Surah An-Nisa Ayat 142 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 142
Indeed, the hypocrites [think to] deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. And when they stand for prayer, they stand lazily, showing [themselves to] the people and not remembering Allah except a little,
The Hypocrites – they think they are over-reaching Allah, but He will over-reach them: When they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do they hold Allah in remembrance;
Behold, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is they who are being deluded by Him. When they rise to Prayer, they rise reluctantly, and only to be seen by men. They remember Allah but little.
Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for As-Salat (the prayer), they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little.
Lo! the hypocrites seek to beguile Allah, but it is He Who beguileth them. When they stand up to worship they perform it languidly and to be seen of men, and are mindful of Allah but little;
Surely the hypocrites try to deceive Allah, and He is deceiving them; and when they rise up for prayer, they rise up lazily, showing off to (other) men, and they do not remember Allah except a little.
The hypocrites try to deceive God, but it is He who causes them to be deceived. When they stand up to pray, they do so sluggishly, showing off in front of people, and remember God only a little,
Quran 4 Verse 142 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah An-Nisa ayat 142, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(4:142) Behold, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is they who are being deluded by Him. When they rise to Prayer, they rise reluctantly, and only to be seen by men. They remember Allah but little.
172. In the time of the Prophet (peace be on him) no one, unless he prayed regularly, could be reckoned as belonging to the Islamic community. We know that secular associations consider the absence of any member from their meetings, without a valid excuse, a sign of lack of interest, and that in the event of continued absence, they cancel his membership. The early Islamic community did the same with those who absented themselves from congregational Prayers. In those days a person’s absence from congregational Prayers was considered a clear indication of his indifference towards Islam: if he absented himself from them repeatedly he was no longer held to be a Muslim. In those days, therefore, even the worst hypocrites had to attend the five daily Prayers in the mosque. What distinguished a true believer from the hypocrite was that the former came to the mosque with devotion, fervour and eagerness, came there well before the appointed time for the Prayer, and did not rush out of the mosque as soon as the Prayer was over. In short, everything about him indicated that his heart was in the Prayer. Whereas the call to the Prayer for the hypocrite seemed like the announcement of an unavoidable calamity. When such a person set off for the mosque, he seemed to do so in spite of himself. He walked as if he were dragging the entire weight of his being. No wonder, then, that as soon as the Prayer was over, he escaped like a prisoner released from jail. His entire demeanour testified that the remembrance of God was not what he really had his heart in.
142. Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for Salah, they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little. 143. (They are) swaying between this and that, belonging neither to these nor to those; and he whom Allah sends astray, you will not find for him a way.
In the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah ﴿2﴾, we mentioned Allah’s statement,
(They (think to) deceive Allah and those who believe). Here, Allah states,
(Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them.) There is no doubt that Allah can never be deceived, for He has perfect knowledge of the secrets and what the hearts conceal. However, the hypocrites, due to their ignorance, scarce knowledge and weak minds, think that since they were successful in deceiving people, using Islamic Law as a cover of safety for themselves, they will acquire the same status with Allah on the Day of Resurrection and deceive Him too. Allah states that on that Day, the hypocrites will swear to Him that they were on the path of righteousness and correctness thinking that such statement will benefit them with Allah. For instance, Allah said,
(On the Day when Allah will resurrect them all together; then they will swear to Him as they swear to you) Allah’s statement,
(but it is He Who deceives them) means, He lures them further into injustice and misguidance. He also prevents them from reaching the truth in this life and on the Day of Resurrection. Allah said,
(On the Day when the hypocrites ـ men and women ـ will say to the believers: “Wait for us! Let us get something from your light!” It will be said: “Go back to your rear! Then seek a light!”) until,
(And worst indeed is that destination). A Hadith states;
(Whoever wants to be heard of, Allah will make him heard of, and whoever wants to be seen, Allah will show him.) Allah’s statement,
(And when they stand up for Salah, they stand with laziness). This is the characteristic of the hypocrites with the most honored, best and righteous act of worship, the prayer. When they stand for prayer, they stand in laziness because they neither truly intend to perform it nor do they believe in it, have humility in it, or understand it. This is the description of their outward attitude! As for their hearts, Allah said,
(to be seen of men) meaning, they do not have sincerity when worshipping Allah. Rather, they show off to people so that they gain closeness to them. They are often absent from the prayers that they can hide away from, such as the `Isha’ prayer and the Dawn prayer that are prayed in darkness. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,
. (The heaviest prayers on the hypocrites are the `Isha’ and Dawn prayers. If they know their rewards, they will attend them even if they have to crawl. I was about to order someone to pronounce the Adhan for the prayer, then order someone to lead the prayer for the people, then order some men to collect fire-wood (fuel); then I would burn the houses around men who did not attend the (compulsory congregational) prayer.) In another narration, the Prophet said,
(By Him, in Whose Hand my soul is, if anyone of them had known that he would get a bone covered with good meat or two (small) pieces of meat between two ribs, he would have turned up for the prayer, and had it not been that the houses have women and children in them, I would burn their homes around them.) Allah’s statement,
(And they do not remember Allah but little) means, during the prayer they do not feel humbleness or pay attention to what they are reciting. Rather, during their prayer, they are inattentive, jesting and avoid the good that they are meant to receive from prayer. Imam Malik reported that Al-`Ala’ bin `Abdur-Rahman said that Anas bin Malik said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(This is the prayer of the hypocrite, this is the prayer of the hypocrite, this is the prayer of the hypocrite. He sits watching the sun until when it goes down between the two horns of the devil, he stands up pecks out four Rak`ahs (for `Asr) without remembering Allah during them except little.) Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i also recorded it. At-Tirmidhi said “Hasan Sahih”. Allah’s statement,
((They are) swaying between this and that, belonging neither to these) means that the hypocrites are swaying between faith and disbelief. So they are neither with believers inwardly or outwardly nor with disbelievers inwardly or outwardly. Rather, they are with the believers outwardly and with the disbelievers inwardly. Some of them would suffer fits of doubt, leaning towards these sometimes and towards those sometimes,
(Whenever it flashes for them, they walk therein, and when darkness covers them, they stand still). Mujahid said;
((They are) swaying between this and that, belonging neither to these) “The Companions of Muhammad ,
(nor to those): the Jews.” Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Prophet said,
(The example of the hypocrite is the example of the sheep wandering between two herds, sometimes she goes to one of them, and sometimes the other, confused over whom she should follow.) Muslim also recorded it. This is why Allah said afterwards,
(and he whom Allah sends astray, you will not find for him a way.) meaning, whomever He leads astray from the guidance,
(For him you will find no Wali (guiding friend) to lead him (to the right path)) because,
(Whomsoever Allah sends astray, none can guide him). So the hypocrites whom Allah has led astray from the paths of safety will never find a guide to direct them, nor someone to save them. There is none who can resist Allah’s decision, and He is not asked about what He does, while they all will be asked.
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