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 5 (Verses 4:26–4:33): Women’s Rights over their Earnings



یُرِیۡدُ اللّٰہُ لِیُبَیِّنَ لَکُمۡ وَ یَہۡدِیَکُمۡ سُنَنَ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِکُمۡ وَ یَتُوۡبَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلِیۡمٌ حَکِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۶﴾

4:26 Allah desires to explain to you, and to guide you into the ways of those before you, and to turn to you (mercifully). And Allah is Knowing, Wise.

وَ اللّٰہُ یُرِیۡدُ اَنۡ یَّتُوۡبَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ ۟ وَ یُرِیۡدُ الَّذِیۡنَ یَتَّبِعُوۡنَ الشَّہَوٰتِ اَنۡ تَمِیۡلُوۡا مَیۡلًا عَظِیۡمًا ﴿۲۷﴾

4:27 And Allah desires to turn to you (mercifully). And those who follow (their) lusts desire that you should deviate (with) a great deviation.

یُرِیۡدُ اللّٰہُ اَنۡ یُّخَفِّفَ عَنۡکُمۡ ۚ وَ خُلِقَ الۡاِنۡسَانُ ضَعِیۡفًا ﴿۲۸﴾

4:28 Allah desires to make light your burdens, and man is created weak.1

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَاۡکُلُوۡۤا اَمۡوَالَکُمۡ بَیۡنَکُمۡ بِالۡبَاطِلِ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ تَکُوۡنَ تِجَارَۃً عَنۡ تَرَاضٍ مِّنۡکُمۡ ۟ وَ لَا تَقۡتُلُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ کَانَ بِکُمۡ رَحِیۡمًا ﴿۲۹﴾

4:29 O you who believe, do not swallow up your property among yourselves by false means except that it be trading by your mutual consent.2 And do not kill your people.3 Surely Allah is ever Merciful to you.

وَ مَنۡ یَّفۡعَلۡ ذٰلِکَ عُدۡوَانًا وَّ ظُلۡمًا فَسَوۡفَ نُصۡلِیۡہِ نَارًا ؕ وَ کَانَ ذٰلِکَ عَلَی اللّٰہِ یَسِیۡرًا ﴿۳۰﴾

4:30 And whoever does this aggressively and unjustly, We shall soon cast him into fire. And this is ever easy for Allah.

اِنۡ تَجۡتَنِبُوۡا کَبَآئِرَ مَا تُنۡہَوۡنَ عَنۡہُ نُکَفِّرۡ عَنۡکُمۡ سَیِّاٰتِکُمۡ وَ نُدۡخِلۡکُمۡ مُّدۡخَلًا کَرِیۡمًا ﴿۳۱﴾

4:31 If you shun the great things which you are forbidden, We shall do away with your evil (inclinations)4 and make you enter an honourable place of entering.

وَ لَا تَتَمَنَّوۡا مَا فَضَّلَ اللّٰہُ بِہٖ بَعۡضَکُمۡ عَلٰی بَعۡضٍ ؕ لِلرِّجَالِ نَصِیۡبٌ مِّمَّا اکۡتَسَبُوۡا ؕ وَ لِلنِّسَآءِ نَصِیۡبٌ مِّمَّا اکۡتَسَبۡنَ ؕ وَ سۡئَلُوا اللّٰہَ مِنۡ فَضۡلِہٖ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ کَانَ بِکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ عَلِیۡمًا ﴿۳۲﴾

4:32 And do not hanker after what Allah has given some of you above others. For men is the benefit of what they earn. And for women is the benefit of what they earn. And ask Allah of His grace. Surely Allah is ever Knower of all things.

وَ لِکُلٍّ جَعَلۡنَا مَوَالِیَ مِمَّا تَرَکَ الۡوَالِدٰنِ وَ الۡاَقۡرَبُوۡنَ ؕ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ عَقَدَتۡ اَیۡمَانُکُمۡ فَاٰتُوۡہُمۡ نَصِیۡبَہُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ کَانَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ شَہِیۡدًا ﴿٪۳۳﴾

4:33 And to everyone We have appointed heirs of whatever parents and near relatives leave. And as to those with whom your right hands have ratified agreements, give them their due. Surely Allah is ever Witness over all things.5



  1. In Islam all principles of right action are stated with such complete­ness, devoid of unnecessary details, that the real burden of man is much lighter than in any other religion. It, moreover, points out the right way for man’s free­dom from the bondage of sin, and thus reduces his burden by saving him from falling into evil ways. Man being “created weak” refers to Allah’s great mercy in having shown him the truth and guidance, because he could not chalk out a way for himself which was free from error.
  2. All illegal methods of acquiring property are forbidden. Only the seeking of gain from one another by trading by mutual consent is allowed. The passage is particularly directed to guard women’s right to property, because it was women’s and orphans’ property that was generally swallowed up unjustly.
  3. This forbids the killing of anfusa-kum, which means your people or yourselves. In the first case, the significance is that life must also be protected; in the second case, it is an injunction against suicide which according to the law of Islam is a grave sin. (Editor’s Note: This injunction also forbids sending “your people” on suicide missions to their certain death.)
  4. If a person avoids committing sins, the evil inclinations within him die also. Division of sins into kabīra (major) and ṣaghīra (minor) is baseless.
  5. In pre-Islamic days, people entered into covenants with one another, by which they undertook to defend and inherit one another. Such inheritance was abolished by this verse, and the words give them their due mean the rendering of assistance in general.