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 8 (Verses 4:51–4:59): Kingdom Granted to Abraham’s Descendants

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Translation:

اَلَمۡ تَرَ اِلَی الَّذِیۡنَ اُوۡتُوۡا نَصِیۡبًا مِّنَ الۡکِتٰبِ یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡجِبۡتِ وَ الطَّاغُوۡتِ وَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ لِلَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ اَہۡدٰی مِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا سَبِیۡلًا ﴿۵۱﴾

4:51 Have you not seen those to whom a portion of the Book was given? They believe in sorcery and diviners1 and say of those who disbelieve: These are better guided in the path than those who believe.

اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَعَنَہُمُ اللّٰہُ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّلۡعَنِ اللّٰہُ فَلَنۡ تَجِدَ لَہٗ نَصِیۡرًا ﴿ؕ۵۲﴾

4:52 Those are they whom Allah has cursed. And whomever Allah curses, you will not find a helper for him.

اَمۡ لَہُمۡ نَصِیۡبٌ مِّنَ الۡمُلۡکِ فَاِذًا لَّا یُؤۡتُوۡنَ النَّاسَ نَقِیۡرًا ﴿ۙ۵۳﴾

4:53 Or have they a share in the kingdom? But then they would not give to people even the speck on a date-stone.2

اَمۡ یَحۡسُدُوۡنَ النَّاسَ عَلٰی مَاۤ اٰتٰہُمُ اللّٰہُ مِنۡ فَضۡلِہٖ ۚ فَقَدۡ اٰتَیۡنَاۤ اٰلَ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ الۡکِتٰبَ وَ الۡحِکۡمَۃَ وَ اٰتَیۡنٰہُمۡ مُّلۡکًا عَظِیۡمًا ﴿۵۴﴾

4:54 Or do they envy the people for what Allah has given them of His grace? But indeed We have given to Abraham’s children the Book and the Wisdom, and We have given them a grand kingdom.3

فَمِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ اٰمَنَ بِہٖ وَ مِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ صَدَّ عَنۡہُ ؕ وَ کَفٰی بِجَہَنَّمَ سَعِیۡرًا ﴿۵۵﴾

4:55 So some of them believe in him, and some of them turn away from him.4 And Hell is sufficient to burn.

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا سَوۡفَ نُصۡلِیۡہِمۡ نَارًا ؕ کُلَّمَا نَضِجَتۡ جُلُوۡدُہُمۡ بَدَّلۡنٰہُمۡ جُلُوۡدًا غَیۡرَہَا لِیَذُوۡقُوا الۡعَذَابَ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ کَانَ عَزِیۡزًا حَکِیۡمًا ﴿۵۶﴾

4:56 Those who disbelieve in Our Messages, We shall make them enter Fire. As often as their skins are burned, We shall change them for other skins, that they may taste the punishment. Surely Allah is ever Mighty, Wise.

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ سَنُدۡخِلُہُمۡ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہَا الۡاَنۡہٰرُ خٰلِدِیۡنَ فِیۡہَاۤ اَبَدًا ؕ لَہُمۡ فِیۡہَاۤ اَزۡوَاجٌ مُّطَہَّرَۃٌ ۫ وَّ نُدۡخِلُہُمۡ ظِلًّا ظَلِیۡلًا ﴿۵۷﴾

4:57 And those who believe and do good deeds, We shall make them enter Gardens in which rivers flow, to abide in them forever. They will have therein pure companions and We shall make them enter a pleasant shade.

اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَاۡمُرُکُمۡ اَنۡ تُؤَدُّوا الۡاَمٰنٰتِ اِلٰۤی اَہۡلِہَا ۙ وَ اِذَا حَکَمۡتُمۡ بَیۡنَ النَّاسِ اَنۡ تَحۡکُمُوۡا بِالۡعَدۡلِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ نِعِمَّا یَعِظُکُمۡ بِہٖ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ کَانَ سَمِیۡعًۢا بَصِیۡرًا ﴿۵۸﴾

4:58 Surely Allah commands you to make over trusts to those worthy of them, and that when you judge between people, you judge with justice.5 Surely Allah instructs you with what is excellent. Surely Allah is ever Hearing, Seeing.

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَطِیۡعُوا اللّٰہَ وَ اَطِیۡعُوا الرَّسُوۡلَ وَ اُولِی الۡاَمۡرِ مِنۡکُمۡ ۚ فَاِنۡ تَنَازَعۡتُمۡ فِیۡ شَیۡءٍ فَرُدُّوۡہُ اِلَی اللّٰہِ وَ الرَّسُوۡلِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ ؕ ذٰلِکَ خَیۡرٌ وَّ اَحۡسَنُ تَاۡوِیۡلًا ﴿٪۵۹﴾

4:59 O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day.6 This is best and more suitable to (achieve) the end.

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Commentary:

  1. These words seem to refer to the general debasement of the Jews, who believed in all kinds of enchantment, divination, and sorcery, and had long bidden farewell in practice to the pure monotheism of Moses.
  2. This shows that a temporal or worldly kingdom cannot be granted to a nation which would not deal liberally with others.
  3. By the people are meant the Arabs. The promised kingdom was still in Abraham’s seed, but was now transferred from the descendants of Israel to those of Ishmael, in accordance with the covenant made with Abraham.
  4. By “him” is meant the Holy Prophet Muhammad, who was now the true exponent of Abraham’s religion.
  5. Muslims, having been granted worldly rule, are here told to entrust the affairs of State to people who are worthy of this responsibility, while the autho­rities and judges so entrusted are required to judge with justice.
  6. This verse lays down three important rules in matters relating to the welfare of the Muslim community and to affairs of State. These are obedience to God and His Messenger in the first place; secondly, obedience to those in autho­rity from among the Muslims; and thirdly, referring matters to God and His Messenger in cases of dispute with those in authority. God and His Messenger are thus the final authority. It is especially in matters religious that differences would arise, in which case it would be necessary to refer the matter to God and His Messenger; in other words to the Quran and Hadith. In case of Muslims living under non-Muslim authority, Islam requires them to abide by the laws of the land.

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