An-Nisa · Juz 5 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah an-Nisa Ayah 63

The Command to Admonish the Hypocrites and Speak a Beneficial Word

Ayah 63 comes up with the answer. It says that Allah is all-aware of the disbelief and hypocrisy rooted in their hearts. All their interpretations are false, and their oaths, an exercise in lying. So, the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam is being asked to ignore their excuses and reject their charge of excess against Umar radhiAllahu anhu, as the disbelief of this particular hypocrite had become manifest.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala begins this ayah by saying,

أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُ اللَّهُ مَا فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ

“They (hypocrites) are those of whom Allah knows what is in their hearts;” These people are hypocrites, and Allah knows what is in their hearts and will punish them accordingly, for nothing escapes Allah’s watch. Consequently, O Muhammad! Let Allah be sufficient for you in this regard, because He has perfect knowledge of their apparent and hidden affairs. This is why Allah said,

فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ

“so turn aside from them (do not punish them)” meaning, do not punish them because of what is in their hearts.

After that, towards the end of ayah 63, the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam has been asked to give good counsel to the rest of the hypocrites as well, in a way that may touch their hearts, that is, tell them to fear what lies beyond the present life and invite them to follow the path of Islam sincerely, or remind them of their likely worldly punishment in the event they stuck to their hypocrisy which might be exposed some day, some time, and they might as well meet the same fate as did Bishr, the hypocrite.

وَعِظْهُمْ

“but admonish them” means, advise them against the hypocrisy and evil that reside in their hearts,

وَقُل لَّهُمْ فِى أَنفُسِهِمْ قَوْلاً بَلِيغاً

“and speak to them an effective word to reach their inner selves” advise them, between you and them, using effective words that might benefit them.

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