As-salaam wa-alaikum, brothers and sisters.
Today’s selection is from Surah 4, An-Nisâ or the Women, Verses 71-91. These verses advise the believers to keep together in the Brotherhood of Islam, share its joys and sorrows. Strive and fight the good fight and never fear for this life is short and the Hereafter eternal. It admonishes the believers to not allow themselves to be drawn into unbelief and cowardice. Protect yourselves against hypocrites and deceivers but do not pursue them unrelentingly.
Bis-millahi ar-rahman, ar-raheem.
In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful.
O believers! Prepare yourselves for encounter, then advance in detachments or all together as the occasion may require. There will be someone among you who will surely lag behind, so that if you face any calamity, he will say: “Allah has been gracious to me that I did not accompany them.” But if you are blessed with grace from Allah, he will say, as if there was no friendship between you and him: “I wish I had been with them; I could have attained a mighty good fortune!” Let it be known that only those people should fight in the cause of Allah who are willing to exchange the life of this world for the Hereafter; and whoever fights for the cause of Allah, whether he dies or is victorious, will soon be granted a mighty reward. 4:[71-74] And what reason do you have not to fight in the cause of Allah, to rescue the helpless oppressed old men, women, and children who are crying: “Our Lord! Deliver us from this town whose people are oppressors; send us a protector by Your grace and send us a helper from Your presence?”  Those who are believers fight in the cause of Allah and those who are unbelievers fight in the cause of Tãghüt (forces of Shaitãn): so fight against the helpers of Shaitãn; surely, Shaitãn’s crafty schemes are very weak. 4:[75-76]
Have you not seen those who were told to restrain their hands from fighting, establish prayers and pay charity. Now when at length they are commanded to fight, lo! A group of them fear people as they should have feared Allah, or even more than that, and say: “Our Lord! Why have You ordered us to fight? Could you delay its implementation for a while?” Tell them: “The enjoyment of this worldly life is short, life of the hereafter is much better for those who fear Allah, and rest assured that you will not be wronged equal to the fiber of a date-stone. As for death, no matter where you may be, death is going to reach you even if you are in fortified towers. When such people are blessed with some benefit, they say: “This is from Allah;” but if they suffer a loss, they say: “this is because of you.” O Muhammad tell them: “Everything is from Allah.” What is the matter with these people that they do not understand a word. Whatever benefit comes to you O people, it is by Allah’s grace; and whatever loss you suffer, it is the result of your own doings. We have sent you, O Muhammad, as a Messenger to mankind. Allah is your All-Sufficient Witness. 4:[77-79]
Anyone who obeys the Messenger, in fact, obeys Allah. As for those who pay no heed, they should know that We have not sent you as a taskmaster over them. They will say: “We are at your service!” Yet when they leave you, some of them meet together secretly at night to plot against what you have said. Allah notes down all their plots. Therefore, leave them alone and put your trust in Allah. Allah is your all sufficient trustee. 4:[80-81]
Why don’t they research the Qur’an? Don’t they realize that if it was from someone other than Allah, they would find many discrepancies in it. Whenever they hear news of peace or of danger, they spread it quickly; but if they would report it to the Messenger and to the responsible people in the community, it would come to the knowledge of those who could draw the right conclusions. If it had not been for Allah’s grace and mercy, all of you with the exception of a few, would have followed Shaitãn. Therefore, O Muhammad, fight in the path of Allah, you are accountable for no one except for yourself. Urge the believers to fight, it may be that Allah will overthrow the might of the unbelievers, for Allah is the strongest in might and severe in punishment. 4:[82-84]
Anyone who intercedes for a good cause shall have a share in it, and anyone who intercedes for an evil cause shall also get a share in its burden. Allah has control over everything. When anyone greets you in a courteous manner, let your greetings be better than his – or at least return the same. Allah keeps account of everything. Allah! There is no god besides Him. He will certainly gather you all together on the Day of Resurrection; there is no doubt in it, and who can be more truthful in his words than Allah? 4:[85-87]
What is the matter with you, why are you divided into two groups concerning the hypocrites, while Allah has cast them off on account of their misdeeds? Do you wish to guide those whom Allah has confounded? Whomever Allah has confounded you cannot find a way for them to be guided. Their real wish is to see that you become a disbeliever, as they themselves have disbelieved, so that you may become exactly like them. So you should not take friends from their ranks unless they immigrate in the way of Allah; and if they do not, seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and do not take any of them as protectors or helpers. 4:[88-89]
The exception to this is for those who take refuge with your allies or come over to you because their hearts restrain them both from fighting against you and from fighting against their own people. If Allah had wanted, He would have given them power over you and they might easily have fought against you; therefore, if they withdraw from you and cease their hostility and offer you peace, in that case Allah has not granted you permission to fight against them. You will find other hypocrites who wish to be safe from you as well as from their own people; but who would plunge into mischief whenever they get an opportunity. Therefore if they do not keep distance from you and neither offer you peace, nor cease their hostilities against you, you may seize them and kill them wherever you find them, against such people We give you absolute authority. 4:[90-91]
This concludes today’s episode of the 17 Verses Podcast. I hope that this selection has helped increase your understanding of the holy Qur’an just a little bit.
Thank you and be well.