An-Nisa · Juz 5 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah an-Nisa Ayah 113

Allah’s Grace and Mercy

Addressing the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam, it has been Allah’s grace and mercy that He revealed to him the reality behind the event of theft, otherwise these people would have mislead him into error. But, since he is not alone i.e. Allah’s grace and mercy is with him, these people can never mislead him into error.

On the contrary, they themselves fall into error. These people could harm him in any way whatsoever because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has revealed the Book and wisdom to him and taught him what he did not know.

وَلَوْلاَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكَ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَهَمَّتْ طَّآئِفَةٌ مِّنْهُمْ أَن يُضِلُّوكَ

“And if it was not for the Grace of Allah on you and His Mercy, a group of them had resolved to mislead you.”

What was the favor of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala on Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam? The revelation.

The group mentioned here is Banu Zafar which had intended to mislead the Prophet. They had firmly resolved to deceive the Prophet.

وَمَا يُضِلُّونَ إِلاَّ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَضُرُّونَكَ مِن شَىْءٍ

 “But they do not mislead except themselves, and they will not harm you in anything.”

The sinner deceives no one but himself. If the hakim makes a wrong decision based on the evidence presented to him, he is not at fault. He decided according to what he information he received.

وَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَعَلَّمَكَ مَا لَمْ تَكُنْ تَعْلَمُ وَكَانَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكَ عَظِيماً

 And Allah has revealed to you the Book and the Wisdom and taught you what you did not know. And Allah’s Grace upon you is great.”

Not only was the Qur’an revealed to the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam but he was also given wisdom to judge matters.

By pairing al-Kitab and al-Hikmah it has been pointed out that hikmah which is the name of the Sunnah and teachings of the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam was also sent down by none but Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala alone. The difference is that its words are not from Allah and that is why they are not part of the Qur’an. But, its meanings and that of the Qur’an are certainly from Allah, therefore, it is obligatory to act in accordance with both.

This explains what some jurists say about wahi (revelation) being of two kinds: matluww – that which is recited, and ghayr-matluww – that which is not recited. Wahy matluww or the revelation which is recited is the name of the Qu’ran – the words and meanings of which are both from Allah. And ghayr mutlaww or that which is not recited is the name of the hadith of the Rasoolullah the words of which are from the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam and the meanings of which are from Allah.

Another problem which gets resolved from the words “and taught you what you did not know” is that the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam did not have the all-comprehending knowledge of the entire universe equal to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, as some ignorant people do insist. The truth is that the measure of his knowledge was corresponding to what Allah bestowed upon him. However, there is no doubt that the knowledge bestowed upon on him exceeds the combined knowledge of all created beings.


We learn from this ayah that

– Even the Prophets are in need of Allah’s favor and mercy. They are human beings.

– Moreover, a person’s wrong actions will harm himself. The dunya is temporary, he will receive the punishment in the Hereafter.

– Qur’an teaches us matters about which we had no idea and which could not be learned from any other place. Therefore, it’s incumbent upon all the Muslims to not just recite but learn the Qur’an.

– Excellence or virtue of knowledge is a favor of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We should be grateful for it and not be arrogant. Example –  Prophet Adam aalyhi salaam and Iblees.


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