوۡمَہُمۡ ؕ وَ لَوۡ شَآءَ اللّٰہُ لَسَلَّطَہُمۡ عَلَیۡکُمۡ فَلَقٰتَلُوۡکُمۡ ۚ فَاِنِ اعۡتَزَلُوۡکُمۡ فَلَمۡ یُقَاتِلُوۡکُمۡ وَ اَلۡقَوۡا اِلَیۡکُمُ السَّلَمَ ۙ فَمَا جَعَلَ اللّٰہُ لَکُمۡ عَلَیۡہِمۡ سَبِیۡلًا ﴿۹۰﴾

4:90 except those who join a people between whom and you there is an alliance, or who come to you, their hearts shrinking from fighting you or fighting their own people. And if Allah had pleased, He would have given them power over you, so that they would have fought you. So if they withdraw from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah allows you no way against them.1

سَتَجِدُوۡنَ اٰخَرِیۡنَ یُرِیۡدُوۡنَ اَنۡ یَّاۡمَنُوۡکُمۡ وَ یَاۡمَنُوۡا قَوۡمَہُمۡ ؕ کُلَّمَا رُدُّوۡۤا اِلَی الۡفِتۡنَۃِ اُرۡکِسُوۡا فِیۡہَا ۚ فَاِنۡ لَّمۡ یَعۡتَزِلُوۡکُمۡ وَ یُلۡقُوۡۤا اِلَیۡکُمُ السَّلَمَ وَ یَکُفُّوۡۤا اَیۡدِیَہُمۡ فَخُذُوۡہُمۡ وَ اقۡتُلُوۡہُمۡ حَیۡثُ ثَقِفۡتُمُوۡہُمۡ ؕ وَ اُولٰٓئِکُمۡ جَعَلۡنَا لَکُمۡ عَلَیۡہِمۡ سُلۡطٰنًا مُّبِیۡنًا ﴿٪۹۱﴾

4:91 You will find others who desire to be secure from you and secure from their own people. Whenever they are made to return to hostility, they are plunged into it. So if they do not withdraw from you, nor offer you peace and restrain their hands, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them.2 And against these We have given you a clear authority.



  1. This shows clearly that even waverers were not to be killed or fought against if they refrained from fighting, though they may have gone over to disbelief after accepting Islam. The persons referred to in this verse were dis­belie­vers and not Muslims. Note also that we have here the clear injunction that if any people offered peace, they were not to be fought against.
  2. Editor’s Note: The meaning of the words “then seize them and kill them wherever you find them” is clearly shown by the preceding text: “So if they do not withdraw from you, nor offer you peace and restrain their hands”. Those enemies are meant who themselves attacked the Muslims first. The words “kill them wherever you find them” also occur in 2:190­–191, preceded by: “And fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you but do not be aggressive”.