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 8 contains Āyāt / Parts 9
  • Siparah/ Volume 4, 5 & 6


أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ نَصِيبًا مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْجِبْتِ وَالطَّاغُوتِ وَيَقُولُونَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ هَؤُلاء أَهْدَى مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ سَبِيلاً 

Alam tara ila allatheena ootoo naseeban mina alkitabi yuminoona bi(a)ljibti wa(al)ttaghooti wayaqooloona lillatheena kafaroo haolai ahda mina allatheenaamanoo sabeela(n)

Have you-SW not observed those to whom is given a portion of the Book, testifying to idols and devils, and speaking of those who have disbelieved, 'These are better guided as regards the way than the believers"?


أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَعَنَهُمُ اللّهُ وَمَن يَلْعَنِ اللّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ نَصِيرًا 

Olaika allatheena laAAanahumu Allahu waman yalAAani Allahu falan tajida lahu naseera(n)

Those are they whom Allah-SWT has cursed; and whom Allah-SWT curses, for them you shall not find a helper.


أَمْ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُلْكِ فَإِذًا لاَّ يُؤْتُونَ النَّاسَ نَقِيرًا 

Am lahum naseebun mina almulki faithan la yutoona a(l)nnasa naqeera(n)

Have they a share in the kingdom? If so, they will not give mankind a speck.


أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَى مَا آتَاهُمُ اللّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ فَقَدْ آتَيْنَآ آلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَآتَيْنَاهُم مُّلْكًا عَظِيمًا 

Am yahsudoona a(l)nnasa AAala ma atahumu Allahu min fadlihi faqad atayna ala ibraheema alkitaba wa(a)lhikmata waataynahum mulkan AAatheema(n)

Or do they envy the people on account of what Allaah-SWT has granted them out of His-SWT Grace? So surely We-SWT granted the house of Ibrahim-AS the Book and wisdom and We-SWT granted them a mighty kingdom.


فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ آمَنَ بِهِ وَمِنْهُم مَّن صَدَّ عَنْهُ وَكَفَى بِجَهَنَّمَ سَعِيرًا 

Faminhum man amana bihi waminhum man sadda AAanhu wakafa bijahannama saAAeera(n)

Then among them were some who believed in it,and among them were others who turned aside from it, and enough is Hell as a flame.


إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا سَوْفَ نُصْلِيهِمْ نَارًا كُلَّمَا نَضِجَتْ جُلُودُهُمْ بَدَّلْنَاهُمْ جُلُودًا غَيْرَهَا لِيَذُوقُواْ الْعَذَابَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا

Inna allatheena kafaroo biayatina sawfa nusleehim naran kullama nadijat julooduhum baddalnahum juloodan ghayraha liyathooqoo alAAathaba inna Allaha kana AAazeezan hakeema(n)

Verily those who disbelieve in Our revelations, them We-SWT will soon cast in Fire. Whenever their skins are burnt up We-SWT will change them for other skins, to keep up their tasting of the torment. Verily Allaah-SWT is ever Mighty. Wise.


وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ سَنُدْخِلُهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا لَّهُمْ فِيهَا أَزْوَاجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ وَنُدْخِلُهُمْ ظِـلاًّ ظَلِيلاً 

Wa(a)llatheena amanoo waAAamiloo a(l)ssalihati sanudkhiluhum jannatin tajree min tahtiha alanharu khalideena feeha abadan lahum feeha azwajun mutahharatun wanudkhiluhum thillan thaleela(n)

And those who believe and work righteous deeds, soon We-SWT will admit them to the Gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding their forever. For them shall be spouses, and We-SWT will admit them to a sheltering shade.


إِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تُؤدُّواْ الأَمَانَاتِ إِلَى أَهْلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُم بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَن تَحْكُمُواْ بِالْعَدْلِ إِنَّ اللّهَ نِعِمَّا يَعِظُكُم بِهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا 

Inna Allaha yamurukum an tuaddoo alamanati ila ahliha waitha hakamtum bayna a(l)nnasi an tahkumoo bi(a)lAAadli inna Allaha niAAimma yaAAithukum bihi inna Allaha kana sameeAAan baseera(n)

Verily Allaah-SWT Commands that you shall render dues to the owners thereof, and that when you judge between men, judge with equity. Excellent is that with which Allaah-SWT exhorts you: verily Allaah-SWT is ever Hearing. Seeing.


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلاً 

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo ateeAAoo Allaha waateeAAoo a(l)rrasoola waolee alamri minkum fain tanazaAAtum fee shayin faruddoohu ila Allahi wa(al)rrasooli in kuntum tuminoona bi(A)llahi wa(a)lyawmi alakhiri thalika khayrun waahsanu taweela(n)

O’ you who believe! Obey Allaah-SWT and obey the Messenger-SW and men of authority from amongst you; then if you quarrel in anything refer it to Allaah-SWT and the Messenger-SW, if you indeed believe in Allaah-SWT and the Last Day. That is the best and the fairest interpretation.


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

Have you not observed ... shall not find a helper

O’ Prophet--SW . See those who have been blessed with Allah-SWT's Book, which indeed is a strong evidence of truth, and such a great blessing that man cannot even imagine its greatness! It is for these revelations that Prophets--AS were sent, as no ordinary person can bear to receive the Divine Words. They can be received from Allah-SWT by only those who are innocent and sinless. This sanctity is a prerequisite for receiving the Divine Revelations. Those who believe in the Divine Book emerge from the darkness of infidelity. Their hearts are enlightened and they not only receive guidance at every step, but also Allah-SWT's continuous support. But these people who have been blessed with the Book have fallen prey lo self-praise, and are taking idols and devils as their Rabb-SWT . Just see the crookedness of their vision when they say that the non-believers are on the right path and the Muslims are not. Here the commentators have quoted an incident which itself is an example of admonition.


It is reported that Hayee bin Akhtab and K'ab bin Ashraf, two chieftains of the Jews went to visit the polytheists of Makkah after the Battle of Uhad and wanted to form an alliance against the Muslims. The people of Makkah knew that the Jews were not trustworthy, so they put forth the condition that only if the Jews prostrated before their idols and pledged could an alliance be considered. The Jews complied with their demand. K'ab bin Ashraf who was a very learned scholar suggested that thirty men from each side should announce their resolution in front of the K'abah to fight against Muslims as a united force. The Quraish obliged. However, Abu Sufyan-RAU, who had not yet embraced Islam, enquired of the Jew chief: "You are a scholar of the Book and we are ignorant as far as religion is concerned; so first tell me whether Muhammad--SW is on the right path or us?" What he meant was that if Muhammad--SW was right, then they should not form an alliance against him even if they did not believe in him--SW or accept his--SW Message, for it is never sensible to fight against the truth. K'ab asked Abu Sufyan-RAU to explain their religion and beliefs who told him about all those customs practiced as religion by the polytheists of Makkah. He also told him that Muhammad--SW had renounced these customs and had come up with a new religion. K'ab then declared: "You are on the right path whereas Muhammad--SW has lost his way." K’ab was a renowned Jewish scholar, well aware of the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet--SW . He was capable of discriminating between monotheism and polytheism and could see the difference between mere rituals and tenets of religion. Yet he was so blinded by the desire to retain his superiority that he did not hesitate to brand the truth as falsehood, and vice versa.


This malignance of the mind and heart is the result of Allah-SWT's curse upon such arrogant people. He deprived them of His-SWT Mercy and blessings. Their arrogance and the desire to be superior led them astray. It must be remembered that whoever is condemned by Allah-SWT does not have any one to turn lo. How can anyone offer any assistance, which also comes through Allah-SWT's blessing. The causes and effects are a facade, while the real performer is the Omnipotence of the Creator of the causes. The deprivation from Allah-SWT's blessings has varying degrees and it finally culminates in total disbelief. The initial stages of this deprivation include misdeeds such as women trying to adopt the appearance of men and vice versa. Both have been cursed. Rather, according to Hadith women who put on gents shoes and those who pluck their eyebrows, and men who set their eyes on women with evil intentions are also accursed, and those women too who desire to be seen and admired by people and, therefore, dress up and roam around without the enjoined attire. The damnation also includes people who give or take interest; those who indulge in sodomy; those who try to alter Allah-SWT's Book; those who seize power by unlawful means, abase the nobles and grace the wrongdoers; and those who declare the unlawful as lawful! Condemnation by Allah-SWT , in other words stands for termination of His-SWT Mercy and blessings and results in the crookedness of thought and perception. If one does not beg His-SWT Forgiveness, it is possible that one may become a non- believer, and that results in infliction of a never ending and humiliating torment. O’ Allah-SWT ! Protect us from this calamity!


Have they a share in the kingdom... We will admit them to a sheltering shade.

Conceit is such a fatal trait that it would be quite fair to brand it as the root cause of all evil. It leads to the disobedience of Allah--SWT and to the worship of vain desires, which ultimately transforms a person into a non-believer and polytheist. This trait leads people to the point where they are overwhelmed by the feeling of their own righteousness, and to maintain their superiority try lo hinder the flow of Allah--SWT's blessings from reaching commoners. So much so that even if such people owned a kingdom, they would not give away a straw to anyone. Such were the Jew scholars. If they could, they would not even spare a sip of water to the Holy Prophet--SW and his--SW followers. Moreover, such a person develops jealousy whereby he or she desires the downfall of others, let alone giving anything to anyone. This malice made those Jews wish for the revocation of Allah--SWT's worldly and spiritual rewards, which We--SWT had bestowed upon the Muslims. Although the latter, in the form of Divine Books and Prophethood. had also been given to the children of Prophet lbrahim--AS, and the Jews had accepted and believed in them. The family of Prophet Ibrahim'--AS possessed worldly powers, and some of them had been granted Prophethood as well as State power.


Now, if the Holy Prophet--SW has been similarly blessed with both Prophethood and power, the Jews should not deny the fact. Their hostile attitude, however, is not surprising because their ancestors had behaved in a similar manner with their Prophets--AS. Some of them used to believe in the Prophets--AS; others repudiated them and thus qualified to be condemned to Hell. Repudiation and disbelief is an offence worthy of Hell-fire, which is extremely intense. Its heat can be felt even in this world as it evaporates the peace of mind, whereas after death this Hell shall be the eternal abode for the non-believers. So the people who deny the Holy Prophet--SW are doing it out of sheer jealousy, without any justification. Jealousy itself is a curse and can be compared to Fire, always smoldering a jealous person from within. And it was because of their jealousy towards the Holy Prophet'--SW that these people were afflicted with the disbelief. Jealousy is also forbidden as it leads to the path of denial, for Allah-SWT may bless His-SWT people with whatever favour He-SWT pleases.


However, it is alright lo envy someone's excellence in a positive way. One may strive lawfully for the achievement of similar excellence without wishing for the downfall of others. The non-believers shall soon be condemned to a fire, which will incinerate their bodies without reducing them to ashes. It would be restored as soon as scorched, in order to inflict a continuous and ongoing torture. His feeling of pain increases with each renewal of flesh and skin because the new skin is ever more sensitive. Allah-SWT is the Mightiest of all. He-SWT has given the humans a chance to act righteously, but in their foolishness they keep trying to prove their own superiority over Allah-SWT , and thus invite disaster. Those who refrained from haughtiness and conceit, and acknowledged their humility and the Greatness of Allah-SWT by believing and obeying Him-SWT - as obedience testifies the beliefs-will soon be rewarded with the most exquisite life and exalted standards of existence, which will be their final destination. It is a place of Allah-SWT's bounties and blessings, which shall neither diminish nor finish, and the person once admitted shall abide therein. The successful shall luxuriate in spiritual, physical as well as material blessings. They will enjoy perpetual spring and there will be no autumn. They will enjoy excellent health and their lives shall not be threatened by death. The women will also be free of all flaws, major or minor, with bodies pure of any impurity, hearts free of hatred and faces perfect. In short tranquility shall prevail without the slightest touch of grief.


Verily Allah-SWT commands ... that is the best and the fairest interpretation.

The prerequisites to gain access to this blissful place have been explained in these two Ayah. The first prerequisite is faith in Allah-SWT , without which obedience is un-imaginable: and the second is conduct, because without practical endorsement, the declaration of faith carries no weight.


Allah-SWT Commands us to choose only those people as trustees who are trustworthy, and to do justice amongst people. Meaning of the word 'trust is very broad. Outwardly it refers to that deposit or wealth, which someone entrusts to a person for a certain period of time. It could either be a loan given to someone or a deposit. But in actual fact, the word Trust' encompasses all activities that affect other people, including the management of Government offices and assignments. The real authority lies with Allah-SWT and man has been appointed as His-SWT deputy and trustee. Therefore, these offices should be given to those who are capable of running them efficiently. Thus it is the responsibility of the Government to search and appoint people who are rightly qualified for various jobs. The Holy Prophet--SW has condemned those who are in authority, and appoint unqualified people on the basis of personal friendships or recommendations. The person who unfairly recommends someone for a job does extreme injustice to him, the entire nation and to his own self. When inept people occupy important positions, there will be chaos; the system of Government will collapse and mankind will suffer. Vote, too, is a form of trust, since by exercising it we select people who run the Government and its affairs, and appoint a ruler for the country.


While electing the head of the State, the main consideration should not be the caste, creed or provincial affiliation, but it should be honesty, nobility and the capacity to run the office efficiently. Nobility alone is not sufficient, unless supported by the capability to perform well. It is reported that Hadhrat Abu Zar-RAU requested the Holy Prophet'--SW that he should be entrusted with some duty so that he too could be of some service. The Holy Prophet--SW replied, "You are an old man and appointment is like a trust, which can cause embarrassment on the Final Day, except for the one who would have rightfully proved himself worthy of his position." In fact vote is a kind of testimony that the voter is satisfied with the honesty, virtue and fitness of the candidate he votes for. Therefore, the Government and the public are both responsible within their own spheres. It is not justified to confer positions and appointments on provincial and tribal basis, but such people must be sought who can work efficiently on national level, even if they all belong to the same province or tribe. Here the prerequisite is capability, and not their clannish identity.


Similarly, it is the duty of the Government to delegate duties to people on provincial, district and rural levels. When the right to elect rests with the public, then this responsibility shifts to them. In a situation where a person with adequate qualities is not available, the best amongst the candidates and the better amongst the others should be elected, otherwise it will be a breach of Allah-SWT's trust as well as that of the nation. Accepting bribes in return of appointments amounts to auctioning the rights of people. Another very important duty of the Government is to provide justice to the public. When settling a feud between two parties, the Government, the arbitrator or the mediator must provide justice.


Justice is the right granted to all citizens of all countries by Allah-SWT without any discrimination of colour, caste or religion. Generally speaking it is the duty of the Government or those in authority to decide all matters justly. The opposite of justice is oppression, which means placing things where they do not belong, or uprooting them from their proper place. Whereas justice means doing the right things at the right time and right place. Therefore, the eligible must be provided with his or her rights by the State. It is also the duty of the Government to facilitate the acquisition of justice for the public. The Government should keep itself aware of the problems of its subjects and should not wait for the complainants to come to them. It should not only provide speedy justice but should also safeguard them against oppression.


These are the duties of the Government, and the head of the State will be held accountable for each of his subjects before Allah-SWT . Therefore, Allah-SWT guides us in such a manner so that we may lead a peaceful, honorable life here and be successful in the hereafter. It must be remembered that Allah-SWT is Aware of everything. He-SWT listens not only to those who can cry out for help but also to those who cannot. He can see everything whether visible or hidden behind hundreds of veils, all the time.


Coming to the question how justice is to be done and how to fix the rights and duties of people in order to ensure it, Allah-SWT enjoins: "O’ you who believe! Obey Allah-SWT and His-SWT Prophet--SW , and also those who are in authority". Here, three types of obedience has been simultaneously enjoined, but in fact it is the obedience to Allah-SWT alone, only practiced in various forms. Firstly, the orders laid down in the Quran must be obeyed without interference, such as Allah-SWT ’s Unity; the belief in the Holy Prophet--SW to be the last Prophet of Allah-SWT ; the belief in the Day of Judgement and the tenets of Islam, and the acceptance of the concept of the Lawful and the Forbidden. Secondly, there are orders, which have been briefly stated in the Quran but have been explained and elaborated in the Hadith. In fact the meanings of these, too, have been revealed by Allah-SWT , but the words are of the Holy Prophet--SW . This, too, is obeying Allah-SWT , but as the text is not a part of the Quran but of the sayings of the Holy Prophet--SW therefore, it is ordered in the Quran to obey the Holy Prophet--SW . People who only wish to derive meanings from the Quran must ponder over this, that the order to obey the Holy Prophet--SW is present in the Quran along with the order to obey Allah-SWT . The third level of obedience caters for those affairs which are not clearly specified in the Quran or in the Hadith. It is the duty of the jurists and scholars having vast knowledge of Hadith and a thorough comprehension of the Quran, to study such matters in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah. They should carefully look for a similar situation and then pass their verdict over a given issue.


In fact this too is Allah-SWT's obedience but will outwardly be directed towards jurists. Such matters will fall under the category of Islamic jurisprudence. After these are the matters not restricted by Allah-SWT or the Holy Prophet--SW but left open to personal discretion. These are called Mubahat meaning allowed or permissible. These matters concern the authorities, who formulate rules and regulations for the betterment of the society. The authorities must be obeyed in these administrative matters, for instance how the postal system in a city will work; where will the police stations be set up: where will the roads be laid: how will the various means of transport be scheduled; where will the Army cantonments be built and what will be the strength of Army stationed at each cantonment? These are all administrative affairs and it is State's responsibility to make these arrangements in the best interest of the public. At the same time it is obligatory for the public to obey the rules laid down by the State as this will indeed be obedience to Allah-SWT .


The term "those in authority" includes both the Government and the scholars of religion. In matters that are clearly defined, the Quran should be obeyed, and in those requiring explanation the teachings of the Holy Prophet--SW must be followed. In matters which are indefinite, the scholars and jurists should be adhered to. Lastly, in administrative and public affairs, obedience to the authorities is mandatory. All these are in fact the many faces of the obedience to Allah-SWT ; any violation or failure to fulfill these duties would tantamount to gross misappropriation.


It must be remembered that the scholars cannot demand obedience on any matter contradictory to Allah-SWT's Commands. They have no right to twist the words, or take some literal or other meanings for the purpose of interpretation which are contrary to the Divine teachings and opposed to the wishes of the Holy Prophet--SW . Scholars and jurists who do so will no longer remain trustworthy, and should not be obeyed. It is this kind of crooked interpretation desired by the pseudo intellectuals today who demand to keep the doors of Ijtehad open. Islam allows verdict on any controversial newly arisen situation only after finding a similar situation from the Quran and Sunnah. The Government has no right to enforce rules contrary to Allah-SWT's Commands. In such a situation the Government is not to be obeyed, as it is amongst the sayings of the Holy Prophet--SW , that Allah-SWT's disobedience in order to obey human beings is not allowed. This is why it is enjoined that whenever there is a controversy, always turn back to Allah-SWT and the Prophet--SW . Obviously a controversy will only arise where there is no concrete and clearly defined rule. Therefore, the verdict of only those Scholars should be followed who pass it after careful deliberation of Quran and the Sunnah by exploring similar examples there from. The best policy is never to diverge over clear rules, and to always bear in mind the Magnanimity of Allah-SWT and one's own worthlessness. In case of matters not laid down very clearly, it is best to co-operate with the authorities and the scholars for the achievement of better mundane and eternal results.