Surah Mumtahanah Ayat 4 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 4
There has already been for you an excellent pattern in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, “Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have denied you, and there has appeared between us and you animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone” except for the saying of Abraham to his father, “I will surely ask forgiveness for you, but I have not [power to do] for you anything against Allah. Our Lord, upon You we have relied, and to You we have returned, and to You is the destination.
There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people: “We are clear of you and of whatever ye worship besides Allah: we have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred for ever,- unless ye believe in Allah and Him alone”: But not when Abraham said to his father: “I will pray for forgiveness for thee, though I have no power (to get) aught on thy behalf from Allah.” (They prayed): “Our Lord! in Thee do we trust, and to Thee do we turn in repentance: to Thee is (our) Final Goal.
You have a good example in Abraham and his companions: they said to their people: “We totally dissociate ourselves from you, and from the deities that you worship instead of Allah. We renounce you and there has come to be enmity and hatred between us and you until you believe in Allah, the One True God.” (But you may not emulate) Abraham’s saying to his father: “Certainly I will ask pardon for you, although I have no power over Allah to obtain anything on your behalf.” (And Abraham and his companions prayed): “Our Lord, in You have we put our trust, and to You have we turned, and to You is our ultimate return.
Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: “Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allah, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allah Alone,” except the saying of Ibrahim (Abraham) to his father: “Verily, I will ask for forgiveness (from Allah) for you, but I have no power to do anything for you before Allah.” Our Lord! In You (Alone) we put our trust, and to You (Alone) we turn in repentance, and to You (Alone) is (our) final Return,
There is a goodly pattern for you in Abraham and those with him, when they told their folk: Lo! we are guiltless of you and all that ye worship beside Allah. We have done with you. And there hath arisen between us and you hostility and hate for ever until ye believe in Allah only – save that which Abraham promised his father (when he said): I will ask forgiveness for thee, though I own nothing for thee from Allah – Our Lord! In Thee we put our trust, and unto Thee we turn repentant, and unto Thee is the journeying.
You have already had a fair example in Ibrahîm (Abraham) and the ones with him as they said to their people, “Surely we are completely quit of you and whatever you worship apart from Allah. We disbelieve in you, and between you and us enmity has appeared, and abhorrence forever, until you believe in Allah alone.” Except that Ibrahîm said to his father, “Indeed I will definitely ask forgiveness for you; and in no way do I possess anything for you from Allah.” “Our Lord, in (Literally: no You) You we trust, and to You we turn penitent, and to You is the Destiny.
You have a good example in Abraham and his companions, when they said to their people, ‘We disown you and what you worship besides God! We renounce you! Until you believe in God alone, the enmity and hatred that has arisen between us will endure!’––except when Abraham said to his father, ‘I will pray for forgiveness for you though I cannot protect you from God’––[they prayed] ‘Lord, we have put our trust in You; we turn to You; You are our final destination.
Quran 60 Verse 4 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Mumtahanah ayat 4, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(60:4) You have a good example in Abraham and his companions: they said to their people: “We totally dissociate ourselves from you, and from the deities that you worship instead of Allah. We renounce you and there has come to be enmity and hatred between us and you until you believe in Allah, the One True God.” (But you may not emulate) Abraham’s saying to his father: “Certainly I will ask pardon for you, although I have no power over Allah to obtain anything on your behalf.” (And Abraham and his companions prayed): “Our Lord, in You have we put our trust, and to You have we turned, and to You is our ultimate return.
6. That is, we reject you. We neither consider you to be inthe right nor your religion. The inevitable demand of thefaith in Allah is denial of taghut (Satan): Whoever rejectstaghut and believes in Allah has taken a firm support thatnever gives way. (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 256).
7. In other words, it means: Though there is an excellentexample for you in Abraham’s (peace be upon him)conduct in that he expressed disapproval of his paganpeople and broke off all connections with them, yet hispromise to pray for the forgiveness of his pagan father andthen carrying it out practically is not worth following, forthe believers should not have even this much relationship oflove and sympathy with the disbelievers. In(Surah At-Taubah, Ayat 113), Allah has clearly warned: It does notbehoove the Prophet (peace be upon him) and those whohave believed that they should pray for the forgiveness ofthe polytheists even though they be near kinsmen. Thus, noMuslim is allowed to pray for the forgiveness of hisunbelieving kinsmen on the basis of the argument that theProphet Abraham (peace be upon him) had done so. As forthe question, why did the Prophet Abraham (peace be uponhim) pray thus, and did he carry out his promisepractically. The answer has been provided by the Quran infull detail. When his father expelled him from the house, hehad said on his departure: I bid you farewell: I will pray tomy Lord for your forgiveness.(Surah Maryam, Ayat 47).On the basis of this very promise he prayed for him twice.One prayer is contained in (Surah Ibrahim, Ayat 41): Lord,forgive me and my parents and the believers on the Daywhen reckoning will be hold. And the second prayer is in(Surah Ash Shuara, Ayat 86): Forgive my father, for indeedhe is from among those who have strayed and do notdisgrace me on the Day when the people will be raised backto life. But afterwards when he realized that the father forwhose forgiveness he was praying, wan an enemy of Allah,he excused himself from it and broke off even thisrelationship of love and sympathy with him.
As regards to the prayer of Abraham for his father, it wasonly to fulfill a promise he bad made to him, but when herealized that he was an enemy of Allah, he disowned him.The fact is that Abraham was a tender-hearted, Godfearing and forbearing man. (Surah At-Taubah, Ayat 114).
A study of these verses makes the principle manifest thatonly that act of the prophet is worthy of following, whichthey persistently practiced till the end. As regards to thoseacts which they themselves gave up or which Allahrestrained them from practicing or which were forbiddenin the divine Shariah, they are not worth following, and noone showed follow such acts of theirs on the basis of theargument that that was such and such a prophet’s practice.
Here also another question arises which may createconfusion in some minds. In the verse under discussion, thesaying of the Abraham (peace be upon him), which Allahhas declared as not worth following, has two parts. Thefirst part is that he said to his father: I will pray for yourforgiveness, and the second: I have no power to getanything for you from Allah. Of these the first thing of notbeing a worthy examples to be followed is understandable,but, what is wrong with the second thing that that too hasbeen made an exception from being an example worthily ofimitation, whereas it by itself is a truth? The answer is thatthe saying of the Abraham (peace be upon him) has beenincluded in the exception for the reason that when a personafter making a promise with another to do something, saysthat it is not in his power to do anything beyond that forhim, it automatically gives the meaning that if it were in hispower to do anything further for him, he would have donethat too for his sake. This makes his relationship ofsympathy with the other person even more manifest. Onthat very basis this second part of the saying of the ProphetAbraham (peace be upon him) also deserved to be includedin the exception, although its subject was true in so far as itdoes not lie even in the power of a Prophet to have a personforgiven by Allah. Allama Alusi in his Ruhal-Maani hasalso given this same answer to this question.
The tafsir of Surah As-Saff verse 4 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Saff ayat 1 which provides the complete commentary from verse 1 through 4.
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