Surah An-Nisa >> Currently viewing Surah An-Nisa Ayat 77 (4:77)

Surah An-Nisa Ayat 77 in Arabic Text

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ قِيلَ لَهُمْ كُفُّوٓا۟ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَقِيمُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُوا۟ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ فَلَمَّا كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْقِتَالُ إِذَا فَرِيقٌۭ مِّنْهُمْ يَخْشَوْنَ ٱلنَّاسَ كَخَشْيَةِ ٱللَّهِ أَوْ أَشَدَّ خَشْيَةًۭ ۚ وَقَالُوا۟ رَبَّنَا لِمَ كَتَبْتَ عَلَيْنَا ٱلْقِتَالَ لَوْلَآ أَخَّرْتَنَآ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍۢ قَرِيبٍۢ ۗ قُلْ مَتَـٰعُ ٱلدُّنْيَا قَلِيلٌۭ وَٱلْـَٔاخِرَةُ خَيْرٌۭ لِّمَنِ ٱتَّقَىٰ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلًا
Alam tara ilal lazeena qeela lahum kuffooo aidiyakum wa aqeemus Salaata wa aaatuz Zakaata falammaa kutiba ‘alaihimul qitaalu izaa fareequm minhum yakhshaw nan naasa kakhashyatil laahi aw ashadda khashyah; wa qaaloo Rabbanaa lima katabta ‘alainal qitaala law laaa akhkhartanaa ilaaa ajalin qareeb; qul mataa’ud dunyaa qaleelunw wal Aakhiratu khairul limanit taqaa wa laa tuzlamoona fateelaa

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 77

Sahih International
And when he saw the moon rising, he said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “Unless my Lord guides me, I will surely be among the people gone astray.”

Yusuf Ali
When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he said: “This is my Lord.” But when the moon set, He said: “unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray.”

Abul Ala Maududi
Then, when he beheld the moon rising, he said: ‘This is my Lord!’ But when it went down, he said: ‘Were that my Lord did not guide me, I surely would have become among the people who have gone astray.’

Muhsin Khan
When he saw the moon rising up, he said: “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said: “Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the erring people.”

Pickthall
And when he saw the moon uprising, he exclaimed: This is my Lord. But when it set, he said: Unless my Lord guide me, I surely shall become one of the folk who are astray.

Dr. Ghali
Then, as soon as he saw the moon emerging, he said, “This is my Lord.” Yet as soon as it set, he said, “Indeed unless my Lord guides me, indeed I will definitely be of the erring people.”

Abdel Haleem
And when he saw the moon rising he said, ‘This is my Lord,’ but when it too set, he said, ‘If my Lord does not guide me, I shall be one of those who go astray.’

Quran 4 Verse 77 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah An-Nisa ayat 77, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(4:77) Have you not seen those who were told: ‘Restrain you hands, and establish the Prayer, and pay the Zakah’? But when fighting was enjoined upon them some of them feared men as one should fear Allah, or even more,[107] and said: ‘Our Lord, why have You ordained fighting for us? Why did You not grant us a little more respite?’ Say to them: ‘There is little enjoyment in this world. The World to Come is much better for the God-fearing. And you shall not be wronged even to the extent of the husk of a date-stone.[108]


107. This verse .can be interpreted in three ways, and each meaning is equally valid: First, that those who now shirked to fight in the cause of God were themselves initially eager to fight. They often approached the Prophet (peace be on him), saying that they were being wronged, beaten, persecuted and abused, that’ their patience was exhausted, and that they wanted permission to fight. They had then been told to be patient and continue to purify their souls by observing Prayers and dispensing Zakah. At that time they had felt disconcerted by this counsel of patience. Later on, some of those very same people were to tremble at the first sight of the enemy and the dangers of warfare.

Second, that they remained highly ‘religious’ as long as they were asked merely to pray and pay Zakah, which entailed no risk to their lives. But as soon as that phase was over and they were asked to expose themselves to danger, they began to shiver with fear.

Third, that in the former times the same people had unsheathed their swords for trivial causes. They had fought for loot and plunder, and engaged in feuds motivated by animal impulses, so much so that feuding had almost become their national pastime. At that time they had been told to abstain from bloodshed and to reform themselves by observing Prayers and dispensing Zakah. When, later on, the same people were told that the time had come for them to fight in the cause of God, those who had shown themselves to be lions while fighting for their own selfish causes turned out to be as meek as lambs. The strong hands which had wielded the sword so firmly, and had used it so fiercely for the sake of either personal or tribal honour, or for Satan’s sake, became almost paralysed.

Each of these three meanings applies to a different kind of person, but the actual words of the verse seem to apply equally to all who shirked fighting in the cause of God.

108. Were they to serve the religion of God and spend their energy in that cause, they would surely be rewarded by Him.

Ibn-Kathir

77. Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands (from fighting) and perform Salah and give Zakah, but when the fighting was ordained for them, behold! a section of them fear men as they fear Allah or even more. They say: “Our Lord! Why have You ordained for us fighting Would that You granted us respite for a short period” Say: “Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is (far) better for him who fears Allah, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly even equal to the Fatil. 78. “Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!” And if some good reaches them, they say, “This is from Allah,” but if some evil befalls them, they say, “This is from you.” Say: “All things are from Allah,” so what is wrong with these people that they fail to understand any word 79. Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself. And We have sent you as a Messenger to mankind, and Allah is sufficient as a Witness.


The Wish that the Order for Jihad be Delayed

In the beginning of Islam, Muslims in Makkah were commanded to perform the prayer and pay some charity, so as to comfort the poor among them. They were also commanded to be forgiving and forbearing with the idolators and to observe patience with them at the time. However, they were eager and anticipating the time when they would be allowed to fight, so that they could punish their enemies. The situation at that time did not permit armed conflict for many reasons. For instance, Muslims were few at the time, compared to their numerous enemies. The Muslims’ city was a sacred one and the most honored area on the earth, and this is why the command to fight was not revealed in Makkah. Later on when the Muslims controlled a town of their own, Al-Madinah, and had strength, power and support, Jihad was then legislated. Yet, when the command to fight was revealed, just as Muslims wished, some of them became weary and were very fearful of facing the idolators in battle.

﴿وَقَالُواْ رَبَّنَا لِمَ كَتَبْتَ عَلَيْنَا الْقِتَالَ لَوْلا أَخَّرْتَنَا إِلَى أَجَلٍ قَرِيبٍ﴾

(They say: “Our Lord! Why have You ordained for us fighting Would that You had granted us respite for a short period”) meaning, we wish that Jihad was delayed until a later time, because it means bloodshed, orphans and widows. In a similar Ayah, Allah said,

﴿وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَوْلاَ نُزِّلَتْ سُورَةٌ فَإِذَآ أُنزِلَتْ سُورَةٌ مُّحْكَمَةٌ وَذُكِرَ فِيهَا الْقِتَالُ﴾

(Those who believe say: “Why is not a Surah sent down (for us) But when a decisive is sent down, and fighting is mentioned). Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that `Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf and several of his companions came to the Prophet while in Makkah and said, “O Allah’s Prophet! We were mighty when we were pagans, but when we embraced the faith, we became weak.” The Prophet said,

«إِنِّي أُمِرْتُ بِالْعَفْوِ فَلَا تُقَاتِلُوا الْقَوْم»

(I was commanded to pardon the people, so do not fight them.) When Allah transferred the Prophet to Al-Madinah, He commanded him to fight (the idolators), but they (some Muslims) held back. So, Allah revealed the Ayah;

﴿أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ قِيلَ لَهُمْ كُفُّواْ أَيْدِيَكُمْ﴾

(Have you not seen those who were told to hold back their hands) This Hadith was collected by An-Nasa’i and Al-Hakim. Allah’s statement,

﴿قُلْ مَتَـعُ الدُّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَالاٌّخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنِ اتَّقَى﴾

(Say: “Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is (far) better for him who fears Allah,) means, the destination of the one who with Taqwa is better for him than this life.

﴿وَلاَ تُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلاً﴾

(and you shall not be dealt with unjustly even equal to the Fatil.) for your good deeds. Rather, you will earn your full rewards for them. This promise directs the focus of believers away from this life and makes them eager for the Hereafter, all the while encouraging them to fight in Jihad.

There is No Escaping Death

Allah said,

﴿أَيْنَمَا تَكُونُواْ يُدْرِككُّمُ الْمَوْتُ وَلَوْ كُنتُمْ فِى بُرُوجٍ مُّشَيَّدَةٍ﴾

(Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!) meaning, you shall certainly die and none of you shall ever escape death. Allah said,

﴿كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ ﴾

(Whatsooever is on it (the earth) will perish),

﴿كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ﴾

(Everyone shall taste death), and,

﴿وَمَا جَعَلْنَا لِبَشَرٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ الْخُلْدَ﴾

(And We granted not to any human being immortality before you). Therefore, every soul shall taste death and nothing can save any person from it, whether he performed Jihad or not. Everyone has an appointed time, and a limited term of life. In the illness that preceded his death, Khalid bin Al-Walid said, while in his bed, “I participated in so and so number of battles, and every part of my body sustained an injury due to a stab or a shot. Yet here I am, I die in my bed! Let not the eyes of the cowards ever taste sleep.” Allah’s statement,

﴿وَلَوْ كُنتُمْ فِى بُرُوجٍ مُّشَيَّدَةٍ﴾

(even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!) means, entrenched, fortified, high and towering. No caution or fortification can ever avert death.

The Hypocrites Sense a Bad Omen Because of the Prophet !

Allah said,

﴿وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ حَسَنَةٌ﴾

(And if some good reaches them) meaning, fertile years and provision of fruits, produce, children, etc., as said by Ibn `Abbas, Abu Al-`Aliyah and As-Suddi.

﴿يَقُولُواْ هَـذِهِ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ﴾

(they say, “This is from Allah,” but if some evil befalls them) drought, famine, shortages of fruits and produce, death that strikes their children or animals, and so forth, as Abu Al-`Aliyah and As-Suddi stated.

﴿يَقُولُواْ هَـذِهِ مِنْ عِندِكَ﴾

(they say, “This is from you,”) meaning, because of you and because we followed you and embraced your religion. Allah said about the people of Fir`awn,

﴿فَإِذَا جَآءَتْهُمُ الْحَسَنَةُ قَالُواْ لَنَا هَـذِهِ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ يَطَّيَّرُواْ بِمُوسَى وَمَن مَّعَهُ﴾

(But whenever good came to them, they said: “Ours is this.” And if evil afflicted them, they ascribed it to evil omens connected with Musa and those with him.) Allah said,

﴿وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى حَرْفٍ﴾

(And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were upon the edge (i. e. in doubt)). The same is the statement uttered by the hypocrites, who embraced Islam outwardly, but disliked it inwardly. This is why when a calamity befell them, they attributed it to following the Prophet . Consequently, Allah revealed,

﴿قُلْ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ﴾

Say: All things are from Alla0h, Allah’s statement that all things are from Him means, everything occurs by the decision and decree of Allah, and His decision shall come to pass for both the righteous and the wicked, the faithful and the disbelievers. Allah then said while addressing His Messenger , but refering to mankind in general,

﴿مَّآ أَصَـبَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ﴾

(Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah,) meaning, of Allah’s bounty, favor, kindness and mercy.

﴿وَمَآ أَصَـبَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ﴾

(But whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself.), meaning because of you and due to your actions. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿وَمَآ أَصَـبَكُمْ مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٍ ﴾

(And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.) As-Suddi, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ibn Jurayj and Ibn Zayd said that,

﴿فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ﴾

(from yourself) means, because of your errors. Qatadah said that,

﴿فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ﴾

(From yourself) means, as punishment for you, O son of Adam, because of your sins. Allah said,

﴿وَأَرْسَلْنَـكَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولاً﴾

(And We have sent you as a Messenger to mankind,) so that you convey to them Allah’s commandments, what He likes and is pleased with, and what He dislikes and refuses.

﴿وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ شَهِيداً﴾

(and Allah is sufficient as a Witness.) that He has sent you. He is also Witness over you and them, having full knowledge in what you convey to them and the disbelief and rebellion with which they respond to the truth.

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