An-Nisa · Juz 5 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah an-Nisa Ayah 36

The Order to Worship Allah Alone and Being Dutiful to Parents

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala orders that He be worshiped Alone without partners, because He Alone is the Creator and Sustainer Who sends His favors and bounties on His creation in all situations and instances. Therefore He deserves to be singled out, without associating anything or anyone from His creation with Him in worship. Indeed, the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said to Mu`adh, “Do you know what Allah’s right on His servants is?” Mu`adh replied, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” He said, “That they should worship Him and should not worship any others with Him.” The Prophet then said, “Do you know what the right of the servants on Allah is if they do this? He should not punish them.”

Allah then commands the servants to be dutiful to their parents, for Allah made parents the reason for the servants to come to existence, after they did not exist. Allah joins the order to worship Him with being dutiful to parents in many places. For example, He said,

أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِى وَلِوَلِدَيْكَ

“….give thanks to Me and to your parents”, [31:14]

and,

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّـهُ وَبِالْوَلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَـناً

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents.” [17:23]

After Allah ordained being dutiful to parents, He ordained kind treatment of relatives, males and females. A Hadith states, “Charity given to the poor is Sadaqah, while charity given to relatives is both Sadaqah and Silah (keeping the relations).”

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then said,

وَالْيَتَـمَى

“and the orphans”,

because they lost their caretakers who would spend on them. So Allah commands that the orphans be treated with kindness and compassion. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then said,

وَالْمَسَـكِينُ

“and the poor”

who have various needs and cannot find what sustains these needs. Therefore, Allah commands they should be helped in acquiring their needs in a sufficient manner that will end their inadequacy.

The Right of the Neighbor

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,

وَالْجَارِ ذِى الْقُرْبَى وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ

“the neighbor who is near of kin, the neighbor who is a stranger”

Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said that,

وَالْجَارِ ذِى الْقُرْبَى

means, “The neighbor who is also a relative”, while,

وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ

means, “Who is not a relative”. It was also reported that Ikrimah, Mujahid, Maymun bin Mihran, Ad-Dahhak, Zayd bin Aslam, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Qatadah said similarly. Mujahid was also reported to have said that Allah’s statement,

وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ

means, “The companion during travel”. There are many ahadiths that command kind treatment to the neighbors, and we will mention some of them here. The first hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Umar said that the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said, “Jibraeel kept reminding of the neighbor’s right, until I thought that he was going to give him a share of the inheritance.” The two Saheehs recorded this hadith.

The second Hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-As said that the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said, “The best companions according to Allah are those who are the best with their friends, and the best neighbors according to Allah are the best with their neighbors.” At-Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith and said, “Hasan Gharib”. The third Hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miqdad bin Al-Aswad said that the Messenger of Allah asked his Companions, “What do you say about adultery?” They said, “It is prohibited, for Allah and His Messenger have prohibited it. So it is forbidden until the Day of Resurrection.” The Messenger of Allah said, “For a man to commit adultery with his neighbor’s wife is worse than if he commits adultery with ten women.” He then said, “What do you say about theft?” They said, “It is prohibited, for Allah and His Messenger prohibited it.” He said, “If a man steals from his neighbor, it is worse for him than stealing from ten homes.” Only Ahmad recorded this Hadith.

A similar Hadith is recorded in the two Saheehs, Ibn Mas`ud said, “I asked, `O Allah’s Messenger! What is the greatest sin?’ He said, “To make a rival for Allah while He Alone created you.” I said, ‘Then?’ He said, “To kill your offspring for fear that he might share your food with you.” I said, ‘Then?’ He said, “To commit adultery with your neighbor’s wife.”

 

The fourth hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that Aishah asked the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam, “I have two neighbors, so whom among them should I give my gift?” He said, “The neighbor whose door is the closest to you.” Al-Bukhari narrated this hadith.

Being Kind to Slaves and Servants

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala  said,

وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ

“and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess,”

this is an order to be kind to them because they are weak, being held as captives by others. An authentic Hadith records that during the illness that preceded his death, the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam  continued advising his Ummah:“(Protect) the prayer, (protect) the prayer, and (those slaves) whom your hands possess.” He was repeating it until his tongue was still.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miqdam bin Ma`dykarib said that the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said, “What you feed yourself is a Sadaqah (charity) for you, what you feed your children is Sadaqah for you, what you feed your wife is Sadaqah for you and what you feed your servant is Sadaqah for you.” An-Nasa’i recorded this Hadith which has an authentic chain of narration.

Abdullah bin Amr said to a caretaker of his, “Did you give the slaves their food yet?” He said, “No.” Ibn Amr said, “Go and give it to them, for the Messenger of Allah said, “It is enough sin for someone to prevent whomever he is responsible for from getting their food.”  Muslim recorded this Hadith.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said, “The slave has the right to have food, clothing and to only be required to perform what he can bear of work.” Muslim also recorded this Hadith.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said, “When your servant brings meals to one of you, if he does not let him sit and share the meal, then he should at least give him a mouthful or two mouthfuls of that meal or a meal or two, for he has prepared it.”

This is the wording collected by Al-Bukhari.

Allah Does Not Like the Arrogant

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالاً فَخُوراً

“Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful.”

meaning, one who is proud and arrogant, insolent and boasts to others. He thinks that he is better than other people, thus thinking high of himself, even though he is insignificant to Allah and hated by people. Mujahid said that Allah’s statement,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالاً فَخُوراً

means arrogant, while,

فَخُوراً

means boasting about what he has, while he does not thank Allah. This Ayah indicates that such a person boasts with people about the bounty that Allah has given him, but he is actually ungrateful to Allah for this bounty.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Abdullah bin Waqid Abu Raja Al-Harawi said, “You will find that those who are mean are also proud and boasting.” He then recited,

وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُكُمْ

You will find that he who is undutiful (to parents) is also arrogant, and deprived. He then recited,

وَبَرّاً بِوَالِدَتِى وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْنِى جَبَّاراً شَقِيّاً

“And dutiful to my mother, and made me not a wretched tyrant.”

Once a man asked the Prophet, “O Messenger of Allah, advise me.’ The Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said, “Avoid lengthening the dress (below the ankles), for this practice is from arrogance. Verily, Allah does not like arrogance.”

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