Surah An-Nisa Ayat 94 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 94
O you who have believed, when you go forth [to fight] in the cause of Allah, investigate; and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace “You are not a believer,” aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You [yourselves] were like that before; then Allah conferred His favor upon you, so investigate. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.
O ye who believe! When ye go abroad in the cause of Allah, investigate carefully, and say not to any one who offers you a salutation: “Thou art none of a believer!” Coveting the perishable goods of this life: with Allah are profits and spoils abundant. Even thus were ye yourselves before, till Allah conferred on you His favours: Therefore carefully investigate. For Allah is well aware of all that ye do.
Believers! When you go forth in the way of Allah, discern (between friend and foe), and do not say to him who offers you the greeting of peace: ‘You are not a believer.’ If you seek the good of this worldly life, there lies with Allah abundant gain. After all, you too were such before, and then Allah was gracious to you. Discern, then, for Allah is well aware of what you do.
O you who believe! When you go (to fight) in the Cause of Allah, verify (the truth), and say not to anyone who greets you (by embracing Islam): “You are not a believer”; seeking the perishable goods of the worldly life. There are much more profits and booties with Allah. Even as he is now, so were you yourselves before till Allah conferred on you His Favours (i.e. guided you to Islam), therefore, be cautious in discrimination. Allah is Ever Well-Aware of what you do.
O ye who believe! When ye go forth (to fight) in the way of Allah, be careful to discriminate, and say not unto one who offereth you peace: “Thou art not a believer,” seeking the chance profits of this life (so that ye may despoil him). With Allah are plenteous spoils. Even thus (as he now is) were ye before; but Allah hath since then been gracious unto you. Therefore take care to discriminate. Allah is ever Informed of what ye do.
O you who have believed, when you strike (i.e. journey in the earth) in the way of Allah, then be discerning, and do not say to him who offers you the salutation, (Literally: casts the salutation, saying, “peace be upon you!”) “You are not a believer, ” inequitably seeking the advantage of the present (Literally: this lowly life, i.e., the life of this world) life; then in the Providence of Allah is plenteous booty. Thus you were earlier, then Allah has been bounteous to you, so be discerning. Surely Allah has been Ever-Cognizant of whatever you do.
So, you who believe, be careful when you go to fight in God’s way, and do not say to someone who offers you a greeting of peace, ‘You are not a believer,’ out of desire for the chance gains of this life- God has plenty of gains for you. You yourself were in the same position [once], but God was gracious to you, so be careful: God is fully aware of what you do.
Quran 4 Verse 94 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah An-Nisa ayat 94, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(4:94) Believers! When you go forth in the way of Allah, discern (between friend and foe), and do not say to him who offers you the greeting of peace: You are not a believer.’ If you seek the good of this worldly life, there lies with Allah abundant gain. After all, you too were such before, and then Allah was gracious to you. Discern, then, for Allah is well aware of what you do.
126.In the early days of Islam the greeting as-salam ‘alaykum (‘peace be on you’) was a distinguishing symbol of the Muslims. When a Muslim greeted another Muslim with this expression it signified that he was a member of the same community, that he was a friend and well-wisher, one who wished peace and security, from whom he need entertain no fear of hostility and towards whom, in return, he should not behave with hostility. The Islamic greeting occupied virtually the same position among Muslims as the passwords used by sentries to distinguish friend from foe. This was particularly important in those days because there were no distinctions in dress, language and so on by which Muslims could be conclusively marked off from their non-Muslim Arab compatriots.
The Muslims also encountered a strange problem on the battlefield. Whenever a Muslim was in danger of being harmed inadvertently by other Muslims during the fighting, he resorted to either the Islamic greeting (as-salam ‘alaykum) or the Islamic creed There is no god save Allah’ (ili-Jl^y) in order to indicate that he was their brother-in-faith. The Muslims, however, often suspected this to be merely a ruse of the enemy and therefore sometimes disregarded the utterance of the Islamic greeting or of the Islamic creed, and killed such people and seized their belongings as booty. Although whenever the Prophet (peace be on him) came to know of such incidents, he severely reproached the people concerned, it, nevertheless, continued to take place. In the end God solved the problem by revelation. The purport of the verse is that no one has the right summarily to judge those who profess to be Muslims, and assume them to be lying for fear of their lives. At least two possibilities exist: the claim may either be true or it may be false. The truth can only be ascertained by proper investigation. While it is impossible to investigate a person’s case properly during fighting and this may enable him to save his life by lying, it is equally possible that an innocent, true believer might be put to death by mistake. The error of letting an unbeliever go unpunished is preferable to that of killing a true believer.
127.The Muslims are now told that there was a time when they were scattered among different tribes of unbelievers. They were, therefore, forced to conceal the fact of being Muslims since they feared that they would be subjected to persecution and hardship. In those days they had nothing else besides their verbal profession to testify to their faith. Later on, some time before these verses were revealed, God benevolently enabled the Muslims to develop a collective entity of their own and thus to raise the banner of Islam in the face of strong opposition from the unbelievers. That the Muslims should fail to appreciate the hardships which other Muslims were enduring, and which they themselves had endured until not long before, and not to treat them with consideration and forbearance, did not seem an adequate way of thanking God for His benevolence.
94. O you who believe! When you go (to fight) in the cause of Allah, verify (the truth), and say not to anyone who greets you: “You are not a believer;” seeking the perishable goods of the worldly life. There is much more benefit with Allah. Even as he is now, so were you yourselves before, till Allah conferred on you His Favors, therefore, be cautious in discrimination. Allah is Ever Well-Aware of what you do.
Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ikrimah said that Ibn `Abbas said, “A man from Bani Sulaym, who was tending a flock of sheep, passed by some of the Companions of the Prophet and said Salam to them. They said (to each other), `He only said Salam to protect himself from us.’ Then they attacked him and killed him. They brought his sheep to the Prophet , and this Ayah was revealed,
(O you who believe!), until the end of the Ayah.” At-Tirmidhi recorded this in his (chapter on) Tafsir, and said, “This Hadith is Hasan, and it is also reported from Usamah bin Zayd.” Al-Hakim also recorded it and said, “Its chain is Sahih, but they did not collect it.” Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas commented;
(and say not to anyone who greets you: “You are not a believer;”), “A man was tending his sheep and the Muslims caught up with him. He said, `As-Salamu `Alaykum.’ However, they killed him and took his sheep. Allah revealed the Ayah;
(And say not to anyone who greets you: “You are not a believer; seeking the perishable goods of the worldly life).” Ibn `Abbas said; “The goods of this world were those sheep.” And he recited,
(Peace) Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Qa`qa` bin Abdullah bin Abi Hadrad narrated that his father `Abdullah bin Abi Hadrad said, “The Messenger of Allah sent us to (the area of) Idam. I rode out with a group of Muslims that included Abu Qatadah, Al-Harith bin Rab`i and Muhallam bin Juthamah bin Qays. We continued on until we reached the area of Idam, where `Amr bin Al-Adbat Al-Ashja`i passed by us on his camel. When he passed by us he said Salam to us, and we did not attack him. Because of some previous problems with him, Muhallam bin Juthamah killed him and took his camel. When we went back to the Messenger of Allah and told him what had happened, a part of the Qur’an was revealed about us,
(O you who believe! When you go (to fight) in the cause of Allah), until,
(Well-Aware).” Only Ahmad recorded this Hadith. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said to Al-Miqdad,
(You killed a believing man who hid his faith with disbelieving people, after he had announced his faith to you. Remember that you used to hide your faith in Makkah before.) Al-Bukhari recorded this shorter version without a complete chain of narrators. However a longer version with a connected chain of narrators has also been recorded. Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bazzar recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “The Messenger of Allah sent a military expedition under the authority of Al-Miqdad bin Al-Aswad and when they reached the designated area, they found the people had dispersed. However, a man with a lot of wealth did not leave and said, `I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.’ Yet, Al-Miqdad killed him, and a man said to him, `You killed a man after he proclaimed: “There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. By Allah I will mention what you did to the Prophet .’ When they went back to the Messenger of Allah, they said, `O Messenger of Allah! Al-Miqdad killed a man who testified that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.’ He said,
(Summon Al-Miqdad before me. O Miqdad! Did you kill a man who proclaimed, “There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah” What would you do when you face, “There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah tomorrow”) Allah then revealed;
(O you who believe! When you go (to fight) in the cause of Allah, verify (the truth), and say not to anyone who greets you: “You are not a believer;” seeking the perishable goods of the worldly life. There are much more profits and booties with Allah. Even as he is now, so were you yourselves before till Allah conferred on you His Favors, therefore, be cautious in discrimination). The Messenger of Allah said to Al-Miqdad,
(He was a believing man who hid his faith among disbelieving people, and he announced his faith to you, but you killed him, although you used to hide your faith before, in Makkah.)” Allah’s statement,
(There is much more benefit with Allah.) means, better than what you desired of worldly possessions which made you kill the one who greeted you with the Salam and pronounced his faith to you. Yet, you ignored all this and accused him of hypocrisy, to acquire the gains of this life. However, the pure wealth with Allah is far better than what you acquired. Allah’s statement,
(so were you yourselves before, till Allah conferred on you His Favors.) means, beforehand, you used to be in the same situation like this person who hid his faith from his people. We mentioned the relevant Hadiths above. Allah said,
(And remember when you were few and were reckoned weak in the land). `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr commented about Allah’s statement,
(so were you yourselves before), “You used to hide your faith, just as this shepherd hid his faith.” Allah said,
(therefore, be cautious in discrimination), then said,
(Allah is Ever Well-Aware of what you do.) and this part of the Ayah contains a threat and a warning, as Sa`id bin Jubayr stated.
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