سورة النساء   

Surah Name: An-Nisa' Meaning:The Women

  • Revealed at Madinah
  • The evolution of a society is based upon the determination of rights and duties. It is the responsibility of the ruler or the State to ensure compliance by the people and to punish the negligent. Since the duty of one is the right of another, any failure in the performance will surely lead to the extortion of people's rights. This is the basic concept of every social system though we may not like its particular manner of determination of duties. Islam far surpasses others in this regard. It begins by fixing the rights and duties of people. It reminds the State of its responsibilities. It goes still further and makes an individual stand before Allah-SWT , and motivates him to perform his duties to gain His-SWT Pleasure, He-SWT , Whose-SWT Providence he enjoys every moment and Who-SWT knows him inside out; Whose-SWT Nearness is his destination; Whose-SWT Pleasure is his aim of life; and Whose-SWT Grace is his ambition and desire. Abiding by the rules and regulations is one thing, and feelings of the Qalb is another. Spending on parents, wives, children and orphans is a noble act; but emotions, such as respect, love, kindness, cannot be measured by any scale, nor can be commanded. Therefore, the reward for such noble feelings will be Allah-SWT's Pleasure. Since this Surah deals especially with the rights of women, it has been named An-Nisa'
  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 24
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 176
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 4
  • Rukū / Section 15 contains Āyāt / Parts 4
  • Siparah/ Volume 4, 5 & 6


وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُواْ مِنَ الصَّلاَةِ إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَن يَفْتِنَكُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ إِنَّ الْكَافِرِينَ كَانُواْ لَكُمْ عَدُوًّا مُّبِينًا 

Waitha darabtum fee alardi falaysa AAalaykum junahun an taqsuroo mina a(l)ssalati in khiftum an yaftinakumu allatheena kafaroo inna alkafireena kanoo lakum AAaduwwan mubeena(n)

And when you are journeying in the earth, it will be no fault in you that you shorten the Salat if you apprehend that those who disbelieve will molest you: verily the infidels are ever unto you an avowed enemy.


وَإِذَا كُنتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ الصَّلاَةَ فَلْتَقُمْ طَآئِفَةٌ مِّنْهُم مَّعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُواْ أَسْلِحَتَهُمْ فَإِذَا سَجَدُواْ فَلْيَكُونُواْ مِن وَرَآئِكُمْ وَلْتَأْتِ طَآئِفَةٌ أُخْرَى لَمْ يُصَلُّواْ فَلْيُصَلُّواْ مَعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُواْ حِذْرَهُمْ وَأَسْلِحَتَهُمْ وَدَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ تَغْفُلُونَ عَنْ أَسْلِحَتِكُمْ وَأَمْتِعَتِكُمْ فَيَمِيلُونَ عَلَيْكُم مَّيْلَةً وَاحِدَةً وَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِن كَانَ بِكُمْ أَذًى مِّن مَّطَرٍ أَوْ كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَن تَضَعُواْ أَسْلِحَتَكُمْ وَخُذُواْ حِذْرَكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا 

Waitha kunta feehim faaqamta lahumu a(l)ssalata faltaqum taifatun minhum maAAaka walyakhuthoo aslihatahum faitha sajadoo falyakoonoo min waraikum waltati taifatun okhra lam yusalloo falyusalloo maAAaka walyakhuthoo hithrahum waaslihatahum wadda allatheena kafaroo law taghfuloona AAan aslihatikum waamtiAAatikum fayameeloona AAalaykum maylatan wahidatan wala junaha AAalaykum in kana bikum athan min matarin aw kuntum marda an tadaAAoo aslihatakum wakhuthoo hithrakum inna Allaha aAAadda lilkafireena AAathaban muheena(n)

And when you are amidst them and have set up the Salat for them, then let a party of them stand with vou and let them retain their weapons; then when they have prostrated themselves, let them go behind you, and let another party who have not yet offered Salat come and offer Salat with you; and let them also take their precautions and their weapons. Those who disbelieve wish that you neglected your weapons and your baggage, so that they might swoop down upon you a one swoop. No fault there will be in you if there is an injury}' to you from rain or you are ailing, that you lay down your arms and yet lake your caution. Verily Allaah-SWT has prepared for the infidels a torment ignominious.


فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمُ الصَّلاَةَ فَاذْكُرُواْ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَى جُنُوبِكُمْ فَإِذَا اطْمَأْنَنتُمْ فَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ إِنَّ الصَّلاَةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَّوْقُوتًا 

Faitha qadaytumu a(l)ssalata fa(o)thkuroo Allaha qiyaman waquAAoodan waAAalajunoobikum faitha itmanantum faaqeemoo a(l)ssalata inna a(l)ssalata kanat AAalaalmumineena kitaban mawqoota(n)

Then when you have finished the Salat, remember Allah-SWT, standing, sitting, and lying on your sides. Then when you are secure establish Salat; verily the Salat is prescribed to the believers at definite times.


وَلاَ تَهِنُواْ فِي ابْتِغَاء الْقَوْمِ إِن تَكُونُواْ تَأْلَمُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ يَأْلَمُونَ كَمَا تَأْلَمونَ وَتَرْجُونَ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ يَرْجُونَ وَكَانَ اللّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا 

Wala tahinoo fee ibtighai alqawmi in takoonoo talamoona fainnahum yalamoona kama talamoona watarjoona mina Allahi ma la yarjoona wakana Allahu AAaleeman hakeema(n)

And do not slacken in seeking the enemy people; if you are suffering, then they suffer even as you suffer, and you hope from Allaah-SWT what they hope not. And Allaah-SWT is ever Knowing, Wise.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

Besides ordering Muslims to hold on to Din tenaciously and courageously, Allah-SWT has granted many concessions and relaxations also. According to the Hadith relating the events of Ascension of the Holy Prophet"-SW, Allah-SWT had enjoined fifty Salat to be offered. Prophet Musa"-AS suggested to the Holy Prophet'"-SW that he-SW should request Allah-SWT to reduce the number. So as a result of the Holy Prophet" "-SW repeated trips to Allah with the request of reduction in the number of Salat, it came down to forty, then thirty; twenty; ten, and finally to five. Prophet Musa"-AS again pleaded to the Holy Prophet'-SW that even five were too much as his people could not fulfill the obligation of even two. The Holy Prophet"-SW  replied that he-SW  felt embarrassed asking for more reduction, as already the number had come down from fifty to five. Allah-SWT liked this gesture so much that He-SWT said that because of this bashfulness of the Holy Prophet"-SW. He-SWT will reward the believers for fifty Salat against five, i.e. the reward will be the same as that of fifty Salat. Thus the reward of availing a concession given by Allah-SWT and straining for carrying out His-SWT Commands is equal.


Similarly here the relaxation given in these particular Ayat is because of the arduous journeys of migration and Jihad, but all kinds of travellers can benefit from it. During a journey the cycles of Salat are to be reduced from four to two. If one gets a chance to offer Sunnah and voluntary Salat that will be offered as normal but the obligatory cycles will have to be reduced from four to two. The Salat-al-Fajr already has two obligatory cycles while the three of Maghrib will be offered as such. According to jurists the journey must be more than three destinations; each destination is approximately equal to sixteen miles. As soon as one is out of the city he will avail this concession. If a person decides to stay for more than fifteen days at a place he is visiting, then he will be considered a local and will offer his Salat in full. But if it is less than fifteen days, he will enjoy the concession. If he misses any Salat while in journey he will make up in the same manner. Details may be seen in Fiqh books, but here it is important to note that Allah--SWT has granted relaxation in Salat during journey but has not excused it.


Another situation that can be faced while travelling to migrate, or on an expedition of Jihad, is the threat from non-believers. The possibility is that while the Muslims are busy in Salat, the non-believers might attack and massacre them, as they are the enemies of the Muslims beyond doubt and no respite can be expected from them. It is a volatile and perilous situation yet Allah--SWT has not remitted the Salat. He asserts that in the presence of the Holy Prophet--SW in such situations, he will lead the congregational Salat, while in his--SW absence, whoever leads must do so. A group of armed soldiers must stand guard, and the rest of the Muslims should offer one cycle with the Imam. The latter must also keep their weapons by them, and when they are through with | one cycle, they should take positions as guards and the former will offer one cycle with the Imam. After a total of two cycles, the Imam's Salat will be over, whereas those behind him will continue and complete their second cycle. After that, the group that had earlier offered a cycle with the Imam will come back and complete their second cycle. In this way, complete vigilance towards the enemy will be exercised, while at the same time Allah--SWT ’s worship will also not be neglected. Thus, Islam does not allow anyone to give up any form of obligatory worship, nor does it allow any escape from practical life. Rather Allah--SWT ’s Zikr complemented with an active participation in all aspects of practical life in complete obedience to the Holy Prophet'--SW is Islam.


Since the infidels will always be intent on eradicating Islam, the Muslims must remain equipped and must know how to use the weapons. This is all in order to protect Islam. It is thus important that each one of the protectors of Islam, must himself practise Islam too; and if they do not implement Islam on themselves, there is no sense fighting for it. So right in the heat of the battle while continuing with shelling and firing, the Muslims must take turns to offer a couple of cycles. In the state of fear, like in war, the cycles of Salat are reduced, just as in journey. The non-believers want all the Muslims to engage in worship simultaneously so that they would attack them all at once. In fact, these Ayat were revealed at an instance when the non-believers concluded after surveillance that they would attack the Muslims when they are busy in Salat. But Allah-SWT informed the Holy Prophet-SW of their plan and instructed for future safety the way to offer Salat in war. They were told to offer one cycle in congregation and one at their own. They should offer two instead of four but must not miss their Salat. Let us pause and think whether Salat has a similar importance in our lives today? There are other concessions too; such as in case of rain, or some illness which prevents the wearing of weapons, these can be put aside. Since in those days the weapons were carried on a person, this concession is being given, yet it is recommended to at least carry some weapon for defense at all times. The infidels are destined for disgrace, both in this world and the next. However, this world is a place of causes and effects, and the Muslims must rely on Allah-SWT only after adopting adequate means. This is called Tawakkal i.e. reliance upon Allah-SWT . The Hereafter is a reward from Allah-SWT for obeying Him-SWT in this life. Thus Allah-SWT tells the Muslims to obey Him-SWT by employing resources and having trust in Him-SWT and He-SWT will take care of the non-believers. Not only will they be humiliated in this world but also will be disgraced much more in the Hereafter.


Yet earning out these two Commandments appears to be difficult. To worship at the proper time and to work at the time of work; to abstain from rituals in the former and to refrain from the illegitimate in the latter, to control evil thoughts and desires, and a perpetual and life-threatening conflict with evil; all this is not easy to accomplish at all. But there is a prescription, which makes it very simple. While on the battlefield when the Salat is over, Allah-SWT's Zikr should never cease. Allah-SWT is to be remembered with intensity and continuity while standing, sitting or reclining. Not a single moment must pass without the Zikr of Allah-SWT . The Divine Lights of His-SWT Name must be absorbed in the heart, and see what immense peace and absolute satisfaction is gained. A Salat offered after acquiring these feelings is a world apart from that offered without them. Those who insist that Salat is the alternative of Zikr must ponder over these Ayat in which not ordinary' Salat but also Salat al Khauf (Salat of Fear) is being explained, which is offered during Jihad. Even then Allah-SWT orders that the Salat concludes but the Zikr never does, whether people are attacking, falling or lying down. Lying down may mean reclining for rest and may also indicate falling down when wounded in Fight, and the Ruh is ready to depart. The Zikr must continue in all circumstances. It is strange how people who stop others from practising Zikr-Allah-SWT , ignore these Ayat.


When there is peace, full Salat must be offered. Continuous Zikr will improve the quality of feelings experienced during Salat. It brings inner peace and happiness as a result of which each Sajdah becomes more blissful. Salat can only be offered at its prescribed time and is a basic tenet of Islam. At the same time the Muslims must not be sluggish in tackling the enemy. The infidels are stricken by similar hardships, fatigue, wounds and dearth of ration as the Muslims, for they too are at war. But the Muslims hope for magnificent rewards and awards from Allah-SWT , to the extent that they aspire to actually see Him-SWT ! The infidels have no such expectations to motivate them. Allah-SWT is all-Knowing and the Wisest. He-SWT shall reward everyone according to his action, intention and sincerity. Besides, Allah-SWT orders only that for whose execution he grants the capability.