Surah An-Nisa >> Currently viewing Surah An-Nisa Ayat 44 (4:44)

Surah An-Nisa Ayat 44 in Arabic Text

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا۟ نَصِيبًۭا مِّنَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ يَشْتَرُونَ ٱلضَّلَـٰلَةَ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن تَضِلُّوا۟ ٱلسَّبِيلَ
Alam tara ilal lazeena ootoo naseebam minal Kitaabi yashtaroonad dalaalata wa yureedoona an tadillus sabeel

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 44

Sahih International
Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the Scripture, purchasing error [in exchange for it] and wishing you would lose the way?

Yusuf Ali
Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who were given a portion of the Book? they traffic in error, and wish that ye should lose the right path.

Abul Ala Maududi
Have you not seen those to whom a portion of the Book was given? They purchased error for themselves, and wish that you too lose the right way?

Muhsin Khan
Have you not seen those who were given a portion of the book (the Jews), purchasing the wrong path, and wish that you should go astray from the Right Path?

Pickthall
Seest thou not those unto whom a portion of the Scripture hath been given, how they purchase error, and seek to make you (Muslims) err from the right way?

Dr. Ghali
Have you not regarded (the ones) who were brought an assignment of the Book trading errancy, and would (like) you (also) to err from the way?

Abdul Haleem
[Prophet], have you not considered how those who were given a share of the Scripture purchase misguidance and want you [believers], too, to lose the right path?

Quran 4 Verse 44 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah An-Nisa ayat 44, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(4:44) Have you not seen those to whom a portion of the Book was given?[71] They purchased error for themselves, and wish that you too lose the right way?


71. The Qur’an often characterizes the scholars of the People of the Book as those who ‘were given a portion of the Book’. The reason for the use of this expression, in the first place, is that they caused a part of the divine revelation to be lost. Moreover, they had detached themselves from the spirit and purpose of the divine revelation which was available to them. Their concern with the Scripture was confined to verbal discussions, arguments about legal minutiae, and speculation about subtle and involved philosophical and theological questions. This had so alienated even their religious leaders and scholars from the true concept of religion that they lost true religious devotion and piety.

Ibn-Kathir

44. Have you not seen those (the Jews) who were given a portion of the Book, purchasing the wrong path, and wishing that you should go astray from the right path. 45. Allah has full knowledge of your enemies, and Allah is sufficient as a Wali (Protector), and Allah is sufficient as a Helper. 46. Among those who are Jews, there are some who displace words from (their) right places and say: “We hear your word and disobey,” and “Hear and let you hear nothing.” And Ra`ina with a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion. And if only they had said: “We hear and obey”, and “Do make us understand,” it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not except a few.


Chastising the Jews for Choosing Misguidance, Altering Allah’s Words, and Mocking Islam

Allah states that the Jews, may Allah’s continued curse fall on them until the Day of Resurrection, have purchased the wrong path instead of guidance, and ignored what Allah sent down to His Messenger Muhammad . They also ignored the knowledge that they inherited from previous Prophets, about the description of Muhammad , so that they may have a small amount of the delights of this life.

﴿وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن تَضِلُّواْ السَّبِيلَ﴾

(and wishing that you should go astray from the right path.) for they would like that you disbelieve in what was sent down to you, O believers, and that you abandon the guidance and beneficial knowledge that you have.

﴿وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِأَعْدَائِكُمْ﴾

(Allah has full knowledge of your enemies) meaning, Allah has better knowledge of your enemies, and He warns you against them.

﴿وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَلِيّاً وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ نَصِيراً﴾

(and Allah is sufficient as a Wali (Protector), and Allah is Sufficient as a Helper) He is a Sufficient Protector for those who seek refuge with Him and a Sufficient Supporter for those who seek His help. Allah then said,

﴿يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ عَن مَّوَاضِعِهِ﴾

(there are some who displace words from (their) right places) meaning, they intentionally and falsely alter the meanings of the Words of Allah and explain them in a different manner than what Allah meant,

﴿وَيَقُولُونَ سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا﴾

(And say: “We hear your word and disobey) saying, “We hear what you say, O Muhammad, but we do not obey you in it,” as Mujahid and Ibn Zayd explained. This is the implied meaning of the Ayah, and it demonstrates the Jews’ disbelief, stubbornness and disregard for Allah’s Book after they understood it, all the while aware of the sin and punishment that this behavior will earn for them. Allah’s statement,

﴿وَاسْمَعْ غَيْرَ مُسْمَعٍ﴾

(And “Hear and let you hear nothing.”) means, hear our words, may you never hear anything, as Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn `Abbas. This is the Jews’ way of mocking and jesting, may Allah’s curse descend on them.

﴿وَرَعِنَا لَيّاً بِأَلْسِنَتِهِمْ وَطَعْناً فِى الدِّينِ﴾

(And Ra`ina, with a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion.) meaning, they pretend to say, `Hear us,’ when they say, Ra`ina (an insult in Hebrew, but in Arabic it means `Listen to us.’).’ Yet, their true aim is to curse the Prophet . We mentioned this subject when we explained Allah’s statement,

﴿يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَقُولُواْ رَعِنَا وَقُولُواْ انظُرْنَا﴾

(O you who believe! Say not Ra`ina but say Unzurna (make us understand)). Therefore, Allah said about them, while they pretend to say other than what they truly mean,

﴿لَيّاً بِأَلْسِنَتِهِمْ وَطَعْناً فِى الدِّينِ﴾

(With a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion) because of their cursing the Prophet . Allah then said,

﴿وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ قَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا وَاسْمَعْ وَانْظُرْنَا لَكَانَ خَيْراً لَّهُمْ وَأَقْوَمَ وَلَكِن لَّعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ بِكُفْرِهِمْ فَلاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً﴾

(And if only they had said: “We hear and obey”, and “Do make us understand,” it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not except a few.) meaning, their hearts are cast away from the path of righteousness and therefore, no beneficial part of faith enters it. Earlier, when we explained,

﴿فَقَلِيلاً مَّا يُؤْمِنُونَ﴾

(so little is that which they believe) which means they do not have beneficial faith.

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