Surah Munafiqun Ayat 4 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 4
And when you see them, their forms please you, and if they speak, you listen to their speech. [They are] as if they were pieces of wood propped up – they think that every shout is against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?
When thou lookest at them, their exteriors please thee; and when they speak, thou listenest to their words. They are as (worthless as hollow) pieces of timber propped up, (unable to stand on their own). They think that every cry is against them. They are the enemies; so beware of them. The curse of Allah be on them! How are they deluded (away from the Truth)!
When you look at them, their persons are pleasing, and when they speak, you pay heed to what they say. But in truth they are (merely) beams of timber propped-up (against a wall). They consider every shout they hear to be directed against them. They are your utter enemies; guard against them. May Allah do away with them! How are they being turned away (from the Truth)?
And when you look at them, their bodies please you; and when they speak, you listen to their words. They are as blocks of wood propped up. They think that every cry is against them. They are the enemies, so beware of them. May Allah curse them! How are they denying (or deviating from) the Right Path.
And when thou seest them their figures please thee; and if they speak thou givest ear unto their speech. (They are) as though they were blocks of wood in striped cloaks. They deem every shout to be against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. Allah confound them! How they are perverted!
And when you see them, you admire their figures; and in case they speak, you hear their speech as if they were propped-up timbers. They reckon every shout is against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. Allah assail them! However are they diverged (from the Truth)!
When you see them [Prophet], their outward appearance pleases you; when they speak, you listen to what they say. But they are like propped-up tim-bers––they think every cry they hear is against them––and they are the enemy. Beware of them. May God confound them! How devious they are!
Quran 63 Verse 4 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Munafiqun ayat 4, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(63:4) When you look at them, their persons are pleasing, and when they speak, you pay heed to what they say. But in truth they are (merely) beams of timber propped-up (against a wall). They consider every shout they hear to be directed against them. They are your utter enemies; guard against them. May Allah do away with them! How are they being turned away (from the Truth)?
5. Abdullah bin Abbas has stated that Abdullah bin Ubayy was a strongly built, healthy, handsome and smoothtongued person, and the same was the case with most of his companions. They were all the nobles of Al-Madinah. When they came to sit in the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) assembly, they would sit reclining on cushions against the walls and would talk agreeably and convincingly. From their outward appearance and manner of speech no one could imagine that those honorable people of the city would be so wretched and degraded in their character.
6. That is, those who sit reclining on cushions against the walls, are not but but pieces of timber. Comparing them to timber is meant to imply that they are devoid of the moral sense which is the essence of humanity. Then by comparing them to blocks of timber propped up against the wall, it has also been pointed out that they are absolutely worthless, for the timber would be useful only when it has been utilized in making of a ceiling, or a door frame, or a piece of furniture. A block of timber that has just been placed against a wall serves no useful purpose at all.
7. This brief sentence portrays the state of their guilty conscience. Since they fully knew what game of hypocrisy they were playing under the screen of their superficial faith, they always remained in a state of alarm, thinking as to when the secret of their treason might be exposed, or the believers might feel disgusted with their evil deeds and machinations and take them to task for them. If ever a cry was raised anywhere in the city, or a noise was heard; they immediately grew alarmed and thought it was directed against themselves.
8. In other words, these hidden enemies are more dangerous than the open enemies.
9. That is, do not be deceived by their outward appearances. Beware of them, for they can deceive you at any moment.
10. This is not a curse but a declaration of the verdict about them by Allah that they have become worthy of His punishment and He will certainly inflict His punishment on them. It is also possible that Allah may not have used these words in their literal sense but in the meaning of a curse and condemnation according to Arabic idiom.
11. It has not been pointed out as to who perverts them from belief to hypocrisy. This by itself makes it clear that there is not one but many factors responsible for their perversion. There is Satan, there are their evil friends, and there are their own selfish motives. Someone’s wife or children become his motive, and someone is driven to perversion by the evil ones in his society, or by jealousy, spite and pride.
The tafsir of Surah Munafiqun verse 4 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Munafiqun ayat 1 which provides the complete commentary from verse 1 through 4.
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